2003 Dodge Ram - Renaissance
Rebuilt and Reborn Dodge Ram
Four years ago, we saw an '03 Dodge Ram cruising the streets of Austin, Texas, and thought the truck had potential. So, we flagged the driver down, handed him a business card, and told him "if you `bag your truck, we'll shoot it for Truckin' magazine." We had wondered if we'd ever hear back from him. Constant e-mail communication with the then-owner, Derek Howard, gave us the opportunity to see the truck literally transformed before our eyes, as the truck was `bagged--and then some.
A victim of Hurricane Katrina, the Dodge was actually damaged in Derek's garage, which gave him a good reason to repaint the Ram. After years of looking at it and feeling it would never be completed, a pink-slip transaction took place and the new owner, Brian Hoverson, of Venice, Florida, set out to finish the truck once and for all. Derek passed on our information to Brian, then after meeting the new title holder, a photo shoot was setup after four years of determination.
A look at what this Dodge has endured reveals numerous custom parts, capable shops, and talented craftsman, who worked side-by-side to create this slick Ram. Ekstensive Metalworks in Houston was given full freedom to slam the Ram on the Texas tarmac and wasted little time in getting the frame on the ground. Adding the notorious two-link in the rear, with custom control arms up front, the frame was setup with Firestone `bags to get the truck down low. Up front, the Ekstensive crew also raised the engine and tranny 3 inches to clear the ground, which meant raising darn-near everything underneath the hood, relocating the ECU, making all the wires longer, and building one-off inner fenders to accomplish this. Ekstensive also relocated the batteries under the cab and added a 30-gallon fuel cell in between the rear rails. All that maneuvering allowed the Dodge to stuff 24-inch Boyd Coddington billet wheels under each fender with Kumho 305/35R24 tires protecting each hoop. The end result saw the cab just inches off the ground and the wheels tucked deep inside the fenders.
After a short drive to Tomball, Texas, the team at Chaotic Rods and Customs took a brief command of the truck's build as a new paint scheme was then applied to the Dodge. The bodywork was intense, as it included shaving the door handles, gas door, tailgate, molding in a new roll pan, and filling in the third brake light. Keeping things styled in the old hot-rod train of thought, both doors received the suicide treatment. An SRT-10 hood and front bumper gave the truck some muscular good looks, as well. Chaotic then went to work applying the PPG and House of Kolors paints. Black over silver with red flake flames gave the Ram a look that makes people do a double-take. Airbrushed skulls inside the flames on the hood, and Iron Crosses with skulls and flames on the tailgate added to the custom flavor. Helping the truck stand out even more is the full sheetmetal bed, built by Exstensive, with seamless two-tone colors and graphics applied by Chaotic. The bed looked just as good as the rest of the truck. It was now time to make the interior match the exterior.
This was when Brian came into play. As the owner of Wicked Whips in Venice, Florida, his shops turns out wild and custom audio/video systems all day long. For his personal truck, over-the-top was the only way things could be done. After removing everything from the interior, Brian and his team smoothed and painted the dash with matching flames from the hood, built one-off custom fiberglass door panels with matching flames, and a wild sub enclosure housing four 12-inch Infinity Kappa subwoofers. Seemingly floating above the center console, five Infinity amps were mounted using Plexiglass as the mounting points. Infinity components and co-axials were also used in the door panels, the kick panels, the dash, and the B-pillars. Wiring for the entire system was handled by Stinger. The JVC DVD head unit was relocated to the suede headliner, along with the HVAC controls in order to accommodate the 10-inch Farenheit monitor located in the dash. Farenheit monitors are also located in the door panels, facing outwards, and give on-lookers instant entertainment. Everything that was not painted was wrapped in suede, with the exception of the seats, which were reshaped and recovered in red leather with black alligator inserts.
It took perseverance, dedication, and a new owner, but the Dodge was fully reborn and bad as Hell. Brian is quick to thank Derek for all his hard work and well-spent cash, and he considers the truck a work-in-progress. Brian is also quick to thank Ernie at One Stop, Rob at Audio America, Christian at AAMP, and Infinity for all of their support in completing the truck.