1997 Chevy C3500 Dualie - 2 Live Crew
A Flamed, Caddy-Clipped Cruiser
Project trucks have occupied the pages of Truckin' for years, consisting of both subtle and radical rides restyled step by step for the reader's pleasure. Taking a bone-stock hauler from a mile-high grocery-getter to a slammed, in-the-weeds head-turner is by no means an overnight process and requires finding the right shops and components to ensure a smooth buildup.
Recently at Truckin', the opportunity arose to take a '97 Chevy C3500 dualie, throw a host of aftermarket parts in, toss on a flame paintjob, and fill the cab with a custom interior to create a pavement-pounding six-wheeled wonder worthy of all kinds of street cred. After accepting the arrival of the high-mileage Crew Cab, the first order of business was to make the truck sit low with new rims and rubber under its fenders.
With the project kicked into high gear, the truck was delivered to Mike Martin at Super Stripes Customs, in Henderson, Nevada, to become better acclimated with the pavement, as well as receive a complete body and paint makeover. The dualie's nose was brought down to an appropriate cruising altitude using Belltech 2-inch drop spindles and 3-inch drop coils. Moving to the rear, the Super Stripes crew removed the bed, stripped and painted the frame, and installed a complete Air Ride Technologies AirBar rear suspension kit, featuring a parallel four-link and Panhard bar to center the rear axle. Once the beast was sitting low, chrome 16x8-inch Foose Spank dualie wheels from MHT Luxury Alloys mounted on Toyo P245/70R16 tires were mounted up to finish the low-rolling attitude of the truck. Before a plethora of features were added to and subtracted from the body, and before applying the sizzling flame paint scheme, the drivetrain needed some intense mechanical attention.
Rather than dig into the truck's original engine and install new internal parts, a fresh 454ci crate engine from GM was obtained and slid between the 'rails to ensure years of trouble-free operation. Before the engine was lowered between the dualie's framerails, the front clip was removed, and the frame and suspension were doused using a pressure washer to clean the area before the new factory big-block tenant moved in. Once the suspension and drivetrain mechanics were dialed in, it was time for the body to go under the knife to receive some smooth metal styling.
Super Stripes uses a talented crew of professional bodyworkers with skills and paint knowledge, so when it came time to give the dualie a signature hot-rod appearance, it was a cakewalk for the experts at Super Stripes. Professional bodyman Bill "Porkchop" Coen, of Super Stripes, ironed out the wrinkles and performed all of the trick body modifications in the dualie's stock landscape. First, the truck was given a nose job with a complete Cadillac Escalade front clip supplied by U.S. Auto Parts. A Sir Michaels steel roll pan was seamlessly welded into the bed region, and the tailgate was given a clean shave with a Sir Michaels tailgate handle relocator. The factory taillights were shaved and filled using Sir Michaels taillight fillers and 12-inch LED taillights from Hitech. These lights, frenched into the roll pan, provide bright stops and turn signals. Cleaning up the top of the bed region was done by shaving the factory stake pockets. Moving forward, a Street Scene smooth cowl panel added style behind the Escalade clip, while Street Scene Cal-Vu sport mirrors help keep opposing traffic in sight. Completion of the intense welding, grinding, sanding, and filling session brought the truck up to snuff for paint.
The dualie was destined to match custom motorcycle builder KC Creation's V-twin motorcycle project, of Overland Park, Kansas, so Super Stripes' Mike Martin and Kim Suter drew some different flame patterns and finally settled on a traditional set of sizzling hot licks. The base was laid down in a factory using PPG White, while the nose, front, and rear doors were set ablaze by Mike Martin using PPG Yellow, Orange, and Red flame patterns. The pinstripe was finished in One Shot Blue. Then, the truck was rolled out of the booth, color-sanded, and polished to bring some shine and depth to the flames before being driven from Nevada back to California. Once 2 Live Crew was back in California, a trip was made to Katzkin Leather Interiors in Montebello, California, where trick two-tone blue leather and suede seat covers were sewn up for the front buckets and rear bench. White stitching was used to highlight the seating surfaces. The door panels were trimmed with blue suede inserts. The folks at Katzkin did an excellent job in finishing the truck off nicely by creating an attractive and classy interior package for the project dualie. Creating this picture-perfect Crew Cab was a team effort between Super Stripes, the staff at Truckin' magazine, and the time and patience invested by each team. Because of this, a stunning custom was produced. All we can say is we love it when a plan comes together.