A Mopar Machine Built to Rail
Tucking rim, laying frame, and sporting a shaved exterior covered with bright-red paint and extra-hot silver flames is an accurate description of the flamboyant Dodge Hauler owned by Matthew Bradshaw, of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Wanting to build something different, Matthew opted for an '00 Dodge Ram as the basis for his custom endeavors. The project was started with two goals in mind. First off, Matt wanted a truck he could show and be proud of. Secondly, he wanted something he could lay out on the highway and drag.
To fulfill the second goal, Matt turned the keys over to Jesse Dickerson of Little Rock, Arkansas. Jesse threw the custom smack-down on the suspension slicing and dicing until the frame laid flat on terra firma. To enable the Mopar's framerails to grind, Jesse tossed a set of Firestone 2600 1/2-inch port airbags, in place of the factory coil springs up front, and built a custom cantilever rear suspension with a custom two-link and Firestone 2600 'bags. The rear frame was kicked up above the axle, in the form of a step-notch, and the adjustable suspension system is supplied oxygen via 1/2-inch Parker Gold valves, 1/2-inch air line, and two 5-gallon reserve air tanks. Completing the stance enhancement are 20x8.5-inch front and 22x10-inch rear Intro Pentia billet wheels, dressed scantily in Dunlop SP 9000 rubber. Cushioning the front billets from any rough Arkansas roadways are P255/35ZR20 Dunlops, while the rear 22-inch Intro rollers get their road protection from P285/30ZR22 Dunlop low-profile skins.
Once the suspension surgery was complete and Matt's Ram laid flat, the powerplant was treated to a host of performance enhancements. Warming over the factory 360ci V-8 is an Airmax air intake by Street & Performance, an MSD Ignition system, and a Flowmaster 50-series muffler, finishing off the custom-built exhaust system. Mopar Performance chrome valve covers and a Cool Flex polished aluminum radiator hose dress the doghouse and successfully complete the underhood bling factor, while the mild performance upgrades ensure Matt is first in line for showtime. Successfully slammed and fit with a bit of performance muscle, it was time for the truck to be shaved clean and coated with color.
Searching for a reliable paint and body professional to craft the perfect exterior look for a show truck is not an easy task. Most enthusiasts want someone who can carry out their paint and bodywork wishes, without putting their checking account in the red.
Matt turned to Street Sweeper Customs in Conway, Arkansas, to throw some intense custom re-styling down on the exterior of his magnificent Mopar. Jack Jumper at SSC rolled out the welder and proceeded to delete the door handles, antenna, tailgate handle, windshield wiper holes, and stake pocket holes from the factory mix. A Sir Michaels roll pan, minus the license plate box, was welded in to clean up the Ram's rearview, while a Dodge Ram Sport front bumper and grille shell were mated to the front end for a smoother facial appearance. Sealing in all the ultra-smooth metal modifications are several coats of Standox Fire Engine Red, which is topped with Standox Silver tribal flames, pinstriped in House of Kolor Lime Green. The talents of Jack Jumper were once again used when it came time to brighten the body with fresh hues and graphics. A lengthy color-sanding and polishing effort followed the truck's first trip into the sunlight, and the exterior facelift was nothing short of amazing. With the stance, bodywork, and paint in check, Matt picked up his frame-sparking chariot from SSC and headed home to get the custom sound system wired up and rocking the cab.
For in-cab entertainment, Matt opted for an Alpine in-dash CD head unit to feed musical signals to a US Amps 100-watt amplifier and 600-watt amplifier. The amplifiers power sound through two Cerwin-Vega highs mounted in the door panels and two Alpine 12-inch subwoofers mounted in a custom box behind the seat, which was built by Mark Rainey of Audio Express in Conway, Arkansas. A Cerwin-Vega equalizer keeps things balanced. Custom-smoothed and painted door panels play host to one-off billet flame pieces, also built by Mark Rainey, while a smooth dash coated in Fire Engine Red gives Matt and privileged passengers something bright on the interior. Good friend Daniel "Lurch" Burge performed the dash enhancement magic. The factory seats were given a healthy dose of custom cool using gray and red Katzkin leather, sewn up by AC Sport in Little Rock. Finishing off the inside are white-face gauges, assorted billet accessories, and a BAD Hellfire billet steering wheel.
Since its completion Matt's Righteous Ram has been tearing up the show scene, taking home numerous gold statues. He has also been doing his fair share of dragging, to prove this truck was built to sign the street. Matt would like to thank his club Kontradictions (the Arkansas chapter), AC Sport, Street Sweeper Customs, Audio Express, Jesse Dickerson, Matt Roster, Street & Performance of Little Rock, his girlfriend and his parents for all of their support while the truck was being built. Looks like Matt's goal of building a show-quality ride with frame-dragging bragging rights has been fulfilled.