When it comes to cars, trucks, rods, vans ... you name it, kustom is as kustom does (again Forest Gump pops up!)-that's the way I was raised. With that being said I wasn't shy about bringing out the torch; so much so that there isn't one piece of sheetmetal on the truck that hasn't been altered in some way, shape, or form. Beginning with the top, the initial cut began when I shaved the driprail. From there I chopped the A-pillars 11/2-inches and the B-pillars 1-inch. To achieve a more aggressive look, the roof skin was pie-cut 1 inch and the A-pillars were laid back. Being I didn't want any sharp edges to the re-styled cab I then rounded the door corners, molded the rocker panels, and pinched the upper corners. To match the new sleek bodyline of the top, the louvered hood received a 11/4-inch pie-cut with a laid back nose. From there, the front end, from the core support forward, was completely handmade. Resting inside the new grille opening are five Streamline tubing grille bars in the shape of a slight V. At each end of the lower grille bar is a custom shaped Lucite turn signal-courtesy of my brother Chance-that houses LED lights. When it came to the front bumper I knew I wanted something, but I wasn't quite sure on what. Then I saw the upper ridge in the stock bumper. I cut the ridge from the bumper and completely reshaped it. Final touches to the bumper included shortening, V'ing, rounding the corners, and then floating it inside a custom roll pan.
The rear of the truck begins with a new LMC box. To accommodate the stance, the bed floor was raised 3 inches and the wheelwells were molded to the bedsides. The tailgate was shaved clean both front and back, and the rear bumper was ditched for a molded roll pan with louvers. At the end of each bedside is a Star Kustom Shop CadStar taillight with frenched buckets. Rounding out the entire look of the truck is the fact that every badge, body seam, and marker light was shaved clean. Since day one I had always seen the final outcome with a black and gold hue. What I ended up with was a House of Kolor Black paintjob with custom mixed Kandy Pagan Gold scallops; which my grandfather, Darryl Starbird, and I collaborated on. Bringing out the most in each scallop is lime green pinstriping. When it came to the wheels I wanted a cross between the schools of old and new, and the 20-inch RT5 rims from Stockton Wheel gave me just the look I wanted. Each rim is wrapped in Toyo rubber, 275/40s in the aft and 255/30s fore.
What always stood out to me about customs and show rods were the lavish interiors, especially those of my grandfather's cars (I may sound biased, but it's the truth!). My thoughts for the '71's interior went straight to the show rods and customs of yesteryear. It all started by custom-making the bench/bucket seat. From there I created the torpedo shaped center console with a bullet shaped armrest. The dash was completely shaved, and a So-Cal Auburn insert was placed in the middle with a set of Classic Instrument gauges that I designed. The ididit column is mounted with a custom steering wheel at the business end. Carrying the Streamline tubing theme into the cab is the addition of the custom door pulls and brake pedal, which is an I-channel with Streamline tube inserts and pedal pad. With all the components made the interior was sprayed Kandy Pagan Gold. Lastly, the interior was covered in true '60's fashion with gold Frieze, Pearl White Naugahyde, and pearls. Walt's Upholstery, in Mulvane, Kansas, took on the undertaking of covering up all the one-off interior components.
With the credits rolling, all I can say is things may have snowballed a bit, but in the end I ended up with exactly what I wanted; a kustom truck representing my style and taste, exactly what everyone should have!