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Often mistaken as the biggest car and truck show, the annual SEMA Show is actually a trade event. Though it was created with the intention of promoting sales for the leading automotive aftermarket producers, this show brings out the industry’s best customizers. Part of this event’s allure is the many different vehicle builds that showcase all the latest and greatest offerings. It’s all part of a ploy to attract potential buyers to booths and sell parts.


Despite the secret agenda of this event, we can’t help but notice all the amazing rides it brings out. Not only do parts manufacturers want to show off their best stuff, the builders like to take part of the limelight by showing off their customizing skills. We’ve always thought of the event as a place where anyone who is anyone in the scene must be in attendance to prove their worth.


One thing that keeps us coming back is the abundance of slammed pickups. There is an ongoing debate on the purpose of lowered trucks, and we define it as a way builders look to defy traditional thinking. The act of taking a vehicle built to serve and giving it the ability to do so much more makes things very interesting. Every year we are stunned at what builders are able to come up with and here are five trucks that made us do a double-take.


Brown Sugar ’83 Chevy C10 Camper

It’s not easy to come up with an original theme for a truck that hasn’t been done by someone else before but the folks at River City Rods and Fabrication have been able to stun us with each passing year. This time around, Craig Piggott and his team decided to take a classic long-bed Chevy pickup and turn it into the ultimate show/travel vehicle. 


Starting with the chassis, it was upgraded with air ride components from GSI Machine and Fabrication. Then, the custom camper was made entirely from scratch and now has an interior styling of a modern home. Helping to make this beast drivable is a 5.3L Chevy LS engine and the Curtis Speed wheels were wrapped in Nitto Dura Grapplers to handle the heavy load of this beast.


Boneyard Builds ’70 Chevy C10

For owner, Brody Stone, he’s always had a soft spot for diesel-powered trucks. Years back he had an idea to combine his passion for rolling coal with a want to attack autocross course in a pickup. He stumbled across a donor LML Duramax engine and with help from Boneyard Builds, the project kicked off.


Making this truck handle like it’s on rails is a Roadster Shop chassis combined with 19” Rotiform wheels and Nitto Invo tires. The diesel engine was then upgraded with a Wehrli Fabrication compound-turbo setup that is exposed through the hood along with a custom hood stack. The truck has been cleaned up and additions like the rear spoiler complete the racing theme.


Premier Street Rods Patron ’57 Chevy

Recently, Rob Logsdon and his team at Premier have made a name for themselves by introducing the world to their reproduction mid-century GM pickup cabs and other sheet metal products. To showcase these products, they have produced some wicked rides that are next level. Patron started off as an idea to build one of these trucks with a protouring theme. 


Underneath is a GSI Machine and Fabrication chassis that holds down the power of the LT4 supercharged engine. The exterior was then accented with race-inspired modifications. The silver-painted body was broken up with a carbon fiber wrap and red pinstriping. Topping it all off, the inside side of the cab has a mini cage along with interior pieces created and upholstered in leather by Ron Magnus.


Mark Austin’s ’65 Chevy C10

The team at Creative Rod and Kustom are known for building top-notch rides. In previous years, their work has fetched a coveted GM Design award twice. Following up on their success, Mark Giambalvo and his crew completely redesigned this truck to have a super smooth appearance.


To name a few things, the top was chopped, the rear of the bed was completely reshaped, and the hood was completely changed to have only an opening center section. Peeking out on the front end is the 572ci big block Chevy engine with stacked injection for an old school hot rod look. The interior was also reimagined and has a modified steel dash from a ’60 Chevy passenger car for the ultimate custom look.


Weaver Customs’ Friction ‘50 Ford F1

This truck has a long history as Mack Weaver has owned it since he was 15 and just recently decided to do it up right. Like many other Weaver rides, this truck is diesel-powered with a Cummins 4BT engine that has a compound-turbo setup and an intercooler mounted in the bed. Holding down the power is a custom chassis with a rear four-link suspension and Ridetech adjustable coil-overs. 


Stirring things up, the cab was then chopped, and the doors were made to open in suicide fashion. The rest of the body was then restyled to match the high-performance theme and a set of one-off three-piece wheels were custom cut. Rounding things out is a leather upholstered interior by JS Custom Interiors. This is not the first Weaver Customs build to catch our attention and we know it will not be the last either.

SEMA 2019
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