Next Day Air'd: 1995 Chevy Silverado 1500
Caddy-Clipped 1995 Silverado 1500
"“I’m a gearhead. I’ve been into custom cars my whole life, but I decided to build a fullsize truck this time and I love it.” Mike “Smallz” Smallwood"
Most of us grew up flipping through the pages of Truckin’ or other custom car and truck magazines, wishing that someday we would build a vehicle that would be nice enough to grace the pages. Mike “Smallz” Smallwood, of Southlake, Texas, was no different. He would spend his time between classes in high school with his buddy, Cliff, flipping through Truckin’ magazine, saying, “Someday my truck will be featured in here.” Well, that time is now. We first saw Mike’s 1995 Caddy-clipped Silverado at Tex-Mex 2011, and when we told him we wanted to shoot it for a feature, he almost fell to the floor.
After buying the truck at a repo auction in 1997, Mike took his truck to TLee Customs, in Austin, Texas, to have it brought down to Earth. The guys at TLee started by cutting a C-notch into the rear frame and powdercoating the whole frame to prepare it for the new suspension that was to be installed. They then bolted on a set of Air Ride Technologies upper and lower control arms, followed up by a pair of KYB shocks and Slam Specialties RE-7 ’bags fed by ½-inch valves and line. For the rear, a four-link was installed with a Panhard bar. Matching KYB shocks were installed and a pair of RE-7 ’bags were installed over the axlehousing. To get the chassis rolling, Mike installed a set of 24-inch KMC SS wheels. Up front, the 8-inch-wide wheels were wrapped in Toyo Proxes ST 255/30R22 rubber while out back the 10-inch KMC’s were fit into matching Toyo 275/30R22 rubber.
Moving his attention to the body, Mike wanted something fresh for the front of the Chevy, so he enlisted the help of Martin Montes, also in Austin, to install an ’01 Escalade front clip with a 2005 Sierra bumper. Inside the Cadillac grille shell, Mike installed a Precision Grilles billet grille. Mike then swapped the hinges on the factory hood and made it a forward tilting hood. For a clean look, Mike had Martin shave the antenna, stake pockets, tailgate handle, and install a smoothed wiper cowl and a rollpan out back. Instead of shaving the door handles, Mike installed a pair of 2003 Cadillac door handles and had Jason Watts from DJ Customs, in Cedar Park, Texas, fabricate a full sheetmetal bed that would house two nitrogen tanks and a YellowTop Optima battery. To finish off the body, Martin’s Paint and Body, of McGregor, Texas, sprayed several coats of DuPont Hot Hues Jazzy Blue paint followed by several coats of clear to seal the pristine paint.
Inside, the extended cab, Mike had big aspirations. First, the whole dash was fiberglassed smooth and paint-matched to the body. Next, Mike took the factory front seats to Topo Upholstery, in Austin, and had them remove the headrests and wrap the seats in tan leather with blue ostrich inserts and blue piping. Topo also ripped the factory carpet out and installed new tan carpet as well as a leather-wrapped headliner with the JL Audio logo in it. The back seats were removed to make way for the custom sub box that was built by TLee Customs and painted by Jason Watts. Connected to the sub box and running to the front of the truck is a custom center console also built by TLee. Filling the sub box is a pair of JL Audio 13½-inch subs, which are fed by an Exile 2,400-watt amplifier. A pair of Kicker components were installed in the doors and two Kicker 6x9-inch speakers were mounted in the back. All of the mids and highs are powered by a Rockford Fosgate 750 amplifier and a Pioneer 7-inch touchscreen head unit sends signals to both amps. A Kinetik high current power cell was installed in the custom painted center console to help provide fuel for the sound system’s voracious appetite.
After almost 19 years, Mike finally has a truck worthy of the pages of Truckin’ magazine. He still isn’t done though. Mike says that between shifts at FedEx (hence the name “Next Day Air’d”) and caring for his two daughters Hannah and Kynadie this winter, he will install an LS1 and paint some graphics over the Jazzy Blue paint. He wanted to say “Thank you” to his mom and dad for their support through the years, his boys Cliff, Chris, and Jimmy, and all the shops that did an amazing job on the truck.