2004 Dodge Ram - Demented Dodge
Five High-Pressure Months
Everyone gets into the truck scene differently. Some inherit the interest from their father, some get sucked in by their friends, and others, like Tony Saenz of Andrews, Texas, got into it by going into a convenience store to grab a tasty beverage. It was on that fateful day two years ago that he first saw a yellow Dodge in the parking lot of said store that was painted with ghost flames. A short conversation later and Tony had the number to the painter of the truck, Jamie Torrez, the owner of Demented Customs in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Hobbs isn't known for being a big town, but for a city with just over 31,000 people, there's a surprising number of custom car and truck guys. One of those shops is Demented Customs, who have been slowly building a reputation for themselves as a powerhouse. Over the past few years they've put quite a few customs out on the pages of various magazines, so when Tony chose to take his Dodge to them, it turned out to be a very fortuitous decision.
The first thing that Tony wanted to do was lay the truck out on the concrete. The '04 and newer Dodge Ram is notorious for camber issues when the truck is bagged, so to rectify that, the crew decided to raise the upper control arm mounts and minimize the problem. Out back, an Ekstensive Metalworks two-link kit was bolted to the stock rearend and the frame was notched. Between the parts from Ekstensive and the air supplies from Lowrider Depot, they got the truck dragging frame on 22-inch Bonspeed Tsunamis with 265/35R22 Hankook tires.
That was it for a while, as Tony took his truck back to Texas and drug it around town for a few months, destroying his roll pan in the process. Over the course of the next year, the Dodge went through a lot of changes, including an act of nature that caused some wicked hail damage across the truck. Between damage to the pan and the massive craters dotting the hood and roof, it was time for a new paintjob, so back to Jamie and the posse at Demented for some bodywork. Tony didn't want to pay a small fortune for his paintjob, so he did some negotiating. For months he'd call Jamie and ask for a price. Jamie would give him the same price every time, and Tony would say he'd think about it. Finally, Jamie gave him an answer he could work with. "If you let me do whatever I want with it, then I'll give you a deal." A quick handshake later and the plan was set. The crew gathered around and discussed the build. It was just 5 months until the '08 SEMA show, and they wanted to get the truck at the event to showcase their skills. The truck needed everything minus the suspension work they had already performed, so they had a lot of work ahead of them.
First, the door handles were shaved and then the doors were outfitted with GT Factory lambo-style doors up front and suicide doors out back. The handles were shaved at the same time, as was the tailgate handle, gas door, and antenna. A new Sir Michael's pan was installed to replace the beat up old unit and the license plate was frenched into the tailgate. Then the whole thing was blocked straight, primed, and blocked again until the truck was straight as an arrow and every gap lined up perfectly.
Jamie is a big fan of bright colors-they're kind of his thing. He had been experimenting with some of PPG's Vibrance line of colors, and he hit upon this Key Lime Green shade that he really wanted to try out. The wicked flake and eye-blinding shade of neon green would make for a great base, but now Tony wanted to add some flames, so Jamie decided to lay down a cool flame job from stem to stern, which fades from a purplish blue to a royal blue pearl. The end result is an amazing color change that really sets off the truck. The cool details abound here as well, like the underside of the Cervini's hood that sports matching graphics to the exterior, or the doorjambs that have a flame strip of their own across the rocker. Details like that make this truck stand out above the rest.
Demented Customs is a one-stop shop, so when it came time to move to the interior, they decided to build the stereo themselves. The rear seat was removed and replaced with a half-dozen 12-inch Total Mobile Audio subs and a trio of Total Mobile Audio amps mounted in a custom fiberglass enclosure. An Eclipse AVX-2404 in-dash DVD player mounted in the factory location runs the system and provides video action at shows.
No one wants to sit on an egg crate, so the guys had to come up with a plan. They wanted something a little bit hot-rod and a whole lot custom, so they called in Paul Reyes of Master Craft Interiors who reshaped the seats to have a lower back and no headrest. Then the interior was wrapped in granite ultra-leather and platinum ultra-suede for a cool light gray look that looks clean and simple. Everything that wasn't wrapped in fabric was painted lime green, which really sets off the rest of the interior. The overall effect is exactly what they were going for-head turning.
It was down to the wire-as things usually are with the SEMA show-but the crew got it all done. There were a lot of people involved in the build, and Jamie would like to thank Scott Harris and Chad Fincher for all the phone calls they had to make, Aaron Lawson, Aaron Pina, Zach, Billy Titus, Paco and his son J.R. for all the long nights of sanding, scuffing, and doing anything that was needed. Kevin at Hankook tires, Pat at Leer, Mitch at Ekstensive Metalworks and Tom at Lowrider Depot. Special thanks to Andrew for the long nights of color sanding and buffing before the show and to his wife Veronica for her support. Also thanks to Tony and Lacey for allowing him to do whatever he wanted on the Dodge.