This rover has already been rolled over
The names Terry DeLong and Pro Finish-Pro Glass may sound very familiar to subscribers and regular readers of Truckin'. That familiarity comes from the many different trucks featured in this magazine that all originated in Terry's Kendallville, Indiana, shop. This time, as Terry put it, "[He] had an urge for an orange vehicle." However, there was a lot more involved with building the clean '96 Dodge Ram you see here now than just picking the color.
The Ram was originally purchased as a total wreck that had been rolled hard. It was a blue-with-white-stripes Indy pace truck model that ended up on its roof with just 468 miles on the odometer. Needless to say, Terry probably got a good deal on the truck, but considering the huge amount of repair work needed, the Ram simply sat and gathered dust in the back of the Pro Finish-Pro Glass shop for several years. That is, the truck sat idle until Pro Finish-Pro Glass developed a functional Ram shaker hood for debut at the 2001 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas. The hood is a fully functional shaker-style unit complete with a K&N air filter designed to fit all 5.2L and 5.9L Dodge Rams. You can't really display a new product for Dodge trucks without a Dodge truck to put your product on, so it was only a matter of time before the rounded-off old Ram was dragged out of the back of the shop and dusted off.
Before a custom truck could be created, Terry had to bring the Ram back to its original dimensions. The rollover dictated that Terry install new fenders, hood, roof, corners, and doors. Not exactly the type of project for your driveway, Pro Finish-Pro Glass was able to get the multicolored and patched-together Ram pretty darn close to its original shape. Since the Ram would be strutting its stuff in Las Vegas soon, Terry decided a bit of moderate lowering was in order. Ground Force 2-inch dropped spindles and Ground Force shocks brought the frontend down 2 inches. Ground Force shocks, hangers, and shackles yielded 4 inches of drop in the rear. This combination allowed the use of 20-inch Weld EVO Renegade rims wrapped with Yokohama rubber at all four corners.
The truck had plenty of power thanks to the big 360ci V-8 from its origin as an Indy pace truck. Wanting just a bit more power and a lot better sound, Terry installed silver ceramic JBA shorty headers and a Martin Barkey Racing Products Performance Exhaust system. The Ram was beginning to show the signs of new life after it was running and rolling properly.
Next, Terry decided to spruce up the exterior of the Ram with a custom Pro Finish-Pro Glass front bumper and rear roll pan. Headlights from a '99 Sport-model Ram helped clean up the front end a bit too. The new ram-air-style shaker hood was installed, and the old Dodge was starting to look pretty good. A trip to Trents Trick Upholstery in Baltimore, Ohio, resulted in the definitely different gray and silver snakeskin seating surfaces. A hinged, soft tonneau cover from Tek Style completed the exterior modifications. Now all that was needed was some paint. Orange paint, that is.
Terry's "urge for an orange vehicle" coincided with the completion of the Ram project, and friend Bob Rittermeyer of Laotto, Indiana, came to the rescue with a spray gun full of House of Kolor Bittersweet pearl. The upper surfaces were sprayed basic black with thin stripes of House of Kolor Lime Time and Passion Purple separating the orange and black areas. Terry had Bob paint the dashboard bezel to match the exterior orange, and that wrapped up the project.
We ran into Terry and his Ram at the SEMA Show last November when he was proudly showing off his new shaker hood and his new/old Ram. We blasted off a few rolls of film on the truck and the rest is history. All that remains now is the familiarity with Terry and the Pro Finish-Pro Glass name and the mystery of what his next truck will be.