Eric Butler was 17 years old when he received his Silverado as a gift from his parents for Christmas and graduation. He was still in high school, playing baseball and finishing his senior year. It was completely stock but Eric could see a head turning custom pick up when he looked at his new truck and this is what he’s done so far.
“I couldn’t stand driving around in a stock truck that looked like everyone else’s, so I instantly began thinking of things I wanted to get done to make it different”. An avid reader of custom truck magazines Eric saw a lot of things he wanted to change and how to change them, all of that had to wait until he graduated and found a job. “I wanted to pay for the build myself and I found the perfect situation, I went to work for a local truck accessory shop which allowed me to save money and learn about the parts. I also started college which slowed me down, but every chance I got I used my spare time to work on my truck”.
The first thing I had to do when I got the truck was put a sound system in it. Working on a limited budget I decided to build a box behind the seat and put 2 10” kicker cvr and a 1000 watt amp to drive them. I also put in some kicker door speakers replacing the stock ones. And while doing all the speakers I went ahead and replaced the stock radio with a flip out touch screen radio and dvd player. I figured since it was my daily driver I wanted a flip out screen to make it more difficult to tell I had upgraded the stereo and not attract theft. And once done with this I began the saving game for the next phase.
Wheels, I started off with a set of 22” wheels from a friend to replace the factory rollers. This started a series of different wheels I tried before I found the ones I liked. First a set of Boss 22”, then a set of Boyd Coddington 22” billet’s, and finally a set of Giovanni’s. Even the Giovanni’s weren’t quite right until I had them painted a gloss black with silver accents to match the truck paint scheme and add contrast to the all black wheels.
The whole goal with my truck was to make it totally different then any other chevy. And the main thing I didn’t want to do was build a show truck that is all show and no go like most trucks out there. So my vision was to make a one of a kind show truck with lots of power so I can surprise people driving around thinking its just another one of those show trucks.
I was also working on getting the stance lower on the truck to improve the over all handling and looks of the truck while looking for the right set of wheels. So I first started off with just getting a set of DJM 2” drop shackles to help get the truck level and looking better while I saved up to get it to the stance I wanted. So shortly after putting the drop shackles I got some drop spindles and drop coils for the front to drop it 4” in the front and then got a flip kit and c notch for the rear to get it lower and level. Adding these to the truck got it to the stance I was looking for and the handling I wanted.
Now that I had the wheels and the suspension done, next was the body. I had to get more on the looks so I went and had a cowl hood and ss bumper cover painted and installed to change up the front end. And figured while I was changing up the front end I might as well change the back to so I welded in and smoothed out a roll pan to give a clean look back there, and painted the tail lights to blend into the truck and make it look a little different while still keeping the truck looking clean. Shortly after this was laid off because of the economy. So I then just concentrated on finishing college and kind of put working on the truck to the side. But once I got finished with school I was able to get a job and start working on my truck and tinkering with it. The next thing I wanted to do was the interior.
So on the interior, I completely gutted it and started all over. I changed out the vinyl carpet for some black carpet to help get rid of the stock V6 work truck look. I then had the seats re upholstered to a black and silver to match and go with the truck and the wheels. They were black leather seats with silver leather inserts. While I had the truck apart I dyna-matted the whole inside to keep sound in and noise down. Then I sanded all the plastics and dash smooth and painted them to match the color. I then removed the center seat to build a custom center console and remove the box from behind the seat. So I built a fiberglass center console to hold 2 12” alpine subs and replaced the radio with a double din and upgraded the amp to a 1600 watt rms to help push the subs. Figured since I was doing the interior I would do the door panels. I fiber glassed these smooth to go with the interior and keep a custom clean look. And to finish the interior I upholstered the headliner to match the paint and the seats and deleted all visors and grab handles. Custom installed an overhead consol to make it look like it came in the truck from the factory, and did little things hear and there when I got the chance to add little extra. Once done with the interior I moved to the power train.
It was finally time to get rid of that little V6 and add some power to this truck so it wasn’t all looks and could have something to show besides style! I removed the V6 and started on changing over everything to a V8. So to replace that V6 I had a 6.0 liter block bored and stroked to a 427 stroker so it would have plenty of power to beat most things out there and to be different then other show trucks. But along with the motor I had to change over the 4l60e transmission to an upgraded 4l80e to handle the power output of the 427. And running around with this motor for a while I decided it wasn’t fast enough and not different enough so I figured I don’t think I have ever seen a turbo show truck. So I installed a turbo to make the truck more unique and even faster. Along with making it faster I wanted to get more traction so I changed out the rear end from the stock limited slip one wheel peel to 4.10 gears with a Detroit locker. Once I finished all the power train and motor work I am basically done with the truck. I will change a few little things here and there when I decide to change up but as of now I am done with truck. I love driving it around town and showing it off, taking it to car shows to show people what I have done and exchange my story with others.
I would like to thank God for blessing me in so many ways, and with so many special people in my life. Also my parents, and friends for having patience with me when I constantly worked long days and nights on my truck. My parents didn’t really like me working on my truck all the time, customizing it, spending all my money and time working on it, but its what I like to do and want to do so I continued anyways. But now that I am almost done my parents have come around and seen what a nice truck I have built and fulfilled my commitment. They are really amazed on how it came out. Now they enjoy going to car shows with me and hanging out and enjoying all the other vehicles. And would like to think my girlfriend Trish for staying at my side and helping me on those late nights staying out and working on the truck and also not getting to mad when I canceled our plans we had so I could work on my truck or try to install a part that had just came in. My buddy Robert at Alamo customs paints and body shop for helping paint everything. And my cousin Dwayne for helping swap the motors out and figure out all the bugs with switching from a V6 to the V8 and also Garret Stanley at Oddball Turbo for building the baddest turbo kit I have ever seen. And then my buddy Jake with Tuned by Jake who did all the tuning to get the truck performing and absolutely hauling butt! And Calmax Suspension for helping me out with this story.