2008 Chevy Silverado - Color Blind
World's Cleanest New-Body Style Chevy
In an attention deficit disorder-filled world with instant visual gratification, an all-white Chevy Silverado may just be the punch to the kidneys we need to reel us back to our roots. Thinking back to the days of subtle mods (stuff the average guy misses), trick body massaging, and placing emphasis on quality over quantity, Tim Donelson, of Alvin, Texas, unearthed these old-world truck aficionado traits to express his vision of a hot-rod-infused new-body style Silverado. Clean. That simple word best describes this not-so-subtle Silverado. But it's what he left off that may be his biggest statement of all-Tim's Chevy has no graphics, no flames, no color, and little, if any, bling. How does a white truck land on our esteemed cover? Once you've opened your mind to accept the absence of pigment, the tremendous amount of ingenuity and custom work performed will transform your concept of custom.
Tim told us, "I like it when old hot rodders come up to me and say they like all the attention to detail I put into the truck." It's this "less is more" mindset that Tim used to build his truck dubbed "Color Blind." Wanting his truck on the ground, but not cluttered with unnecessary welds, bends, and crossmembers, an hour drive was made to Houston, home of Ekstensive Metalworks. While there, Tim met with owner Bill Carlton where the two agreed on a proper foundation for this wild Chevy. An order was placed with Art Morrison for a set of 2x4-inch mandrel-bent framerails and upon their arrival, Tim got to work welding on a pair of tubular Ekstensive upper and lower A-arms, bolting on a set of Belltech 2-inch drop spindles, and installing Slam Specialties RE7 airbags. Out back, Tim bolted on Ekstensive's tried-and-true two-link to the 4 1/4-inch-narrowed rearend, and installed Slam RE7 'bags, Monroe shocks, and a chromed Panhard bar. Half-inch hardline was used throughout for the suspension and is hidden inside the mandrel-bent rails. GC 450 valves control the air coming from the 5-gallon tank, which is filled by two Viair compressors.
For the ultimate in appearance, Alamo Customs, in Alvin, smoothed and painted every piece of the chassis, and even the wheel hoops. Tim bolted on a set of 26x10-inch Giovanna Peggs wrapped in 295/30R26 Pirelli tires. The Chevy now had a whole new appeal and looked sinister with the black and white Giovanna wheel combo. With the body bolted to the frame and the air let out of the 'bags, the fenders swallowed up the 26-inch rollers and the rockers gently rested on the Texas tarmac.
Shooting the bull and drinking some beers, Tim and Bill were excited to see the frame come together, but as they were reveling, Bill had an epiphany. "Man, we should cut out your B-pillars." Coming from Bill (he's been known to cut up a truck or two), Tim just laughed and said, "Ok man, if you think you can do it, let's make it happen." Contacting the guru of sheetmetal, Bob Grant, of Grant Kustoms, Tim agreed to put him on a plane and after he arrived at Ekstensive, the sparks began to fly. Taking the rear hinges from an Extended Cab rear door and grafting them to the C-pillars of Tim's Chevy, they also fused the Extended Cab door latches and rearmost doorframe sections to his Crew Cab doors. Once that metal surgery was completed, the factory Crew Cab B-pillars were cut out and the Extended Cab door latches welded in place. It's a trick setup to cut both ends of perfectly good doors off and then make everything look and work like OE-a feat that took some major metal know-how to pull off.
Jacob, from Auto Lab then stepped in and did all of the remaining door bodywork, as well as shaving the door handles and third brake light. Before Bob flew home, he made sure the back of the truck was nice and clean thanks to his Grant Kustoms Cali Combo tailgate and roll pan skin. Continuing the body mods, Tim bought a pair of outer Chevy bedsides and welded them to the inside of the bed, creating a smooth and seamless look. Adding to the unique look, the gas filler was added to the inside of the Cali Combo, which provides an inlet to the fuel cell hidden inside the Cali Combo that Bill expertly TIG-welded. Up front, Tim and his buddy Zack Hammond, of Daily Grind Fabrication, built a smoothed firewall, smoothed the inner fenderwheels, and then the truck was dropped off to Alamo Customs. While there, the crew at Alamo covered the Chevy in PPG white. "Color Blind' was coming together, but with those wild doors opening wide to reveal the interior, something unique needed to be done inside the Crew Cab.
Having designed and built crazy fiberglass dashes and sub enclosures for several other trucks, Tim got to work creating a smoothed, hot-rod-styled dash. Gone forever is everything stock, with the exception of the original gauge cluster that miraculously survived the trash bin. In went a polished tilt column, Billet Specialties steering wheel, and Pioneer head unit. The Pioneer DVD head unit controls two Rockford Fosgate amps, one in each rear door, and they in turn power sets of JL Audio 6 1/2-inch components, a set of JL Audio drivers in custom fiberglass kick panels, and six JBL GTO 15-inch subs. Those eardrum-pounding subs are mounted in a trick fiberglass box that Tim designed and built with help from Mike Henderson.
Mike also inspired Tim to go crazy with the front doors. Creating fiberglass door panels, Tim mounted a 32-inch Panasonic LCD TV in each front door panel and can literally keep the party going by himself. Sound Advice helped Tim with wiring, as did Zack from Daily Grind who also helped run the audio wires through the framerails to the two Kinetik 2400 power cells mounted behind the front bumper. Wanting to make people scratch their heads, Tim welded together a giant sheetmetal floor and capped the interior with truly unique seats from Jamey Jordan's HandMade Seat Co. Advanced Auto Trim, in Houston, wrapped the headliner and A-pillars in grey suede and built the grey suede-wrapped seat cushions. The massive interior looks so smooth, the seats appear to be floating.
Opting to stick to his hot-rod roots, Tim yanked the factory 4.8L V-8 and instead had Zack Hammond, of Daily Grind Fabrication in Alvin, build a 383ci stroker. Only polished items are bolted onto the engine and you won't find a bare wire or lines anywhere under the hood. Details such as bending stainless tubing and running the alternator wire inside it to hide the bare wire and fabbing hard lines for the carburetor are just a few examples of Tim's pursuit of perfection. Polished engine components include valve covers, Edelbrock intake and carb, air cleaner, Be Cool radiator, and upper and lower radiator hoses. March pulleys look right at home on the polished alternator, A/C compressor, and polished water pump. The ceramic-coated Anderson headers connect the aluminum heads to Flowmaster mufflers. Zack was also placed with the responsibility to build a one-off, two-piece driveshaft and bolt it to the 350 trans and factory rearend.
Ready for its spotlight, a photoshoot was scheduled and we were on hand for its maiden highway voyage. Rolling along at 55mph, the Giovanna wheels were tucked inside the fenders and the white paint was glistening from the Texas sunshine. It's a beautiful sight to see a wild custom cruising down the highway. Tim knows his truck was a collaboration of talented people, but before we thank them, he wanted to say thanks to his mom for all of her support and bringing dinners over to the shop while the guys were working hard. Tim also wanted to show his appreciation to Ekstensive, Grant Kustoms, Daily Grind Fabrication, Alamo Customs, Auto Lab and everyone else who helped out along the way. When we asked Tim the best part of the truck's build, he said, "It's been a lot of work, but well worth it. I have met a lot of good people and made great friendships." That's what makes custom trucks so incredible-talented, good-hearted people, creating rolling works of art and having fun doing it.