1999 Chevy 3500 Dualie - Tilt
Decked-Out Dualie Dances With The Devil
If the paint scheme on Daniel Cole's '99 Chevy 3500 dualie were a Rorschach inkblot test, then I would fear for my mental health. It's not that the truck's wild patterns would draw the horizon line of my sanity so much as they might push me over the edge of it. When I first spotted the truck at Slamfest in Tampa, Florida, last year, I walked away from it. But, then I came back...and left...walked back again...took out the camera and finally took the plunge. Happily, my psychiatrist says I'm recovering just fine.
Chaos is part of the draw of this dualie, as is the unabashed "oh...what the hell" quality that's a far cry from the hot rod- or tribal-inspired styles we usually come across. Daniel's been painting and airbrushing for about seven years as a hobbyist and handles that on a part-time basis at Warehouse Kustoms in Tallahassee, Florida. His goal was to build a truck "that would grab people's attention." Hey, Daniel, mission accomplished. People couldn't ignore it if they tried. And for good reason, too. After he bought the truck for $16,500, an insane amount of work was done on this thing. About $70,000 and nine months later, the project was completed.
Daniel sent me a memo of what was involved with painting the truck bed. The letter was originally intended for an insurance agency and includes an explicit request that the company not release the details contained in it to anyone else. I'm sure that the underwriter fulfilled his wishes. As for us-sorry, Daniel, the public's got a right to know. OK, maybe not, but I will leak that he indicated 12 steps to the process. I will generalize them in order to protect the innocent (and my ass): sanding, priming, airbrushing, masking, striping, waiting, spending, spending, spending...you get the picture? No. All right, let's get more specific.
After about three coats of primer went on, the bed acquired two coats of white, three coats of Surf Green, followed by flames and circles. The cheetah print on the driver side began with a white base, followed by lines of House of Kolor Kandy Yellow, Kandy Root Beer, Kandy Orange, Kandy Red, Kandy Purple, and black spots. Back to the metal side, where rivets were sprayed onto black and silver spots to give the rivets a recessed look. Details like creases and cracks were added to give the metal a fatigued look on the bent portions of the body.
Flowing and jagged linear graphics came next. There are more than 60 of them, many overlapping, so this was one of the most difficult and time-consuming parts of the paintjob. A few layers of clear were added after this point.
The most tedious part of the project came next with striping the purple and green elements, and then the graphics. Freehand airbrush work included skulls, signs, logos, and artist tags. Two more coats of clear came next. Buffing, detailing, and the final glaze included five different 3M compounds, wet sanding, and elbow grease. All in all, the bed was masked and taped about six different times, and required three different kinds of sandpaper.
Beauty, in this case, is not skin deep. The frame was airbrushed with a wood grain pattern, as was the inside of the bed. Also, all the paintwork continues into the wheelwells, gas door, tailgate.
That very broadly explains what was involved with painting this truck, a job that took about 700 hours. If you want more details, call Warehouse Kustoms.
On to the rest of this rig. If you haven't noticed, this truck is 'bagged (with Slam Bags), body-dropped, bridged, and relies on Shockwave shock absorbers to ease the pain of the road's ups and downs. A roll pan and widened and molded fenders round the curves on the dualie's inherently bodacious booty. A long LED replaces the shaved taillights.
Under the hood is a V-8, 5.7L 350 and some minor mods, including a Flowmaster 3-1/2-inch exhaust system, an engine-driven York air compressor for the 'bags, and two Optima batteries, Red Top and Yellow Top, relocated under the seats. Naturally, the engine is painted with log rings and wood grain in the same spirit of purposeful randomness as the rest of the truck.
So, how do you measure the automotive performance of a rolling fun house mirror? Forget horsepower or torque. The only standard important to Daniel is "How many miles can you drag your truck?" (About five, which he accomplished at Blooddrag 2005 while shooting for a video.) And how fast can an oddly painted dualie go as it carves grooves into the asphalt? Somewhere in the vicinity of 90 mph. Arrive Alive meet Drop and Drive.
While Daniel and his pal Dathan Senn at Warehouse Kustoms did most of the work on this truck, Bob "The Builder" did much of the bodywork. Betsy Wilt pinstriped a number of the graphics. In addition, Dathan took care of the entertainment system. A Panasonic head unit cranks out audio mayhem to an MA Audio 600w amplifier, four 12-inch subwoofers, a 14-inch monitor on a custom center console, and four 6-inch MA Audio speakers.
This truck's won kudos at the two comps Daniel's attended at the time that I write this. The first I already mentioned, Blooddrag, where the truck placed Second in its class and Best Graphics Overall. It took home a First Place trophy from Slamfest. By the way, should you bump into this truck on the show circuit this year, the unbelievable may happen-you may not recognize it. Daniel is in the process of making changes to his truck. But, rather than curtailing the madness, he's decided to spread it around like a contagious giggle in a psych ward. Should you notice the altered paint scheme, pray that it doesn't alter you. And don't forget to congratulate Daniel for a job well done.