Sweatin' the Details
A Mobile Detailer's Delight
Following your dreams and making them come true has to be one of the coolest parts of life. Our dreams help us reach down deep for that extra effort and determination needed to make them come true. Daniel Hillary of Norco, California, had a dream to build an ultra-low, clean-shaven, graphic-enhanced hauler that would make a statement and turn heads. It wasn't until this 20-year-old purchased the '98 Chevy 1500 pictured here in bone-stock form and met up with a friend in a local car club called Kontradictions that the dream began to take shape.
Growing up in a musclecar family, Daniel was no stranger to modified rides and was eager to transform what he had learned in building his '72 Pontiac Firebird into his new truck project. Before one finger was laid on the stock blank truck canvas, Daniel spent a fair amount of time schooling himself on different paint treatments, suspension setups, and interior styles to establish a clear direction for the project.
Unfortunately, before the street-rod-styled construction journey began, Daniel was involved in a car accident and the nose of the truck was folded up like a taco. When a truck is either wrecked or stolen, the owner's patience and commitment are truly tested and many simply give up on their dream. After a visual inspection of the aftermath, the frame still appeared to be unharmed and the project was on.
Since the original front end was crushed beyond repair, it was removed to make way for a complete Cadillac Escalade front clip, including the fenders, grille shell, bumper, hood, and headlights. After the front end was replaced with the contemporary Caddy nose, the truck was delivered to Starbucks Customs in Riverside, California, to complete the body modification and paint portion of the buildup.
Daniel was striving for a classic retro-style look with modern flair thrown into the mix and definitely got what he bargained for from the professionals at Starbucks. The crew at Starbucks took the truck in and began to shave everything in sight, working over the metal, much like a sculptor or painter who continually massages their work until it is perfect.
Once the metal alterations were complete and the body tailored to Daniel's liking, the truck was rolled into the paint booth and the outer skin was given a look and attitude that screams custom.
Using a steady hand and a dose of patience, the door handles, antenna, third brake light, driprails, fuel filler door, stake pockets, tailgate handle, and stock taillights were all eliminated from the stock metal landscape. A Sir Michaels steel roll pan was molded seamlessly into the rear view, and Cadillac taillights now reside where the original taillamp lenses once rested.
Perking up the eyelids of truck show judges, out back is a license plate box and reverse lights from a contemporary Cadillac passenger car frenched into the tailgate. A custom sunroof from Webasto Sunroofs in Santa Fe Springs, California, was installed to allow the blazing California rays to pour in while Daniel rolls through his favorite cruising spots.
Once the metal alterations were complete and the body tailored to Daniel's liking, the truck was rolled into the paint booth and the outer skin was given a look and attitude that screams custom. To fulfill Daniel's retro-styled wishes, the truck was first covered in a House of Kolor Magic Blue to provide the perfect base color for the wicked white with Ice Pearl and blue tribal flames which would follow. After the base was given a few days to cure, the wild tribal flames were laid out and shot with the contrasting white and ice pearl hues for bold definition.
Color-sanding and buffing were performed to bring out the shine, and the paint and body portion of Daniel's dream was complete, although his truck still needed a lot more work to become the show-stopper he had dreamed about.
These days on the custom truck scene, a good part of getting your ride noticed is getting it as low as possible, with the biggest rims and rubber underneath that will feasibly fit. Daniel dreamed of laying rail and tucking 22s, so he turned to AMS Customs in Glendora, California, to make that dream a reality. Getting this Bow Tie down with the best of them was done using DJM 2-inch drop spindles up front, coupled with Contitec 1/2-inch port airbags. The front wheelwells were removed from the engine compartment to allow the massive 22-inch wheel and tire package to stuff up high and allow ample clearance.
Out back, AMS fabricated a custom two-link rear suspension system complete with a bridge notch and Contitec airbags. A pair of custom wheeltubs were welded in the bed to give the rear 22s room to roll, while a custom step notch cover gives the bed a clean appearance. Using a generous amount of 1/2-inch air line, 15mm valves, and a bottle of nitrogen, this Chevy goes north and south in no time flat. Filling the bill in the wheel and tire department are 22x9-inch Oasis B-1 wheels fitted with Spintek spinners from KMC wrapped in Pirelli Scorpion rubber measuring P265/35ZR22 up front and P295/30ZR22 at the rear.
Completion of the paint and suspension work led Daniel to Al & Ed's Autosound in Ontario, California, where the cab of Sweatin' the Details would be filled with a collection of ear-piercing audio components for driving enjoyment. Electronic excellence was achieved using an Eclipse head unit to deliver jams to a pair of Rockford Fosgate 550X amplifiers and two 10-inch Rockford Fosgate subwoofers mounted in a custom fiberglass box hidden behind the seat. Filling in the blanks between all the bass are MB Quart mids and highs mounted in custom front kick panel enclosures. An Eclipse DVD system rounds out the inside electronics.
A peek at the inner realm of Sweatin' the Details reveals a sea of magic blue paint, smoothed panels, and white vinyl to capture the ultimate old-school appearance. Killer Customz and Corona Sunroofs, both in Corona, California, performed the upholstery magic inside this deeply detailed standard cab. The stock bench seat was covered in white vinyl with a diamond tuck pattern for a true '60s feel. The rest of the cab's plastics, including the headliner, were wrapped in white vinyl to contrast the smoothed and painted dash and door panels. Even the seatbelts were dyed to match the retro-styled threads.
Giving the interior additional flair is a collection of billet dress-up pieces from Empire Motorsports in Ontario, California. A flame pattern white-vinyl-wrapped billet steering from Colorado Custom makes steering the truck a treat for the eyeballs.
Daniel Hillary followed his dream of creating the ultimate frame-laying, rim-stuffing, flame-embossed Bow Tie, and succeeded in producing the visual masterpiece shown here. Daniel would like to send a thank you out to Starbucks Customs, A-1 Window Tinting, AMS Customs, Empire Motorsports, Oasis Wheels, Spintek (KMC), Webasto Sunroofs, and Sport Truck Solutions.
Now an automotive detailer, Daniel spends his days maintaining the visual presentation of other people's rides. When the truck was being built, this young man worked three jobs in order to stash the bankroll necessary to complete his dream. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of personal sacrifice and commitment to make those big dreams a reality.