Not So Mellow Mopar
Living To the Fullest in an Amazing Ram
What is it about this slammed yellow Dodge Ram that makes you stare at it until your retinas bleed? Could it be the crazy PPG Yellow paint, the double-deuces tucked underneath the lowered fenders, or maybe just the sight of Steve "Wheels" Bucaro exiting the show-winner and easing into his custom wheelchair. In any of the above cases, each one represents a blessing in Steve's life, forever changing how he wakes up every day and starts each new adventure.
Understanding what it takes to be an automotive and motorcycle enthusiast, Steve was always pushing the extremes while riding his motorcycle or cruising in his custom trucks. Steve changed his attitude, however, once he awoke from a two-week coma after being involved in a major motorcycle accident. His attitude was changed from pushing the envelope to just enjoying being a part of the envelope. After his accident, Steve was now the driver of a wheelchair, a very unfamiliar driver's position after years of automotive driving excitement. Unwilling to let his newfound condition get the best of him, Steve did what we all love to do, customize a new truck. Steve picked up the '99 Dodge Ram and instantly went to work on the rig, returning to his love of customizing and personalizing trucks, only this time with an awesome new hand-control twist.
Beginning with the suspension and chassis modifications, Steve dropped the truck off at IF Customs of Sylmar, California, where the task of slamming the truck was requested. Understanding Steve's desire to show the truck, IF customs sent the Air Lift 'bags to Superior Metal Polishing in Palmdale, California, to have the endcups polished before being installed. With endcups polished and looking great, the 'bags were installed, plumbed with stainless lines and connected to an Air Lift compressor, which forces air from the 5-gallon tank. Tucking the stock 16-inch wheels was no problem now, but it wasn't much fun and looked too stock for Steve's tastes. On went a set of 22-inch Oasis Titans wrapped in Pirelli P295/30R22 skins. Now Steve was smiling. Pleased, but never satisfied, the project continued.
Now the truck was placed in the capable hands of AR Auto Body, where the door handles, antenna, tailgate handle, and roll pan were shaved and smoothed. While at AR Auto Body, Steve had a Fiber Image carbon-fiber hood installed, added Street Scene Speed Grille inserts, had IPCW taillights installed, and a Stockland bed shell was placed on the bed. The body looked more like a war zone with the patches of primer, and to correct this plaguing problem, Steve had the AR Auto guys coat the Dodge in PPG Yellow from nose to tail. The carbon-fiber hood offsets the bright color, and along with flamed tint from Mike's Tint Shop, the Ram had newfound attitude.
To keep the Ram moving as good as it was looking, Steve added a Powerdyne supercharger, Nology plugs and wires, Gibson headers and exhaust system, a Fluidyne radiator, and a Nitrous Express nitrous kit. Now the already potent 5.9L was ready and willing to smoke the Pirelli tires, but in order to fully enjoy his evolving truck, Steve moved inside for hand controls and audio/video products.
The original seats were removed and covered in Katzkin leather by Stitchcraft Interiors, and a Woodview Automotive Trim dash kit was installed. Matching the carbon-fiber dash kit, a Grant steering ring was installed, a white-face gauge set from Nu-Image was added, and an Inalfa sunroof was added for some fresh air.
For tunes, Steve went with a complete Kicker system consisting of three L7 Solo-Baric subs, two amps, and two capacitors from Metra, housed in a custom fiberglass/Plexiglas speaker box built by Doug McDonald of Vision Installations. The 7-inch Accele monitor controls the Accele TV tuner and DVD player, and if that is not enough, the Xbox keeps everyone in Steve's rig happy with tunes, movies, and video games alike. The truck was almost complete, but still needed the most important thing, a driver.
To bring Steve's dream truck to fruition, Wells-Enberg manufactured hand controls for the Dodge, and after Mac's Liftgate of Long Beach installed the controls, the Ram was ready for a testdrive. Low, smooth, and ever so powerful, Steve was content. Content for a very brief moment, as he is also the owner of last month's cover Dodge Ram, which he bought after this Yellow Ram's completion. Take a lesson from Steve and turn each experience into a blessing, and in doing so, maybe you too will have a killer truck from a life-saving experience.