1996 Chevy Silverado - Sterling Silver
A Chevy That's Second To None
The color gold has been connected with greatness for far too long now. Andy Gulick’s Lexus LS460 silver-colored ’96 Chevy Silverado sports the hue most associated with a runner up, but this certainly wasn’t the case for Andy’s truck at the ’09 West Coast Nationals show in Parker, Arizona, where it easily captured first place in its class. Not only does the fresh first place honor solidify Andy’s dedication to the project Chevy, but it also pays tribute to the memory of two of Andy’s close friends: Jeremy Donkersley and Mark Zelfer. Owning a custom audio shop, House of Sounds, in Phoenix, has helped Andy realize the importance of doing things right the first time and surrounding yourself with talented people. Building a project from the ground up not only allowed Andy to connect with his truck, but it also strengthened existing friendships with those who are also involved in the process, which is more valuable than a trophy could ever be.
To kick-start the buildup of the Silverado, Andy recruited the help of Mason Rush to slam the ’96 Chevy’s frame to the hot, Arizona asphalt. He slapped on a set of Belltech drop spindles, planted a set of Firestone airbags up front as well as at the rear corners, and installed the Ekstensive two-link. Kevin Brumfield wrapped up the suspension mods and Ryan Nelson cleaned up the frame to ensure the Chevy was looking great. While the old wheels were off the hubs, the time to ditch the factory rotors was just right, so a set of SSBC rotors and polished calipers were brought in to provide killer looks behind the wheels as well as superb braking power. Speaking of wheels, 22x81/2-inch front and rear 22x10-inch Bonspeed Clutch billet wheels have been paired with 245/30R22 and 295/25R22 Pirelli skins respectively. With the frame strategically notched to accommodate the tie rods, it was fully painted and now rests on the street with no problems at all.
With the Silverado’s stance well taken care of, Kevin Brumfield and Ryan Nelson began to shift their focus on the truck’s outer appearance. Not that there was anything wrong with the Silverado’s external features, but something a little different was in order. You may recognize the clean, throwback Escalade front end, but what you may not identify as quickly is the custom fit ’03 GMC Yukon front bumper with more than 100 man-hours of chopping, sectioning, and molding. The ’02 Chevy Malibu door handles look right at home on the fullsize Chevy’s sheetmetal. We are definitely fans of the bumper and handles’ craftsmanship. To take things further, the tailgate was lengthened to fill in the lower gap, a Sir Michael’s roll pan was welded into place, and the taillights were shaved clean from the Silverado’s surface. With the final welding and bodywork wrapped up, Jesse Ortiz filled his paint gun with a striking shade of silver and began spraying.
With the exterior looking great, Andy moved inside of the cab with hopes of attempting to create an environment that was equally cool and smooth. A set of ’99 Tahoe bucket seats were wrapped in black leather and dark grey pigskin by Jeremy Donkersley. Even the dash was shaved of all controls, which all have been relocated to the roof console, before being completely engulfed in leather. Replacing the factory dash cupholders is a custom airbag switch box to keep things clean and stealthy. A wheel-matching B.A.D. billet steering wheel and Bentley style charcoal carpet have also been incorporated into the cockpit space, but the real attention-getter is the custom center console. The sleek console stretches from the rear of the cab all the way to the to the dash and features truly unique, full-length LED accent lighting. The lights illuminate the row of JL amplifiers that pave the console’s base area. House of Sound, Andy’s one-stop audio shop in Phoenix, is responsible for the creation and Steve Yiu and Rob Donnelly fabricated the huge fiberglass enclosure that has consumed the rear of the cab. Four 13½-inch JL Audio W3v3 subs have been sunk into the enclosure for earth shaking bass and three pairs of Alumapro 6½-inch components provide enough mid and high audio frequencies to perfectly hear every audio note. A Pioneer receiver and an Audio Control equalizer help fine-tune the sounds from each and every speaker.
As anyone can clearly see, Andy sidestepped all shortcuts while building his top-shelf Chevy and surrounded himself with a talented group of close-knit friends. Andy would like to thank Alumapro, Bonspeed, Gardner-Westcott, Sir Michaels, SSBC, Stinger, Trenz, Pirelli Tires, and Airaid for their support and everyone who played a part in the truck’s evolution. Jeremy and Mark would have been proud to see the truck take home the gold at its grand unveiling.