2001 Chevy Silverado - Project Intimidator

Paint and Body

Mark Halvorsen
Jul 1, 2007
Photographers: Mark Halvorsen
Photo 2/35   |   project Intimidator Chevy Silverado logo
This is it, the final phase of our stocker to SS custom body-style transformation. Up to this point, we had GO-EZ in Placentia, California, tub the fenders so that the suspension could accommodate 22s and had 714 Motorsports in Huntington Beach, California, bolt-on an SS-style front clip from Late Model Restoration Supply. Now, it was time to lay on the paints.
Photo 3/35   |   project Intimidator Chevy Silverado paint Prepped
We tapped Kelly & Sons Crazy Painters in Bellflower, California, to spray on the black and copper two-tone and silver flames. Mitch Kelly oversaw the job and mixed and sprayed the paints. John and Shaggy prepped the truck and did all of the bodywork. Tom Kelly-the legendary pinstriper, airbrusher, and all-around custom-paint guru-designed the flame graphic and brushed on the pinstripes. What we didn't show was the bodywork that was done to the truck ahead of time. The Silverado was in decent shape for an '01, but some previous custom projects, factory flaws, and a few dings had left their marks, which motivated the Kelly & Son crew to do about 30 hours of bodywork to tighten up the truck and smooth it all out. After that, it was all about laying on the Vibrance colors made by PPG colors. Read on for how we went about turning Project Intimidator into a candy-metallic rock star.
Photo 31/35   |   project Intimidator Chevy Silverado rear View
From the Driver SeatWe were impressed by the speed and professionalism exhibited by the guys at Kelly & Son Crazy Painters. It was a pleasure to watch people who were good at what they did, who were working hard to bring color and life to our project. And, the results were jaw-dropping. The proof is in the end result, namely the truck itself. The paintjob really brought our SS Silverado concept to life.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Time Spent Working 32 hours
Mechanical Difficulty Advanced
Photo 32/35   |   project Intimidator Chevy Silverado front View
Tools Used:A paint booth, a Sata spray gun, a Kaeser air compressor for the spray gun, respirator masks, Sata fresh-air breathing system, a paint suit, a Kelly/Mack pinstriping brush, Quickcut sanders, 800- and 2,000-grit sandpaper, block sanders, rolls of 18-inch-wide paper, masking tape, and handtools.
Coatings Used:PPG Deltron 2000Vibrance Cream Cycle, DBC908326, (2 stage, base and pearl), 1 canVibrance Sunset Orange, DBC908346, (2 stage, base and pearl), 1 canVibrance Silver Star, DBC908418, 1 canVibrance Crystal Black, DBC908419, 1 canWhite paint mixed with the Silver Star
PPG DT870, reducer (1 can)DT860, reducer (1 can)
PPG Deltron DC401D, Velocity Premium Clearcoat LV, 1 canDCH3520, Velocity Medium Temp Hardener LV (goes with clearcoat)DSLV3025, V-Seal Acrylic Urethane Sealer LV (1 can)DHL3030, Velocity Undercoat Hardener, 1 bottle (goes with urethane)
Total Cost $12,000
  ($2,000 for paint and materials, $10,000 for labor)
Photo 33/35   |   project Intimidator Chevy Silverado creating Logo
Paint MasterOld photos decoratethe Kelly & Son Crazy Painters establishment, such that any custom auto enthusiast would love to buy on eBay. One black and white shot of Tom's grandfather, the pinstriping legend O.Z. Crozier (aka The Baron), shows him standing tall and gangly, wearing a gold-flake-colored hat and a bemused expression as artist and cartoonist Ed Roth painted-or feigned to paint-on The Baron's face. Even Tom's workspace exudes history. His paint bench and stand were layered with decades of accumulated paint, cups, mixing sticks, and paper strips; all of which were piled high and leaning over like an impossibly-colored scene from a Dr. Suess book.
Photo 34/35   |   project Intimidator Chevy Silverado kelly Symbol
The Baron started striping wagons and buggies for Studebaker Bros. in the early 1900s. After that, he worked for Ford for 25 years. In the 1950s, striping regained its popularity, and that was when The Baron asked Tom to work with him to paint hot rods, so they launched Crazy Painters along with Ed Roth. Eventually, the Baron passed on, and Ed Roth moved on. Then, Tom's son, Mitch, joined up, and it's been Kelly & Son Crazy Painters ever since.
Photo 35/35   |   project Intimidator Chevy Silverado logo
We took some shots of Tom at work, and the funny thing was he looks the same in all of his photos, even the ones that were 10 or more years old. There is even a faded photo of him from way back, and he was wearing the same beard-albeit with a little more color in it-and had the same serious expression on his face. Tom said that he was never the character that his grandfather was. Tom was always very focused-and fast, very fast-at his work. It's amazing to watch a man who has been pinstriping every day for over 50 years while he quickly, deftly paints stripes and lettering in less time than it would take to write this paragraph. And, he has used the same brand and style of brush his entire career, a wide brush made by Andrew Mack Brush Company. In fact, the company makes the same brush co-branded with Tom Kelly's name on the package and brush handle. Tom also airbrushes vehicles and may be the first guy to apply airbrushing to automotive graphics. Although, autos aren't his only canvas; he spends a lot of time sketching and painting artwork on the side. He is truly a master and one of the last great pinstripers who has launched their careers in the golden age of hot rodding.
Tom laid out the flames on Intimidator's body-we covered that in the main part of the story. The tailgate and hood needed some kind of graphic to break up their respective copper and black expanses. But, whatever was done, it had to be simple. Enter Tom with some old-skool pinstriping.

Sources

PPG Industries
Pittsburgh, PA
412-434-3131
www.ppg.com
Kelly & Sons Crazy Painters
Bellflower, CA 90706

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