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2001 Chevy Silverado - Texas Gator

A Standard Cab Chevy With Teeth

John Mata Jr.
Oct 1, 2009
Photographers: Dan Ward
Photo 2/8   |   2001 Chevy Silverado left Side Angle
Cesar Tijerina, from San Juan, Texas, is a proud member of the Ground Zero truck club, so his project '01 Chevy Silverado had to possess enough style and bite to meet their impressive fleet's already top-notch caliber. Cesar racked his brain for inspiration and stumbled on a theme that would soon attract attention from every direction. What better creature to find inspiration for building a truck from than the low-slung and ruthless carnivore of the Southeastern United States? It's intimidating, it's powerful, and once it's provoked, the gator attacks its prey with little restraint, which is exactly the attitude Cesar wanted to surround his truck while attacking the show circuit or cruising the streets of Texas. Once the idea was sparked, Cesar channeled all of his energy into creating a street predator that would have other trucks scattering towards safety.
Cesar wanted his truck to mimic the low, aggressive stance of the mighty, vicious gator, so he enlisted the crew at Mando's Dropshop, in Houston, to start the process by first tossing aside the stock spindles and opting for a set of McGaughy's 2-inch drop units instead. On top of the initial lowering, a set of Choppin' Block upper and lower control arms, Firestone 2600 series 'bags, and Belltech shocks help keep the frame-laying suspension operating and riding smoothly. Cesar installed the rear parallel four-link setup himself and hand selected a set of 22x10-inch Intro Vista wheels and 285/30R22 Toyo skins that adds both style and grace to this beast's step.
A low approach wasn't the only weapon that Cesar had planned for his rig, however. Aside from its stealthy creep, the truck's profile was shaved up and improved upon with the addition of a Chevy HD hood and custom wheeltubs tucked underneath each corner. Thomas' Body Shop, in Edinburgh, Texas, performed the steel surgery and mixed up a special shade of PPG green that was a perfect fit for the following styling cue that would soon strike fear into those lower on the Chevy's food chain. Edgar, another close alliance of Cesar's, airbrushed the realistic, gator skin ghost graphics that run down each side and meet up in the center of the tailgate. An intricate display of pinstriping breaks up the rear graphics and adds a timeless touch to the modern styling.
Popping the truck's hood unveils a tidy engine bay that showcases a custom-made engine cover that blankets the 5.3L V-8. The color-matched wheeltubs keep the elements out and a Kinetik 800 battery keeps the speakers adequately juiced when it's time to cruise. A Borla exhaust system and a custom intake help squeeze out a few extra ponies and an empowering rumble from the Chevy's powerplant.
Knowing that more alligator detailing was just too attractive to pass up, Cesar arranged for the interior to be taken a few steps further into the bayou. The dash was ripped out, smoothed, and painted to match the exterior. A dose of pinstriping was also added to the glove- box door, which appeals to the lovers of classic hot-rod style. The tan leather seats and billet steering wheel have been upgraded with impressive gator accents that were executed by McAllen, Texas', Palma's Upholstery. To better complete the cab's all-around threatening attitude, Aggressive Sound wired up a Pioneer head unit, along with two 10-inch JL Audio W6 subs and Planet Audio mids, highs, and amplification. Fiberglass kick panels and a rear enclosure have been expertly fabricated and fit flawlessly with the look and feel of the clean interior space. A Dakota Digital gauge has also been installed in the center console to inform Cesar of the air levels with an around-the-clock, easy to read display.
When the time finally came for Cesar to consider his truck finished, he had spent five years' worth of sweat and determination, and at just about double the cost of the truck's original sticker price. To a longtime fan and previous owner of custom trucks, neither of those two factors can be considered negative. Cesar is proud to have his gator-inspired rig completed and immortalized in the pages of Truckin'. Cesar extends his gratitude to his wife, brother, parents, and everyone else in Ground Zero that kept him motivated along the way.



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