Dream Killer: 1998 GMC Sierra
1998 Sierra That Made the Rounds
Alot of times in the custom truck world, we see the same trucks passed around from owner to owner. Most of the time, that truck will just become better and better with each new owner. But sometimes, the person who bought the truck either has too many projects or other things going on in his life to really take care of it. This 1998 GMC Sierra has just that story. It was one of the first trucks to come into Chad Anderson’s shop, Metal Asylum Kustom Finishes, in Glendale, Arizona, right after he opened his doors more than seven years ago. The owner wanted shaved handles and custom paint, so Chad did just that. Soon after, the owner sold the truck and then it was sold two more times before Chad found it again, in very sad shape, in the hands of one of his club mates. Working out a trade of work for the truck, Chad was able to build the GMC and appreciate it to its fullest.
First, the body had to come off the frame in order to build a solid foundation. Ryan Cronstrom, in Mesa, Arizona, boxed the frame completely before bolting on a set of Chassis Tech drop spindles and Airbagit deep drop A-arms up front and a one-off four-link in the rear. A bridge notch was cut into the frame and AIM 2600 airbags, fed by ½-inch Asco valves, were installed along with Toxic shocks all the way around for a comfortable, lowered ride. For extra show points, the frame was completely painted black and the suspension components, shocks, and brake drums were painted or powdercoated burgundy. For rolling attire, Chad decided on a set of 22x9-inch KMC Slide wheels with 255/30R22 tires.
On the body, the original shave job that Chad did seven years ago still remained and was in great condition, which was not the case with the rest of the body. Every panel had a scratch or dent in it. Chad, being a painter, stripped the whole truck to bare metal and started over. Originally, Chad shaved all of the handles, the brake lights, stake pockets, roll pan, and antenna. The only other modification remaining from the original truck was a 2¾-inch body drop done by Lowboy Motorsports, in Mesa, Arizona. To clean up the front, a cowl hood was installed along with a smoothed wiper cowl. With the body naked of all paint, every dent was pounded straight and smoothed. Several coats of House of Kolor Indigo Blue with shifty red and shifty aqua flake were then sprayed. Next, a layer of traditional flames with even more flake was laid down in custom burgundy and outlined in lime green pinstriping. Finally, Chad had Terin Dumas, of Los Angeles, airbrush a sexy bandida on top of the tonneau. With the paint complete, Chad cut the tips off of four ’59 Cadillac taillights and filled the holes with .45 caliber shell casings and installed the lights in the AIM roll pan. An AIM smoothie bumper was installed up front and the factory chrome grille surround was modified to fit even more .45 shell casings while a pair of spikes from the hood of a 1958 Dodge were molded onto the GMC logo in the grille. Also, the factory headlights were taken apart and the insides were painted to match the burgundy flames. It’s these small touches that make this truck stand out from other ’88-’98s. To finish off the body, custom mirror mounts were made and a sliding, ragtop sunroof from ragtops-online.com was installed.
Under the hood, Chad left the factory 350ci engine in place, but dressed it up to match the custom feel. The alternator, A/C compressor, and A/C lines have all been polished, while several other pieces were painted burgundy. To finish off the engine compartment, Chad took the factory hood from the truck and shortened, narrowed, and bubbled it to fit over the engine. He also stopped the bodylines from continuing into the firewall by cutting off the rear of the hood. Chad then painted the engine cover to match the rest of the truck. For more room under the hood, Chad moved the Odyssey battery to the bed where a second battery resides along with two polished five-gallon air tanks and the Air-Zenith compressor. To help with turning the big 22s, Chad made a custom cold-air intake and Edelbrock headers were connected to Flowmaster mufflers. Also, a Hypertech power programmer and a B&M shift kit help unleash a few more horsepower from the factory 5.7L. Since the rear axle now sits much closer to the body, the driveshaft was shortened. With the engine finished, Chad turned his attention towards the interior.
Looking at the front of the truck, you can follow the flames from the hood right through the windshield onto the top of the dash. The rest of the interior is also painted to match the exterior with indigo blue and burgundy flames outlined in lime green. A pair of ‘67 Mustang seats offer a custom feel and a relaxing seating platform. Between the seats sits a fiberglass console which houses the air gauges, window controls from an ’85 Cadillac, and the switches for the airbags, which Chad has outfitted with .30-06 shell casings. Another custom touch is a “Day of the Dead” painted skull that covers up a switch that kills the speakers and televisions in the event of Chad having a run-in with the po-po. If you follow the center console back, you are lead to a massive fiberglass sub enclosure in the back seat of this extended cab. Willy, from Level 10 Audio and Performance, also in Mesa, built the enclosure that provides a home to four Rockford Fosgate T2D215 15-inch subwoofers. Feeding these subs as well as the JBL 6 ½-inch speakers and JBL 4x6-inch speakers are a total of three Rockford amplifiers. The amps get their signal from an Audio Control equalizer, which is fed by a Clarion touchscreen head unit. The head unit is one of four monitors throughout the cab, one is in the passenger airbag location, one is in the center console, and the last one is in the sub enclosure on the passenger side. A third Odyssey battery sits in the third door, which combine to provide enough power for the entire system. Final touches to the interior include red carpeting, a 1958 Impala steering wheel, and US Speedo gauges.
Chad has definitely taken a once unappreciated custom truck and given it a complete makeover. When asked what shows it has been to, Chad responded by saying, “every parking lot it rolls into is an instant show, come on.” This shows how much he really takes pride in his truck. Chad wanted to send shout-outs to Joe at Airbagit, Terin Dumas from Interior Designs, Rhett at KMC Wheels, Nick at US Speedo Gauges, Rick at slidingragtops.com, Jake at Rockford Fosgate, Odyssey batteries, Allen Jay at Concept 1 and of course his wife, Meredith, for not seeing him for a month while he finished up this truck for SEMA.