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2003 Chevy Avalanche - Four-Door Assassin

Candy Green and Plenty Mean

Dan Ward
Aug 1, 2009
Photographers: Dan Ward
Photo 2/13   |   2003 Chevy Avalanche right Side Angle
At the ripe ol' age of 27, Chris Thomas has more than 9 years of car show competition under his belt. Car show competition? Yes, car shows-not trucks. After landing 23 Best of Shows with his '93 Honda Accord, Chris went with his gut instinct and sold the trailer queen in favor of a truck, but not any truck- a Chevy Avalanche. Purpose-built from the factory to provide a car-like driving experience and still have the towing and hauling capabilities of a truck, the Avalanche was the perfect choice for a guy starting out in the truck world. Using his car show expertise, Chris has already put a hurtin' on the fullsize mild truck class. This is how he did it.
Starting with a bone-stock '03 Avalanche, Chris made a trip to Auto Explosion in Gardena, California, where the body was prepped for some color. Color is putting it lightly as Chris wanted something that would stop traffic. Before a single drop of pigment was sprayed, Auto Explosion smoothed and prepped all the plastic cladding, custom-cut a clear Plexiglass hood insert, added a Street Scene SS-style front bumper, and even slipped in Escalade door handles. After going over the body one last time, Auto Explosion added House of Kolor Kandy Lime Gold to the Chevy. With a cut and buff taken care of, the Avalanche was sparkling in the SoCal sunshine. Tom McWeeney then stepped in and added some hot-rod pinstripes here and there. Final touches included candy painting the taillights and adding an upper and lower billet grille. Understanding the custom world, Chris didn't relish the new paint-job for too long, rather he quickly enlisted the help of his brother Ju and a local interior shop to take his Avalanche to the next level.
Keeping things in the family, Chris' brother Ju built a fiberglass enclosure in the midgate area to house three Crossfire 12-inch Db3 subs. Using mirrors to create the illusion of nine subs, the box is both trick and functional. Powering the subs is a 1,000-watt Crossfire amp and the front and rear door components also receive juice from a Crossfire amp. Keeping the tunes in check, an Eclipse head unit and DVD player provide video entertainment as well, via two 8-inch headrest monitors. Dropping off the Chevy to Chuy's Auto Interior in Carson, California, Chris ordered a revamp of the seats, headliner, and door panels. Tan and green-apple suede were used to cover the seats in a two-tone fashion and green suede also found its way to the headliner and door panel inserts. Auto Explosion painted the entire dash and a custom center console was built. Housing the chromed Nitrous Express bottle, the console serves as an armrest and a command center for the go-fast juice. The overall look is clean and functional, something all judges seem to agree deserves bonus points.
Under the clear Plexiglass hood insert lies a 5.3L V-8 that was cleaned up using chrome, stainless steel, and of course, Kandy Lime Gold paint. A Volant air intake with chromed lid brings in fresh air and a polished Magnaflow exhaust system lets the V-8 exhale with a rumble. If the need arises, a 100hp shot of Nitrous Express nitrous is ready to put anyone back in their seat with the simple flip of a switch. Focusing back on good looks, Chris added painted caps, stainless braided hoses, and a chrome high-amp alternator. Considering the truck pretty much complete, Chris sent us an email with pics of his kandy green truck and asked us what we thought. Blunt and straight to the point, we recommended lowering the Avalanche down to really make it stand out. Three weeks later, our phone rang again.
With the help of his dad and his brother, the Avalanche received a 2/3 lowering kit and custom-made Z-rated brake rotors. Wanting to go big with his wheels, Chris contacted John at Dub Wheels and they worked out a deal for a set of 26-inch TIS model 10 wheels. Upon delivery, Chris had the wheels custom-painted to match the kandy paint and then wrapped the wheels in Sunny 305/30R26 tires. Detail-oriented from his years of car shows, Chris dropped extra cash on getting the upper and lower control arms chromed, calipers chromed, and even the rear anti-sway bar and rear coil springs chromed. The extra care has paid off with two First Place trophies in the fullsize mild truck class. So what does an ex-car guy think of his new show truck/daily driver? He loves it and can be seen driving it all over the streets of Los Angeles. We're providing a public safety announcement regarding this truck however, if you do look at it, please make sure you've got your sunglasses on or the Kandy Lime Gold may be the last thing you ever get to see.



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