2003 GMC Sierra - The Best Laid Plans

The Truck That Wasn't To Be

Jan 1, 2009
Photo 2/8   |   2003 Gmc Sierra right Front Angle
Shawn Byrd told himself this '03 GMC would be nothing more than a stock daily driver. It wasn't long until the urge to customize yet another truck crept up on him and the gears began to turn. With a few cars and two Chevy trucks, an S-10 and a Silverado already behind him, there was no stopping the inevitable.Shawn turned to Jason Caranto in Louisville, Kentucky, to plumb and mount a pair of Air Ride Technology Shockwaves in the front to drop the nose, while 2,500-pound Firestone 'bags and Ground Force shocks modify the rear suspension. The painted air tank and stainless steel hard lines are showcased under the Gaylord tonneau in a Bedrug, carpeted bed. A set of 22x10-inch ASA RS7 wheels and 283/35R22 Dunlop Sport tires were just what the GMC needed, and when aired down, give the truck a slight rake.
Things were kept simple in the cab, as Scott's Interior took over the upholstery. The seats were covered in dark grey leather with ostrich inserts and the headliner got a similar treatment. The dash panel was painted black and the steering wheel was inset with a monitor to display video from the Kenwood KVT-911 DVD/CD head unit. Matching Kenwood components can be found in the doors and rear panel of the cab.
The real head-turning aspect of Shawn's GMC is the paint and bodywork. As the recipient of several "Best Paint" trophies, this truck has got all of the small things right. Chat's Custom Automotive Inc. began byfrenching '92 Cadillac taillights into the GMC's bed and flipping the tailgate handle. A Sir Michael's roll pan finished up the rear. Moving toward the front of the truck, the stake pockets and fuel filler door were shaved, with the fuel filler relocated to the top of the bedrail. The door handles were also shaved and the antenna was frenched into the front fender. Mirrors and a wiper cowl from Street Scene also helped remove unsightly lines from the cab. With a clean canvas, the truck was sprayed in House of Kolor black and then taped for the candy root beer graphics. When the masking was removed, platinum metallic paint was pinstriped on the edges of the graphics before it was all buried in several coats of clear. The effect is subtle in most light, since the root beer isn't much contrast to the black, but like any good candy paintjob, the graphics jump out at you when the sun hits it just right.
Shawn admits he's not done with this truck that was supposed to remain stock, he has plans to drop the rear to lose the rake. We can understand his never-ending customization. We wouldn't be here if we didn't.



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