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  • Custom 1989 Chevrolet Silverado - Hammered By a Carpenter

Custom 1989 Chevrolet Silverado - Hammered By a Carpenter

Mark Smith's Show-Winning '89 Silverado

John Meyer
Nov 1, 2007
Photographers: Joann Kuehl
Photo 2/16   |   1989 Chevrolet Silverado front Drivers Side View
When you see a truck of this quality at a show, what immediately comes to mind is that the owner either paid a ton of money to have it built or he has to be a bodyman by trade. Mark's '89 Silverado is definitely an exception to the rule, and we bet you wouldn't peg him as the owner of this truck. He doesn't exactly fit the mold of the regular 20-somethin', 'bagged truck owner. He looks like someone's dad who tagged along to the show, but certainly not the truck owner. This dude is even a regular on many of the custom truck forums online. He's into the scene, and you'll know it when you talk to him. This 45-year-old grandpa of one fits right in. In fact, he started building his truck the same year his first grandchild was born.
In 2002, Mark started the hunt to find just the right truck. He knew he wanted a Chevy Silverado with a V-8 engine and a manual transmission. It took almost four months, and when he finally found the right truck, it was being sold by a local police officer who didn't want to sell it to some hooligans who were just going to cut it up. Well, Mark's outward appearance assured the officer that this truck would be in good hands. Wrong! As soon as Mark got it home, he yanked it apart.
The front clip was quickly replaced with a steel Escalade hood and fenders. Mark fabricated a hoodscoop, closed all of the webbing on the underside of the hood with sheetmetal for a smooth look, and added a No Limit Engineering forward-tilt hood kit. Mark even made his own smooth wiper cowl. Then, he turned his attention to creating the functional vents on the fenders. The door handles and taillights were shaved. New round lights were flush-mounted into the tailgate. The most striking feature on this truck has to be the tucked front bumper that was made from a sectioned and narrowed '02 GMC bumper. While all of this was happening, he was busy straightening every panel on the truck. It wasn't long before everything was ready for the DuPont Arrival Blue Pearl topcoat.
Mark knew that a truck of this quality had to sit flat on the ground, so he decided that a body drop was in order. All of the stock suspension was tossed in favor of an air-ride setup. The framerails and suspension pieces were painted a contrasting silver, some 20s were bolted up, a 383 stroker was added, and the chassis was ready to be mated with the sheetmetal. Inside the cab, the stock front seats were ditched for a pair of tweed- and vinyl-covered racing seats. The dash, center console, and door panels were smoothed and matched to the exterior of the truck. What isn't painted is covered in matching gray tweed and vinyl.
Mark isn't a professional bodyman, and he isn't a professional painter, either, but you'd never know it by the high-quality finish of his truck. Mark says that building your own truck is a great feeling, but he says he didn't just build a show-winning truck. He's built a community of friends while taking his truck to shows across the country.
The 411
Mark Smith / Leslie, Missouri

'89 Chevy Silverado
Photo 3/16   |   1989 Chevrolet Silverado engine Compartment
'95 Chevy 383-cid stroker V-8 / five-speed manual transmission
BY: L&R Automotive Supply in Santa Fe Springs, California / Mark Smith / John Miller
Front & Rear: 20x8-inch Center Line Stingray III
Front: 255/35ZR20 Nankang
Front: 2600 Firestone 'bags on modified stock control arms with 2-inch drop
Rear: 2600 Firestone 'bags on Extensive Metalworks two-link bars
BY: Mark Smith
Body Mods:
Cadillac Front Clip / handmade hoodscoop / smooth wiper cowl / tucked and narrowed front bumper / fender vents / shaved door handles / shaved taillights / custom round taillights flush in tailgate
BY: Mark Smith
Custom Paint:
DuPont Arrival Blue Pearl
BY: Mark Smith
Photo 7/16   |   1989 Chevrolet Silverado door Panel
Stock dash smoothed / fiberglass instrument cluster with aluminum gauge insert / Air Ride Technologies Ride Pro-E / relocated heat and A/C controls / headliner covered in gray vinyl / fiberglass overhead console / suspension seats from Premier Racing Products covered with gray vinyl and tweed / smoothed and painted door panels / chrome handles / custom center console with a cooler built into the armrest / LeCarra Mark 9 billet steering wheel
BY: Mark Smith
Kicker Solobaric 10-inch subs, mounted in a custom-built ported box behind the seats / two Memphis M-Class 6-inch mids mounted in the doors, and tweeters mounted in the armrests / 4x6-inch mids and tweeters mounted in the dash and B-pillars / Kenwood MP528 head unit mounted in the bed, along with a set of JBL Grand Touring amplifiers
BY: Mark Smith
Relaxed Atmosphere
Special Thanks:
Mark would like to thank his wife, Charlotte, for all her help with the build and his stepson, John Miller, for his help with the engine and transmission. He'd also like to give a big shout-out to all of his club members.



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