1997 Chevy C 3500 Dualie - Flame-Broyled
Jimmie Broyles' Wild Custom Crew Cab
Sparks fly as metal hits the asphalt and rocker panels begin to fold. The sight of 19-inch polished aluminum hoops spinning inside severely dropped fenderwells combined with loud gold-pearl flames blazing across a purple backdrop is enough to put your senses on overload. As this 'bagged and body-dropped '97 Chevy C3500 dualie comes to a halt, out steps 28-year-old Jimmie Broyles of Norman, Oklahoma, and onlookers begin to drool over the six-wheeled Crew Cab work of art he has created.
Jimmie is a member of the Pleasures Trucks & Compacts truck club in Oklahoma and built the truck to cruise, show, and throw sparks. All it took was one look at this body-dragging and flame-embossed beauty at the 2003 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and the Truckin' cameras were out and ready to bring this dualie into the limelight.
Although sitting flat on the ground now and laden with a wicked set of hot licks like most custom trucks out there, Jimmie's finely crafted Crew Cab was not always such a looker. According to Jimmie, when the truck was first purchased in April of 2000, it was a farm truck complete with a toolbox, running boards, a brushguard, and large towing mirrors. In an effort to rid the dualie of its grandpa-style bolt-ons, the truck was immediately stripped of these custom obscenities and the mission to get the body on the ground began.
Setting the truck up for a hard landing on the Oklahoma soil was done at Auto Trendz in Oklahoma City, where Jimmie fired up the welder and began to notch, cut, and fabricate until the dualie was resting on terra firma. Chassis Tech 2-inch drop spindles were used up front to begin the dualie's initial descent, while Firestone airbags were used to fill the front coil-spring pockets and enable the front end to close in on the ground below. Out back, the frame was cut and bridge-notched to provide additional clearance for the rear axle, when the rear airbags are robbed of their air supply. An Elite Street Rod parallel four-link setup was welded in place of the original leaves, and Phoenix 3800 airbags were placed atop custom 'bag mounts to move the rear of the dualie up and down. For show detail, all of the rear suspension, along with the rear differential, were removed after fabrication and fitment, and then powdercoated by Performance Coatings of Oklahoma City.
To really get this extra-heavy Chevy down in the weeds, Jimmie performed a 4-inch body drop on the truck at Auto Trendz and successfully got the rockers flush with the shop floor, while resting on 19-inch wheels. The bad-boy rollers of choice for Jimmie's rocker-wrecking crew are 19x8-inch APP Thunder II wheels from Brentz Wheels in Dallas. The wheels were shaved down from 19.5- to 19-inchers to enable the use of a low-profile tire, which came in the form of Nitto 555 Extreme low-profile skins. After this 1-ton wonder successfully signed the asphalt, the powerplant was given some mild performance enhancements and detailing to increase the go and show factor.
To add to the already potent 454ci big-block Chevrolet, Jimmie bent up a custom air intake system with a Ractive heat shield and added a set of Gibson stainless ceramic-coated headers to help ventilate the raspy big-block. Miscellaneous components were removed and powdercoated by Performance Coatings of Oklahoma City to contribute to the bling factor. Once the engine compartment was mildly dialed in, the envelope was slated for a healthy shave and fresh coat of color.
When it came time to get silly with the welder on the dualie's exterior, Jimmie was definitely not shy and delivered the truck to Norman Body Works in Norman, Oklahoma, to have many of the truck's factory exterior features deleted. The door handles and tailgate handle were shaved to clean up the truck's beltline, and a Sir Michaels roll pan was welded in to clean up the tail end. A Distinctive smooth front bumper was added in front for facial definition, while a custom 47-bar billet grille by Louie at Bullet Customs fills a '98 GMC grille shell. Projector headlights by Newtron, along with Newtron driving lights and APC clear cab lights, illuminate the road for those late-night cruising sessions.
After the metalwork was complete, it was time for a cutting-edge helping of custom color to bring the envelope to a sizzle. Jimmie left the dualie in the capable hands of Dough Boy Customs in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and instructed the paint professionals to make it loud and bright. Several coats of PPG Acura Supersonic Blue were used for the basecoat, and to increase the shock factor, the truck was engulfed with several sets of gold-pearl flames licking the hood and blazing down both sides while wrapping up on the tailgate. The flames were buried in clear for a gleaming shine and to promote smooth edges before the truck was rubbed to a high-gloss. Now that Jimmie's hot hauler was slammed on mother earth and sporting an impressive facelift, it was time to bring some of that off-the-hook custom style inside the cab.
First off, many aftermarket audio necessities were obtained and Jimmie got to work outfitting the cab with concert hall-quality sounds. Up front, an Alpine CVA1005 head unit was used to deliver jams through a JBL 180.2 amplifier, which sends the music with authority to a pair of 6.5-inch mids and highs. On the bass side of the audio equation, a JBL 600.1 amplifier supplies the juice to one JBL GTO 10-inch subwoofer mounted in a custom-made center console, built by Auto Trendz. Linking the components together are Hooker Audio cables, while visual entertainment is provided by an Alpine DVA 5200 audio/video system. Completion of the kick-tail audio system in Jimmie's low-slung land yacht lead to addressing the stock threads and giving the inner realm the mandatory show-truck touch.
To give the interior a smooth street rod feel, all the cab plastics were smoothed and painted in a rich, cream hue for the optimum level of class. For the rest of the truck's confines, Jimmie turned to Vinyl Top Specialist out of Oklahoma City to lay the fabric styling smack-down on the seating surfaces. A unique cream- and purple-leather blend from Katzkin was used to cover the front and rear seats, while the headliner was covered in Santa Fe Cream leather. A custom center console was built between the seats and stitched up in cream leather to match the cabin's classy surroundings. Adding some gleam to contrast the sea of leather is a host of Empire Motorsports billet trim accessories, accented further by a Billet Accessories Direct Carnage steering wheel.
Jimmie Broyles has cooked up one cutting-edge and classy Crew Cab, featuring a wicked stance and street rod-inspired paint scheme. The most impressive part about the truck is, with the exception of the paint, bodywork, and some of the interior upgrades, Jimmie did most of the work himself. He is quick to point out that the truck would not be half as cool as it is without the help of Chris Dragon at JBL, Katzkin Leathers, Gibson Performance Exhaust, Nitto Tires, Performance Coatings of Oklahoma City, and Dough Boy Customs of Tulsa. As far as wild custom dualies go, this is one Crew Cab that is going to be tough to beat.