Old-Skoolin' with New Technology
Certain styles and trends within the custom truck community are imminent. No matter what crazy new direction the hobby of building and showing custom trucks goes, these modifying staples will be around forever. There are two trends that have permeated the truck show scene quite frequently in the last year: flamed paint schemes and extremely large-diameter wheels. Wherever we go as custom truck connoisseurs and photographers, we will ultimately witness a vast collection of flamed haulers sitting low and tucking big billets.
John Seggie of Intro Custom Wheels, a manufacturer of custom billet wheels for street rods and custom trucks, is the proud owner of this month's cutting-edge cover truck. In the past few years, John's unique-looking designs and cutting-edge wheel styles have made their way onto some of America's most prominent show vehicles, including his own personal air-suspended, Cadillac-nosed, flamed-out 2000 GMC Extended Cab complete with the front-to-back smooth-as-glass treatment.
John felt the need to build something that would serve as a rolling advertisement for Intro Custom Wheels and spin the heads of many truck show spectators. By the looks of this retina-burning contemporary cruiser, we would say John outdid himself. The truck perfectly blends radical modifications with subtle styling for a look that is topping the charts with enthusiasts all over SoCal. John began transforming his contemporary Caddy-nosed cruiser from stock to radical custom by hammering the suspension and pulling some rolling stock from his inventory shelves to fill the fenderwells.
In order to get this 21st Century GMC's rails to hug the California soil, John drove his fresh-off-the-lot pickup to Master Image Customs in Anaheim Hills, California, for a severe altitude adjustment. Rob Maggi and the suspension-slicing crew over at M.I.C. proceeded to bring Retrofied's chassis considerably closer to the roadways by first installing DJM upper and lower control arms followed by Master Image Customs shock mounts and Firestone 2600 224C airbags up front. Cinching the rear framerails closer to the tarmac comes by way of a DJM rear flip kit, a 3-inch Master Image Customs step notch, and two Firestone 2600 224C airbags.
Smoothing Retrofied's ride are Toxic shocks mounted forward and aft. Adjusting the ride height inside the cab is as simple as hitting the switches on the M.I.C. high-flow front, back, and side-to-side in-cab controller.
Plumbing for the fast-air suspension is handled by M.I.C. high-flow valves, a 3/8-inch air line, two Thomas compressors, and one 5-gallon M.I.C. air tank. For rolling stock, John chose to showcase one of Intro Custom Wheels latest billet creations in the Twisted Vista. The front fenderwells are home to 20x8.5-inch Twisted Vistas, while the rear suspension is capped off by 20x10-inch Twisted Vistas. Protecting the billets from the rough California roadways are BFGoodrich P245/ 40ZR20 low-profile street skins.
Making John's blazing Extended Cab melt the back tires at the tap of the throttle is a factory 5.3L V-8 boosted in the performance department by a MagnaCharger supercharger, JBA ceramic coated headers, and a Flowmaster exhaust. Running 8 pounds of boost, Retrofied rocketed the quarter-mile at a 13.79 elapsed time at 103 mph -- not too bad for a truck that can win trophies, lay frame, and tuck 20s.
Aiding in stopping chores are Baer Racing four-piston brakes anchored at all four corners with 14-inch rotors up front and 12-inch rotors at the tail end. While Retrofied lays low and can blaze the rear hydes, its real appeal lies in the aggressive Steve Vandemon flamed paint scheme, the trick body modifications, and the '02 Escalade front end.
After Retrofied was fit with a pavement-altering stance, killer billet rollers, and a beefy powerplant, it was time to clean up the body by adding some new mods and subtracting some of the factory annoyances.
The first noticeable upgrade to John's GMC is the '02 Cadillac Escalade front end, serving to create an unbeatable custom look. Merzees Paint Design in Santa Fe, California, installed and painted the fresh facelift pieces in the factory GM black hue. The Cadillac theme was continued out back by frenching '96 Cadillac taillights into the factory rear GM landscape. Mahood's Collision in Stanton, California, frenched in the rear Cadillac taillights, lengthened and smoothed the tailgate, welded up the stake pocket holes, shaved the gas-filler door, molded in a Sir Michaels steel roll pan, removed all the hooks, and filled the holes inside the bed.
Once the modifications were sanded smooth enough to look factory, Mahood's painted the bed in the factory GM deep-black base color and color-sanded and rubbed the box to perfection before Steve Vandemon got hold of the truck and started taping out the wicked flame pattern.
Upon completion of the metal modifications and base paint matching, Steve Vandemon of Absolutely Custom Paint in Anaheim, California, sprayed the House of Kolor Chrome Yellow base flames. For increased retina strain, House of Kolor Tangelo pearl, Cherry pearl, and Hot Pink pearl were layered over the Chrome Yellow base to make the hot licks literally jump off the black backdrop.
For an aggressive look, Steve carried the flames all the way down the sides to make the truck appear to be engulfed completely in colorful fire. Highlighting the edges of the blaze is purple pinstriping laid down by the steady hand of Kent Garcia of Garcia Pinstriping.
As soon as the paint was dry, Mahood's Collision buried the flamed edges in clear, and the truck was color-sanded, buffed, and prepared for delivery to Stitchcraft Custom Interiors in Westminster, California, where the cabin would be trimmed in one of the most innovative fabrics ever.
The colorful, eye-grabbing interior was the handiwork of Steve "Revo" Reeves at Stitchcraft Custom Interiors. Revo got wicked on the inside of John's Retrofied GMC by laying white alligator skin into the seat inserts, highlighted by purple suede borders. This unique upholstery treatment was carried onto the back seat, the door panels, and the seat bases.
Fresh off the lathe at Intro is its newest billet steering wheel creation, the Twisted Vista, topping the column and wrapped in matching alligator skin and purple suede.
Even alligator skin-covered floor mats were worked into the custom interior equation. After Revo finished working his stitch-master magic on Retrofied's threads, a complete Kenwood and Kicker audio system was installed to keep John company during his daily commute. Monitoring engine vitals was never so visually exciting since a complete Cadillac Escalade gauge cluster now fills the stock GMC dash pod.
John and Intro Custom Wheels cranked out this insane frame-laying and third-degree-burning GMC in just four short months and just in time to be the eye-popping centerpiece on this month's cover.
The innovative styles taken on every surface of this pickup make it a stand-alone custom. We can't wait to see what emerges next from John's home garage. This truck is definitely going to be hard to top.