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2003 Chevy Silverado - Hard Knocks

This Silverado's Been Through The Wringer

Dan Ward
Dec 1, 2010
Photographers: Dan Ward, John Mata Jr
We don't believe in palm reading, psychics talking to our deceased family, or other things you see late-night on TV, but after hearing about Nick McLemore's '03 Chevy Silverado, we're pretty sure this custom truck has a sixth sense. Broken into, stolen, painted a couple times, taken to and from different shops, and even backed into by a Freightliner, Nick's Chevy has led a tough life. But through it all, it's taught him many life lessons, made him curse, made him doubt its worth, made him proud, and even helped bring his wife into his life. It's a tragic story with twists and turns but ends up the way every truck story should, with a happy ending.
Photo 2/11   |   2003 Chevy Silverado right Front Angle
Buying the truck new in 2003, Nick wasted little time customizing it when he drove it from his home in Henderson, Nevada, as he delivered it to the experts of low trucks-IF Customs, in Sylmar, California. While in their care, a new 2x3-inch boxed frame was crafted with higher mounting locations for the stock control arms, a two-link with Panhard bar was fabricated for the rear, and each corner received Contitech airbags and 1/2-inch GC valves. Other mods to get the truck as low as possible included sectioning the motor mounts 2 inches and relocating the coolant overflow tank, battery, and fuse box. To accommodate the massive drop in the rear and to fit the large wheels planned, the rearend was narrowed a total of four inches. Under each fender, 22x9.5-inch Image Alloys style 500 chrome wheels are wrapped in Continental Sport Trac 265/30R22 tires. Like a casino waitress shoving as much as possible into her blouse, the 22-inch wheels sink right into the body-dropped single cab fenders-exactly what Nick was hoping for. Driving a 'bagged and bodied truck around Vegas turned heads left and right, but Nick wanted more than just a low, all-white truck, so a plan was put in place to set his truck apart from the rest.
Working with R.J. Silva of Eye Kandy Designs, the two collaborated to design a subtle, yet vibrant two-tone paint scheme. Before the paint could go on, the body mods needed to be handled and Musso Motorsports in Las Vegas was chosen to perform the work. Out back, a full Grant Kustoms rear skin replaced the tailgate, the door handles, third brake light, and stake pockets were shaved, and then the bed floor was raised 8 inches. Caddy taillights were frenched in place, a Sir Michaels' roll pan welded in, and the front valance cut down four inches to accommodate the body drop. With the metal straight, Go Nuts Truck & Auto, in Winnemucca, Nevada, received the Silverado and gallons of paint from Sherwin Williams' Planet Color line. Inside their new paint booth, the Go Nuts crew used the Eye Kandy Designs rendering to layout the two-tone lines. Sherwin Williams' Burning Ice was sprayed on the top half of the truck with Ballistic Blue applied to the lower half. A Dark Ming Blue graphic was masked off and laid down and then everything was pinstriped in Orange Glow. When the Vegas sunshine hits the vibrant colors, the truck lights up like the Vegas strip at midnight. A Leer tonneau cover caps off the spray-in bedliner and also adds to low and clean look of the Chevy. Now Nick had a justifiably sick ride on his hands, but going this far and not completing the truck would be criminal, so rather than calling in the C.S.I. crime lab, he dug a little deeper into his wallet and finished the truck.
Open the doors, and you instantly see the Katzkin grey two-tone leather seat covers wrapped by Ramon Hernandez of Master Custom Upholstery located in Vegas. The dash was shaved, smoothed, and painted to match, and then Ghetto Bob, from Homeless Entertainment, also in Vegas, built a custom center console housing a 10-inch Rockford Fosgate sub. Rockford 6 1/2-inch mids were then installed in each door panel, a 10-inch Accel monitor added, and a Pioneer DVD head unit inserted to control all of the audio. Adding eye candy like models at the SEMA show, billet A/C vents were flushed into the dash and a Naiser Racing billet steering wheel connects to a Billet Specialties hub to dress up the interior.
Under the hood, Musso Motorsports built a sheetmetal fan shroud, rolled inner fenders, and painted several of the plastic pieces to add style points. The 4.3L V-6 received a Flowmaster exhaust, providing enough rumble to let rubberneckers know that Nick's truck is VIP.
It took some six-plus years to finally complete the Silverado, and according to Nick, he's still tweaking some things to make them even better. Nick would like to thank his wife Whitney, R.J. Silva for the design and not letting him give up on the truck, Sherwin Williams, Katzkin, Leer, Musso Motorsports, and IF Customs.



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