Workin’ And Playin’ - 1994 Chevy 3500
This Slammed Chevy is a True Multipurpose Rig
While many of us stumble along life’s paths, exploring multiple career choices while we’re trying to find that one perfect opportunity, some guys know from an early age what their life’s work will be. They are the fortunate ones because they love what they do and have found a way to make a living doing it. Adam Heglar is one of those people. He’s a mechanic and custom fabricator living in Cornelius, North Carolina. Growing up in an enthusiast family as an active member of his father’s drag racing team, Adam was surrounded by high- performance vehicles since birth. “It’s been my passion since I was young, way before I got my driver’s license,” he told us. “I enjoy building things for myself and other people, and I turned a hobby into a lifestyle.” Adam’s dream became a reality when he opened his shop, ARH Designs, which specializes in air-ride installations, high-performance builds, and his favorite: custom fabrication.
One of his early projects was his bagged and body-dropped S-10, fitted with an Escalade front end, 22-inch wheels, and a tire-melting, supercharged 4.3L (bored to 4.6) that made 550 hp! The awesome minitruck was an attention-getter, but it was just a prelude to what he really wanted: a fullsize, custom dualie. As always, he went with a careful plan. “I wanted to build something no one else had, and this ’94 Chevy 3500 fit the bill perfectly.” Adam purchased it in 2008 and spent about 18 months refurbishing and customizing the truck before it was ready for our cameras.
Opting for low rather than lifted, Adam’s slammed Chevy began its close association with asphalt thanks to notched rear framerails and a ’99 Chevrolet dualie rear end held in place by a triangulated four-link of his own design. A new front K-member, Devious Customs control arms, and Belltech 2-inch dropped spindles brought the front end down to match. Returning the truck back to ride height is a genuinely uplifting experience provided by Slam Specialties bags on all four corners with RE8s up front and SS Series 8s in the rear. A pair of Air Zenith compressors mounted on the rear framerails pressurize twin 5-gallon reserve tanks through ½-inch lines for quick response. Precise control comes from Parker valves and a nine-switch box while hidden Ride Tech gauges monitor essential altitude info. The ground-hugging Chevy rolls on 22.5-inch Alcoa rims and 265/40-R22 Nitto rubber.
Power for the rejuvenated chassis was next, and it’s not a diesel. The original 454 V-8 gas burner under the hood now boasts 496 CID, thanks to a GM Performance stroker crank, Eagle rods, and Wiseco pistons. Holley ported and polished aluminum heads ensure free breathing for the fuel-injected engine while Hooker Headers and Flowmaster mufflers scavenge spent gases. Multiplying the power is a Jet Performance Products four-speed automatic crate trans upgraded to accommodate the new horsepower. The performance work was handled by LED Development in Mooresville, North Carolina.
The looks of the ’94 Chevy were next on the list, and a ’99 Cadillac Escalade front end with a Street Scene grille transformed the exterior. All four door handles were shaved, the emblems were eliminated, the tailgate was smoothed, and a custom roll pan with LED lights was added to the rear. Combining looks with function, the bed was coated with Rhino Liner and outfitted with custom steel wheel tubs. Similar aluminum tubs were fabricated for under the hood.
The elegant interior begins with a smooth, hand-formed steel dash, padded with gray leather and featuring a central pod that holds the slim and trim line of Dakota Digital instruments. Billet accents include the A/C vents, shifter, and door handles along with a Billet Specialties rearview mirror and a polished Intro steering wheel. All four bucket seats were sourced from an S-10 and upholstered with gray leather and blue suede inserts. Carpeting is gray, protected by black and gray trimmed custom floor mats. A matching gray leather headliner completes the upholstery, but Adam didn’t stop there. Since hot trucks need cool sounds, this Chevy is loaded with electronics that add a new dimension. Dynamat was the first step, applied everywhere to shut out road noise. The new Kenwood KVT-717DVD in-dash multimedia system has a 7-inch motorized touch screen with CD, DVD, MP3, iPod, and satellite radio capability. Located in its own floating center console, the receiver controls a pair of Rockford Fosgate amps mounted on the cab’s rear wall. The first one sends 1,000 watts to the three Punch 12-inch subs residing in the truck’s new fiberglass rear console, painted to match and positioned between the rear bucket seats. The second Rockford amp sends 650 watts to the four 5.5-inch Punch component sets, one in each door, also in painted-to-match fiberglass enclosures. A pair of YellowTop Optima batteries and an upgraded 160-amp alternator ensure enough power to keep everything humming smoothly.
The final step was paint. Adam created the design, blending House of Kolor pearl blue and black with silver and blue flames, using silver leaf to divide the colors. Little Rock Body Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina, did the work. The multi-function truck is a hot highway hauler with room for four when it’s time for Adam and the crew to head to a weekend show. It’s also a tow vehicle, trophy-getter, and as effective as a flashing neon sign when it comes to advertising the business. Even for a big dualie, that’s crammin’ a whole lot of fun into one ride! We told you Adam had this career path all figured out!