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Custom 2003 Dodge Ram - Thrice Bitten, Twice Built

Lee Keathley's '03 Dodge 1500

Gary Blount
Oct 1, 2005
Photographers: Mike Finnegan, Gary Blount
Photo 2/13   |   2003 Dodge Ram front Passenger Side View
Never let it be said that custom truck owners don't sacrifice to have nice trucks. Lee Keathley, of Bartlett, Tennessee, fell into the show truck scene and wanted to build a custom truck that no one had ever seen before. He bought a new Dodge in 2003 to start with an uncommon platform. From there, things went bad. The first attempt at building his truck somehow got tangled in an unmanageable mess with the interior redone three times. The suspension was also completely rebuilt.
Then, money started running lean for the Keathley family, due to the undone Dodge. All of the family's entertainment dollars were spent on the truck to finish the job. After 1-1/2 years, the truck was taken to Silver Star Customs in Horn Lake, Mississippi, where the truck was completely gone through one last time.
Photo 3/13   |   2003 Dodge Ram custom Wheel
The phrase, "paid for in blood," couldn't be truer than with this '03 Dodge. As it turns out, Lee wound up selling his blood at the local blood bank for $300 a session. After three sessions, Clyde, the owner of Silver Star Customs, cut Lee some slack and finished the truck on an IOU. Silver Star completely redid the Dodge and created one sick-ass truck. Initially, the killer cantilever rear two-link and sweet interior caught our attention at Greenville, Mississippi, where we shot the Dodge for this feature. As Lee told us about the adventures with his first build, we couldn't help but laugh. In the end, Clyde told him he better make a couple more visits to the blood bank so he could pay back the IOU. But, we know with the quality of this buildup, Clyde will be getting his money's worth out of Lee for sure.
It's amazing how some people remain steadfast in their commitments, even in the face of adversity-and Lee is no exception. He stood strong through the hassle of finishing his dream of building the first body-laying quad-cab Ram; we'll call it Dodgema.
The 411

Owner/location: Lee Keathley / Bartlett, Tennessee

Year/make/model: '03 Dodge 1500
Engine/drivetrain: 4.7L with automatic tranny
Wheels/tires: 23x9-1/2-inch Limited Alloy Equus 603 rims / Toyo 285/35R23s
Suspension: Custom cantilever two-link and Firestone 2600 'bags / 10 gallons of storage / 1/2-inch hard line
Fabricator: Silver Star Customs
Body Mods: Shaved handles, antenna, and tailgate
Bodywork: Started at Off the Chain Customs / finished at Silver Star Customs
Photo 13/13   |   2003 Dodge Ram inside Door Panel
Custom Paint: Daytona Orange, silver
Painter: Clyde at Silver Star Customs in Horn Lake, Mississippi
Interior: Black leather / gray suede with smoothed and painted plastics / scratch-built center console
Upholstery: Clyde at Silver Star Customs / Tim Southern upholstery
Audio System: Pioneer 7600 head unit / Memphis Audio subs / 1,000 watts of Memphis Audio amplifiers
Special Thanks: Clyde at Silver Star Customs for building a sick custom truck, and Big Boys Custom Toys for the killer price on rims


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