Custom 1999 GMC Sierra - Born Badd
Some Trucks Can't Help Kicking Ass
Jay Martinez is no stranger to building badass trucks. For the last few years, he's worked at The Hot Rod Shop in Reedley, California, building some of the cleanest vehicles to roll through Central California. His current project, this '99 GMC Extended Cab, has seen several incarnations with one main theme, and each of the builds has become a better version of the last.
When Jay picked up the GMC from the dealer, it was a plain shade of pewter and rolling on the factory rounds. Within a few weeks, the front clip had been pulled off and replaced with a Caddy version, and the door handles were shaved on each side. The stock wheel and tire combo was thrown aside, and new 20-inch Billet Specialties GTX06 wheels were set in each of the fenderwells. When the truck was taken to a local show, however, it didn't garner as much attention as Jay had hoped.
Although Jay had already planned to 'bag the truck, the gears in his head were turning with a few more extreme ideas for the exterior styling. The first order of business, though, was to set the truck on the ground. The front suspension was torn apart and replaced with DJM components as well as Slam Specialties 'bags. The 1/2-inch line was plumbed through GC valves and a 6-gallon tank and supplied via a VIAIR compressor. Out back, a KRZ parallel four-link was installed, along with another set of Slam Specialties 'bags for plenty of lift.
Since the Cadillac front end didn't get the attention he had hoped for, Jay pulled it all off. An '02 Chevy Avalanche front end was bolted on in its place, and Jay put his bodywork skills to the test. Using a combination of fillers, including Kent 45, the front bumper and wheelwells were molded together to form one continuous body line. Once the front was squared away, the Sawzall was brought out, and the top of the truck was chopped off roadster-style. Next on the list was shaving the rear end, as well as the fuel door, and molding it into one piece to match the fluid lines up front. The taillights were removed, and a 50-inch Hi-Tech LED was flush-mounted above the Sir Michaels roll pan.
After the truck had been primered and blocked, Jay was able to cruise it around for a few weeks. It didn't take too long, however, before he realized that having a chop-top for a daily driver wasn't the best thing to haul his kids around in. Reluctantly, the decision was made to swap the cab back out with a stock cab and transfer over the electronics and interior pieces.
Once the cab was back on the frame, lined up, and ready for paint, The Hot Rod Shop's own Kool-Hand Luke took over spraying the solid black base. Using House of Kolor's Tangelo, Luke squirted a multitude of flames, which engulfed the entire truck. Within the confines of each flame lick, circular accents were airbrushed using red pigments, and then each edge was pinstriped using a brush loaded with yellow. Finally, the truck was buried under a ton of DuPont Clear for a glassy finish.
Jay then turned to Big Daddy's Upholstery in Porterville, California, to cut apart the stock seats and replace the inserts with matching orange vinyl. Big Daddy's also recovered the door panels and took care of the carpet and headliner in the new cab. While vinyl and carpet were being cut and glued to his interior, Jay was busy sanding down each of the interior pieces with 80-grit sandpaper to prepare them for paint. A few coats of adhesive promoter were applied, followed by several coats of primer. Each piece was then squirted with House of Kolor Tangelo to match the exterior flames.
As the interior was being installed, several billet accessories from Trenz were added, including A/C vents, knobs, a heater-box cover, and a gauge surround. A Colorado Custom flamed billet steering wheel was added to the steering column. To provide the truck with video and tunes, an Alpine head unit with a flip-out monitor was installed, along with an Alpine DVD player. The factory mirror was replaced with a SAVV 5-inch rearview-mirror monitor and wired up to the DVD player. Beneath the rear bench seat, a box containing two 12-inch Bazooka subs and two Interfire amps was installed to provide the thumps.
The final step in completing Jay's ride was to make a few performance upgrades to the 5.3L powerplant. A K&N cold-air intake was added up top, while a custom exhaust equipped with Flowmaster mufflers was added below. To upgrade the tune on the engine, a Hypertech Power Programmer was plugged in and run through the system.
It took several builds to figure out the right combination of style and usability that would turn heads, as well as fit the needs of a daily driver. Without the help of The Hot Rod Shop, Kool-Hand Luke, Big Daddy's Upholstery, and the support of Jay's family, friends, and club brothers in Aftermath, his ride may never have been born, let alone Born Badd.