A Ripe & Righteous '90s Custom
Sometimes the simple approach is the best way to look at certain things in life. In our travels across this great land, the staff of Truckin' has come across all sorts of custom pickups finished with different degrees of detailing and all levels of customization. One thing is for sure: The more modified the ride is, the more the headaches the owner will experience.
When building a custom pickup with the goal of snagging a bunch of looks and compliments, sometimes it pays off to take the simple route and build something that looks clean and classy and will appeal to a large demographic of enthusiasts. After all, a truck with a one-color paint scheme, a few trick body enhancements, the right stance, and a well thought out wheel and tire package will look as good years down the line as the day it was finished. Trends such as tribal flames, aggressive graphics, and leopard-print interiors look good now while they are in fashion, but 10 years down the line, these trucks, if not redone, are going to look dated. Bob Franko from Crown Point, Indiana, agrees that the simple approach is the way to go if you want a truck to look with the times for a long time, and he proves it with the orange '93 Chevy C1500 shown here.
Bob didn't go for a wicked set of flames or some set of animal fur wrapped over the dash, but rather a simple-minded custom show hauler with street rod flavor and amazing detail right down to the nuts and bolts.
Getting this cruiser down on the ground was the first priority for Bob, and he wasted no time getting the Chevy's framerails cozy with the Indiana roadways. Cinching the nose down on comes by way of Belltech 2-inch dropped spindles, custom tubular control arms by California Truckin' Concepts, Firestone airbags, and Belltech Nitro-Drop shocks.
The rear received the slammed treatment with a custom-made California Truckin' Concepts four-link setup, Firestone airbags, and Belltech Nitro-Drop shocks. A deep C-section cut into the rear framerails provides clearance for the rear differential. Complementing the pavement-scraping stance in classic retro style are 18x8-inch American Racing Torque Thrust II wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich P245/40ZR18 tires. After Bob and his friend Shaun Sabau completed the suspension alterations, it was onto implementing some trick body modifications before the body was covered with the fresh bright-orange hue.
Cleaning up the skin of Orange Spice, Bob turned to Troy Riley of Lowell, Indiana, to aid him in turning the Chevy's stock skin into a smooth and scenic picture. First off, a Sir Michaels roll pan was fitted with a pair of Precision Rodware taillights and welded in.
The stock taillights were removed, tossed in the trash, and their openings filled and smoothed. Deleting the stock tailgate handle finished off the tail end nicely, while the front end was treated to a '95 Chevy grille shell, '95 Chevy headlights, a smooth match-painted front bumper, and a phantom billet grille. Topping the insanely detailed 350ci small-block is an East Coast Customs cowl-induction hood. A custom flush-mount tonneau cover handbuilt by Bob tops the cargo box.
After Bob and Troy completed the metal alterations, the truck was rolled into a makeshift paint booth and covered from nose to tail in DuPont '96 Ford Mustang Orange. Color-sanding and rubbing brought the paint to life, and Bob's creation was starting to look like a show-worthy custom, but a custom interior and a decked-out engine compartment would follow to bring the whole ensemble together.
Taking a look into the the engine compartment of Orange Spice reveals miles of '96 Ford Mustang Orange paint that flows evenly over the firewall, the inner fenders, and the underside of the cowl-induction hood. Several engine accessories and brackets were removed and coated in the same hue for extra detail, while chrome valve covers, a chrome A/C compressor cover, and a billet flamed air-cleaner lid provide additional eye candy.
Performance features include Edelbrock Jet-Hot-coated headers and a Flowmaster 3-inch after-cat exhaust system. Decking out the engine compartment of Orange Spice with gorgeous paint and polishing it led Bob to address the stereo system and the inside confines.
For a unique twist, Bob painted portions of the dash to blend with the exterior paint and installed a Billet Specialties Thrasher steering wheel that's wrapped in a bright-orange fabric. The seating arrangement consists of gray Ford Taurus leather bucket seats and a custom-made center console coated in Mustang Orange that's fit with an air gauge for suspension monitoring. Bob and his friend Dick Sabau built this trick metal console that flows between the seats and up just below the back window. Miscellaneous billet dash inserts round out the interior upgrades nicely.
Pulsating the cabin of this bright-orange pavement hugger is a Pioneer CD head unit, an 8-inch subwoofer behind the seat, a Pioneer amplifier for the subwoofer, and mids and separates located in the doors and the A-pillars. Bob fabricated the custom box at home, while Accutek in Merrillville, Indiana, wired the ear-blistering ensemble together.
In taking the simple approach, Bob Franko has successfully turned out one impressive example of Chevy's timeless '88-'98 hauler.
The truck is a standout, and since it was finished in a simple style with attention to detail, 10 years down the line, Bob can still show it and not look out of place. Bob would like to thank his friends Shaun, Kurt, Dick, and, of course, his lovely wife Wendy, who is extremely supportive and enthusiastic about his low-rolling accomplishment. In Bob's custom show truck world, those other guys can keep their 30-color graphic paintjobs. He is going to keep rolling with impeccable taste and style in this sanitary pickup.