Here's a truck we are sure all of you Dodge fans will remember. From day one we've been calling it "The High School Custom" because the premise behind this Dodge's story has been what can a kid (or anyone else for that matter) build for low bucks? In 2006 we found the Dodge parked with a For Sale sign on it for $550. After a little haggling with an owner who was glad to see the old girl was going to get some love, we plopped down $500 and drove her home. Of course, for $500 she did have a few problems-like a missing rear window and a heavily damaged left rear bedside. It couldn't have been two weeks after we drove the Ram home that our friend Steve Bentley located a rear-window at the junkyard and showed us how to install it with a minimum of tools. The rear bedside was another matter-it required the attention of a skilled expert. This is where Jerry Sievers and his shop Paint 'N Place in Placentia, California, entered the picture. During the course of shooting this tech we discovered that Jerry teaches an autobody class at Riverside City College. As things oftentimes happen around the offices of Custom Classic Trucks, we ended up with a project on our hands that's out to do a little good in the world.

At Jerry's invitation we drove the Dodge out to Riverside City College and turned his class and autobody instructor Mark Williams' class loose on the truck. In no time all the students had the D150 down to the bare metal and heading right for a fresh coating of Planet Color custom paint that will blow the doors off of any truck. OK, so we are getting a little cocky, but that's OK because Jerry, Mark, and the RCC students are going to hit the local show circuits with the Ram as soon as she's done. By done, we mean the interior as well. After the Dodge comes out of paint she's headed over to RCC's auto upholstery class where the students will lay in some new threads to go with the Grant Dodge Charger-style steering wheel.

Of course as most of you already know, customizing a Dodge truck can be a challenge because custom and replacement parts are real hard to come by for a Mopar machine. However, thanks to the fine folks at YearOne, Yokohama, Planet Color, Stockton Wheels, and MagnaFlow, the RCC crew is going to show that even an old $500 Dodge can look cool. For more information about the RCC autobody course check out www.rcc.edu. Illustration by Chris Brown, 714/865-2086.