Dan Fleming tells us that he bought this 1994 Chevrolet hauler in 2001. When he purchased the truck, it was bone-stock, and even featured the factory two-tone paintjob of light blue and silver. When Dan got the truck home, the odometer was showing that it had 130,000 miles on the V6 powerplant. The mileage and the fact that the truck only had three-quarters of an engine under the hood, prompted Dan to start from scratch and build the truck the way he wanted. Dan tells us. “As soon as I bought it, I brought it home and started dismantling the truck, as my whole plan was to make it custom.”
Some of the first changes made, consisted of replacement of the stock grill, headlights, bumpers, taillights, hood, mirrors, and bumper lights. Yep, the list seems extensive, but when you’re building a custom, you start with a blank slate. Dan purchased a Goodmark replacement hood with a 2-inch cowl induction, and the after removing the rear bumper, he added a Sir Michael’s steel roll pan. The truck was painted a custom-blend of PPG blue, and like many enthusiasts, Dan sought the help of a professional (Paciotti Auto Body), to paint the body. He replaced all the plumbing with new brake lines and steel braided fuel lines. The frame was completely stripped, and then repainted and re assembled with all new suspension components.
If you like the stance, give thanks to DJM suspensions, as Dan used a lot of their components. With the help of 2-inch drop spindles and lowering springs, the front of the truck is lowered 4 inches, and the rear has been slammed 6 inches. Keeping the suspension smooth and firm are suspension bushings from Energy Suspension.
Inside Dan’s blue bomber, he took the time to remove the factory gauge cluster and make a custom panel to take its place. The new panel is filled with the necessary Auto Meter gauges. A custom ride needs tunes, so crisp and clean sound is proved by a Pioneer head unit feeding four Orion speakers in the stock locations, and an Orion amp feeding four 10-inch Orion sub-woofers behind the seat.
Under the hood is just as far from stock as the outward appearance. A Chevrolet Performance 502 cubic-inch monster is fed by a FAST electronic fuel injection. The exhaust note is developed by a set of Hedman Headers, and a Gibson exhaust system. Finally, Edelbrock, March pulleys, and an MSD ignition round out the motivating details.
Behind the 502 cubic-inch engine is a 700R4 that was built by Bowtie Overdrives, and features their Level Three build with a 2,800-rpm torque converter. Finally, the stock rearend was upgraded with an Eaton Posi unit, and 4.10 gears. The combination not only makes this great-looking truck, but performance is truly a neck snapping probability.
Wheels are one of those choices that can either make the look of a vehicle, or make you wonder what the owner was thinking. Making the correct choice, the truck rolls on Billet Specialties rims, 17×8 on the front, and 17×9 1/2 on the rear, which are wrapped with 245/45/ZR17 and 315/35/ZR17 Nitto 555 Extreme rubber.
Dan has successfully “muscle-ized” his hauler in a way that truly stops traffic, and since Dan tells us, “All of the work was done by me, except for the painting of the truck,” that truly makes this a Homebuilt Hero in our eyes.
Since we’ve started the Homebuilt Heros segment, we have received a few candidates, but we need more. Send us a few pictures of your car with all of the pertinent information, and we’ll make you Internet famous. You can send your submissions to [email protected].