Building a custom truck on a budget can be limiting, especially when you’re starting from scratch. The options are to buy a jalopy and fix it up, start off with the work truck, or buy new and start from scratch. We at Sport Truck are among the tight-fisted with cash and are always looking for a way around extreme cost to get extreme looks. As such, we’ve been following along with a project truck being built by the Drop Shop in Rialto, California.

As you can see from the rendering, the Drop Shop is going for a low and fast custom that’s built on a minimal budget. The stripper truck is fresh from the factory and sports only minimal accoutrements. The Drop Shop started with a 2002 GMC Extended Cab shortbed pickup, the only option being air conditioning. The truck comes with a 4.8L V-8, four-speed auto transmission and lacks many features that are typically removed when building a custom. This base truck has no graphics or moldings to be removed, no expensive stock wheels, no leather interior, and grey exterior plastic that stands ready to be smoothed and painted to match. In this first stage of the buildup, we’ll show you how to lower the newest generation of GM trucks using Belltech components. In subsequent issues, the full-bore buildup will continue with body- and paintwork, interior additions, and the small what-ifs of building a sport truck.

The new generation of Belltech components feature forged spindles and polyurethane bumpers/bushings all around. For this build, the Drop Shop chose a 2-inch drop spindle, a 2-inch drop coil, a rear flip kit, and helper air springs. In no uncertain terms, combining these products with a wheel of around 27 to 28 overall inches will have most speed bumps shaking in fear. While staying within a budget saves money on the lowering end, it opens options of upgraded wheels and tires on the back end. The Drop Shop’s project truck brings maximum looks on a minimal budget. Here’s the skinny on componentry.