A Mopar Flexin' on the Bow Ties and Blue Ovals
Making a statement and being original are both high priorities within the custom truck community. Enthusiasts are no longer satisfied following the trends; they want to set them. Consequently, there has been a sudden uprising of troll hair interiors, leopard and cheetah print graphics, and 22-inch-and-bigger rims and rubber occupying the wheelwells of fullsize pickups.
Some custom truck fanatics have even taken the notch up a few levels to try and squeeze 22-inch wheels on 'bagged and body-dropped domestic mini-trucks. We say more power to them if the modification can be pulled off smoothly and the results are clean.
Doug DeBerti, president of Trenz Manufacturing, enjoys building vehicles with unique looks and original styling, so when Dodge released its restyled Ram four-door pickup in 2002, it was only a matter of time before he had one on the ground, sitting on big rims and rubber, and sporting a colorful paintjob and attractive interior upgrades. Proof of Doug's exemplary work can be seen in the June '02 issue of Truckin', with the appearance of his '02 Ford Excursion and his friend Steve Bowden's '00 Chevy Silverado extended-cab pickup. This year, Doug decided to try his hand at a Ram and successfully created the stunning '02 Dodge Quad Cab pickup displayed across these pages.
Doug has always had an eye for creating vehicles with just the right amount of custom ingredients for an aggressive finished product with a close focus on class. His latest creation is no exception, as simple hot licks blaze down the sides, an eye-catching interior fills the cockpit, and an adjustable suspension finished off with bold wheels and tires creates the truck's fierce exterior attitude.
Creating custom billet aluminum enhancement products for the automotive aftermarket is one of Doug's talents as well as his profession, so all of his custom creations are spiced up with a large dose of gleaming polished aluminum, inside and out. The custom magic on this current pickup platform began with addressing the embarrassing stock stance.
To get this radically renovated Ram in the weeds, Doug turned to the suspension experts at First Class Autowerks in Oxnard, California. Company owner Eric Scarlett wasted no time in making the truck's stance adjustable with the flick of a few switches. Bringing down that big and bold front end was accomplished by installing a Contitec airbag system with custom-built bracketry. A pair of Doetsch Tech shocks regulates ride control at the nose. Moving to the tail end, Eric and his suspension sidekick Mike Hampton installed a Pete & Jakes four-link with leverage airbag setup, using two Contitec airbags for quick raising and lowering chores. Rear axle clearance is handled by a custom-built step notch concealed under the bed floor.
When aired up to the maximum, the rear gets an impressive 12 inches of lift. Keeping ride quality in line out back is another pair of Doetsch Tech shocks. Plumbing for the air suspension system comes by way of eight 1/2-inch SMC electric valves, a 1/2-inch air line, one Firestone 9210 compressor, and two 5-gallon air tanks. Reading suspension pressure inside the cab is handled by a five-way Dakota Digital air pressure gauge. Eric purposely built the system on Decadent Dodge to feature front, back, and side-to-side motion with independent 'bag control, so Doug can fine-tune the ride height at each corner while driving.
After Eric and Mike at First Class Autowerks finished laying the truck out, a set of 22x10-inch Colorado Custom Empire billet wheels encased in Nitto P285/35ZR22 low-profile rubber was mounted up to set off the wicked slam. Now that the suspension was dialed in, Doug delivered the truck to Beam Brothers in Bakersfield, California, for a bit of paint and graphic spice.
Before he sent his truck to Beam Brothers, Doug had a few hours to bolt on some mild body enhancements. A Sir Michaels roll pan was used to smooth out the scenery out back, while a Gaylord tonneau cover was used to clean up the lines of the cargo box. From the rocker panels up to just below the factory door handles, Beam Brothers' own Ron Beam sprayed the Ram in House of Kolor Light Teal Pearl, which was then finished off by House of Kolor Passion Purple flames separating the teal down below and the factory black up top.
The flames were laid out in such a way that some of the factory black up top would fall into the blaze. Loads of House of Kolor clear was used to seal in all the glistening pearls. Once the clean and subtle paintwork was finished at Beam Brothers, a Trenz Manufacturing four-piece grille with frame perimeter and a Trenz Manufacturing bumper grille were installed for a bit of billet brightness up front. Completion of the paintwork left only one area of the truck to be brought up to par: the interior.
Updating the factory threads is mandatory in any head-turning show hauler, so the truck was delivered to Classic Soft Trim in Fresno, California, for some quick alterations. The factory seats were upholstered in black leather with purple leather inserts for a bold and rich contrast. After the folks at Classic Soft Trim worked their stitching magic, Trenz billet doorsill panels, door panel trim pieces, billet pedal covers, a billet gauge cluster panel, and a flamed rearview mirror were installed for some additional interior style.
With the interior done to Doug's satisfaction, he felt a bit more power could be available at the tap of the go-pedal. Therefore, a set of Borla headers and a Borla Cat-Back exhaust system were bolted up to maximize the Ram's tire-blazing capabilities.
Doug DeBerti of Trenz Manufacturing has successfully created yet another stunning show-quality pickup with looks and style that are tough to match. Doug is quick to mention that Decadent Dodge could not have been completed without the help of Beam Brothers, Borla, Classic Soft Trim, Colorado Custom Wheels, Dakota Digital, First Class Autowerks, Gaylord's Kustom Trucks, House of Kolor, Nitto Tire, Pete & Jakes Hot Rod Parts, and Sir Michaels. This truck stands to be one of the finest custom examples of Dodge's current Ram we have seen to date. Simple hot-rod styling does the trick every time.