2003 Chevy Silverado SST - 5150 SST
Concept To Reality
Vehicle manufacturers have an awful habit of building amazing concepts and then never bringing them to market. They are all guilty of the crime, but for Troy Anderson of Anderson Bros. Auto Body in West Sacramento, California, Chevrolet's crime was especially heinous. In 2002, Chevrolet debuted the Silverado SS concept, a lowered, extended cab truck with a unibody-style integrated bed, a flush tonneau, and cool exhaust exits. You know by now that Chevrolet never built that truck, instead we got the much more pedestrian Silverado SS in AWD and RWD versions. Determined to build his own version, Troy pulled styling elements from various Chevrolet models, and even some Ford sheetmetal for good measure. The end result was this amazing truck that looks like it rolled out a custom design studio.
Troy's plans were big, and over the course of six years, the '03 Chevy Silverado extended cab was transformed into the Flame Red custom you see here. Starting with the most obvious modification, the guys at Anderson Bros cut off the forward part of the bed and moved it towards the cab, stitching the two pieces together forever. Like the concept, Troy wanted the truck's C-pillars to be a little more substantial, so they were extended 3.5 inches to give the truck a slight buttress behind the rear glass. Combined with blacking out the B-pillar the effect is a totally different greenhouse that gives the truck the appearance of tilting forward. People often comment that some vehicles look fast standing still, well Anderson Bros. accomplished just that.
One-upping the concept, the top of the bed was completely enclosed with a flush-welded sheetmetal panel. A small trunk opening was cut to access the Kinetik battery and compressor. The front of the truck also received its share of custom metalwork, as a Ford Super Duty hood cowl found its way onto the Chevy hood. The effect is somewhat like a cowl-induction hood, but much wider, so it blends in more while changing the contour of the entire front clip. Of course the door handles were shaved as well, using actuators inside rather than door handles to further smooth the inner door panels, but more on the interior later. Troy's plans to integrate '10 Tahoe headlights meant for significant fabrication, as the fenders were cut and the hood was extended while an SS bumper was mated with a chopped factory '03 grille. The result is unmistakably Chevrolet, but unlike anything you've ever seen before. With the modifications complete, the Anderson Bros. crew prepped the body and then layered Sikkens Flame Red over every square inch of bodywork before two silver stripes were masked and sprayed as well. Two-tone pinstriping on the hood and tailgate capped that paintwork in true custom form.
D And D Fabrication in Sacramento, stepped up to the plate to take on the chassis on Troy's one-of-a-kind custom. Kelly Dickinson and Bruce Hendrickson took eight inches out of the middle of the frame to shorten the wheelbase to match the body mods that Troy and the guys at Anderson Brothers Auto Body had cooked up. The front suspension uses McGaughy's spindles and RideTech airbags plumbed with 1/2-inch lines and the rear uses a KP Components six-link. D And D's handiwork, combined with the 4-inch body drop performed by Anderson Brothers lets the truck lay out on 24-inch Bonspeed Atom wheels.
A custom aluminum fuel cell was fabricated to fit the truncated chassis, and a custom exhaust system was fabricated leading from the 5.3L's Borla headers to a Flowmaster muffler and finally exiting high in the center of the tailgate after some intricate bends and a length of flexible tubing. We can't say we've ever seen an exhaust like it and it sure made onlookers stop and stare. The 5.3L engine itself is almost totally hidden by an engine cover that allows the cold-air intake and factory engine cover and fan shroud, both paint matched, to peek through.
Troy went far beyond the concept when it came to the interior of the Silverado. The stock bucket seats remain, but were reupholstered in perforated Mercedes-spec gray leather, with matching gray carpet. The rest of the interior was sprayed the same Sikkens Torch Red as the exterior. Arc Audio components were mounted in custom door panels and a fiberglass rear cab wall built by Dave Fonts. Six 12-inch subs offer up more than enough bass and receive audio signals not from a traditional head unit, but entirely from an iPod. A single 10-inch monitor was mounted in the smoothed and painted dash, just above the Arc Audio equalizer. Any true custom isn't finished without at least a few accents of polished aluminum, so vents, a shifter, and a B.A.D. steering wheel were added to accent the sea of red.
Troy would like to thank all of the guys at Anderson Bros. that helped him bring the concept to life, as well as Fred and DK at Arc Audio, Kelly Dickinson, and especially Troy's wife, Jodi for all of her support. Troy's goal was to build the most radical sport truck possible and we'd be hard-pressed to come up with a comparable example of customization. It's truly in a league of its own. So how about it guys, who's going to try to one-up the Anderson Bros.?