Perusing the mean streets of Texas is a darkened figure rumbling with intensity. With a street-crumbling stance and a growling snort under the hood, the truck elicits hidden glances from those passing by. Is it some demonic dark horse of the apocalypse? Hardly, but this '68 Chevy shimmers with a smooth black cape and flame licks not from this world. The purely classic look tells all others to take note.
Back at the headquarters known as Krusty's Kustoms in Haltom City, Texas, truck owner Rusty Stallings enlightens us with the specifics of his mean '68. Starting from scratch, the frame was welded together from 2x4-inch box tubing. Making the grade for the suspension is a Ford Mustang II setup in front, while the rear consists of a Krusty's Kustoms triangulated four-link. Every inch of the frame was dipped in a killer candy coating of Viper Red, and the A-arms, spindles, and four-link were done in contrasting liquid silver. Creating the lift necessary to get the truck off the ground for drivability are Slam Specialties RS-72 airbags fore and aft. Stainless lines feed from the rear-mounted 35-gallon custom fuel cell. Stainless lines also do braking duty, except in braided versions.
Snort from under the hood comes from a Viper Red Bow Tie 350ci small-block that received an 0.060-inch overbore cleanup, forged pistons, and a new geardrive. Ceramic-coated Flowtech headers move the MSD-sparked exhaust through Dynomax stainless mufflers and 2-1/2-inch stainless tubing. Dress-up comes in the form of a polished intake, chrome valve covers and air cleaner, a chrome alternator, and Lokar's braided, stainless, and flexible transmission and engine dipsticks. Turning the estimated 450 hp into rotating motion is a 700-R4 automatic transmission. Fort Worth Gear & Axle shortened the driveshaft 2 inches to connect to the '96 Chevy Impala SS rearend fitted with a 3.73 gear set and posi. Front and rear, Rusty's truck now has disc brakes where there used to be none. To show off the newly found stopping power, all four corners received 20x8-inch Center Line Archer wheels shod in Toyo 255/35ZR20 sticky rubber.
Most dominant on the pristine '68 short box is obviously the mile-deep black paint lathered in the richly colored flames. Rusty started with and stayed with all steel for a contemporary, classic look. Boudreaux Rod & Customs in Haltom City, Texas, gets credit for the sheet-smooth metal. Before the hot hues could get laid down, it was a shave-a-ganza on the old Chevy. Boudreaux removed the Bow Tie logo and mounting holes from the stock grille shell; the door handles disappeared, and the front and rear side marker lights are a memory. Also shaved were the antenna hole, the driprails, the rocker pinch seam, the filler neck hole on the cab, and the tailgate and tailgate handle. Matrix black liquid coloring was reduced and sprayed onto the now-cut surfaces to make a base for the Matrix yellow, orange, and green that exists in the flames. Buried under a foot of clear, there isn't a ripple to be found anywhere on the cut and buffed surface.
Inside, all the factory sheetmetal was sprayed Viper Red to match the underhood and undercarriage scheme. Center stage in the cab is an ISS bench seat covered in lipstick-red ultra leather. Rusty's feet are set in plush luxury thanks to black Bentley carpet. Bill's Upholstery in Arlington, Texas, spread the interior thick with the chosen materials. A B.A.D. billet steering wheel keeps this Krusty's Kustom on the straight and narrow, providing the rack-and-pinion with the needed input through a billet, polished steering column. Speaking of billet aluminum, the door handles, window cranks, steering column accessory arms, and shifter are all made out of CNC material and polished to a bright, smooth sheen. Rusty chose a JVC CD head unit to play his favorite tunes while enjoying his ride.
Originally built for SEMA, Rusty tells us it was a mad rush to get all hands equipped for the finished product. Rusty thanks everyone for all the dedication and hard work. On a sad note, Rusty says this truck is dedicated to his friend, the late Stephen Butler, who worked day and night to get this truck finished in time for its SEMA release. Through the magic of friendship, Rusty managed to finish his backdraft-equipped truck with a hardened stance.
It takes mucho metalwork to accomplish a road-dragging stance like this.
An ISS bench seat adds the right look to the simple interior's classic nature.
Rusty's '68 sucks up the Center Line Archer wheels and Toyo tires with ease.