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Front Driver Side
Mike Finnegan | Writer
Posted December 5, 2003

Rompin' Through the Arizona Desert in a Big Bow Tie

M.J. Don of Tuscon, Arizon, is a man with an enormous, devious, and utterly enviable plan. What's his not-so-secret scheme, you ask? We believe it's world domination through automotive customization or rather, local domination of the show circuit. His weapon is this super-sano '93 Chevy ZR-1 4x4 that has been rolling over the competition since it was completed two years ago. Believe it or not, it took less than five months for M.J. to purchase the truck, round up a competent build team, get all of his ducks in a row, and then execute the punch list of custom ideas on the Chevy.

The groundwork for this truck was laid using Explorer Pro Comp components. The independent front suspension was the recipient of a Pro Comp 6-inch suspension lift, custom upper shock hoops, and chrome-plated Pro Comp dampers. The rear suspension was lifted to an equivelant level, using new leaf-spring packs, a quartet of dampers, and a set of traction bars. Topping off the new lift is a set of 40x17-15-inch Dick Cepek Fun Country tires and Weld Racing wheels. Once the truck was aligned and several hundred miles were put on the new suspension to make sure everything worked as it should, the truck was disassembled and every part that could be unbolted from the chassis was chrome-plated. The results are astounding; the chassis is a maze of mirror-finished components that are almost too bright to look at.

Next, the truck was taken to Auto/Visuals and Show Time Creations for a host of body modifications that would put the truck over the top of the competition on the show circuit.

Beginning with the front of the truck, the headlights were recessed behind a custom billet grille and a set of Bushwacker fender flares were added to the front sheetmetal. The stock hood was also trashed in favor of a cowl-induction hood from Street Scene. The stock front bumper was tossed and a smoothie bumper from Pacific Motoring was installed in its place. Pacific also provided sideview mirrors. The rear of the truck mimicked the front with another pair of fender flares but also took on a life of its own. The tailgate and bedsides were shaved smooth, and the stock bumper was removed in preparation for a new roll pan. The roll pan served as a new mounting location for a set of ZR-1 Corvette taillights. Once all the bodywork was sealed up and the truck masked off, Auto/Visuals sprayed several different shades of gray, blue, and purple graphics over a new charcoal basecoat.

The last aspect of M.J.'s plan was executed swiftly by the folks at Topline Auto Interiors of Tuscon. The stock interior was disassembled and cloth covering removed, only to be replaced with a dazzling combination of leather and tweed materials. Street Scene billet accessories adorn every flat panel in the cab, and a Billet Specialties' steering wheel replaced the stock bus-driver wheel. An audio system filled with Kove Audio and Precision Power equipment was also installed throughout the interior of the truck to make urban driving assaults more audible to passerbys.

M.J. Don is a guy who had a plan, took a truck to greatness, and got the job done with the help of some very talented shops and individuals. His is a truck that shines in all areas of competition and even rolls hard in the dirt. We're not sure we'd want to take a truck this clean for too many trips into the dirt, but then again, we don't have the cajones to build something as detailed as M.J.'s ride.

Owner/hometown:M.J. Don/{{{Tucson}}}, Arizona
Year/make/model:'93 {{{Chevrolet Silverado}}} ZR-1
Engine:350cid V-8
Transmission:TH-350 with Gibson exhaust
Gear ratio:Auburn Gear 3.73:1 posi-traction
Suspension:Explorer Pro Comp 6-inch lift/3-inch body lift
Tires/wheels;40x17-15 Dick Cepek Fun Country/15x16-inch Weld Racing wheels
Additional items:Street Scene billet accessories and fiberglass components; Armaliner spray-in cab liner; Gaylords fiberglass bedcover; Royal Plating chrome-plated chassis


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  • We're not worthy of an interior as nice and comfy as the one in M.J.'s truck. The lap of luxury received the full custom treatment from Arizona Sport and Offroad of Tuscon. The dashboard was covered in layers of tweed material and set off with Street Scene billet aluminum polished bezels. A Billet Specialties steering wheel adorns the column. Top Line Auto Interiors is responsible for the supple mix of leather and tweed, which covers every square inch of the interior, including the sparse rollcage.

  • Details, details and more details. The undercarriage of this truck is nice enough for a lady to paint her face in, and there's enough chrome on the chassis to keep the show judges in suspense. We'd hate to be the ones responsible for polishing all that bling-bling after the photo shoot in the dirt.

  • The rear suspension is comprised of 6-inch lifted Pro Comp leaf-spring packs and a gang of chrome-plated dampers. The rearend is locked in place by a pair of ladder bars, which serve to keep axle wrap in check and also to locate an additional pair of dampers.

  • This tall truck doesn't skimp on the details in any department. The body has been highly modified with Bushwacker fender flares at all corners and a completely custom bed. The tailgate handle has been shaved and relocated to the inside of the bed, while the stock taillight locations have been shaved smooth. A new roll pan was added to smooth out the bed and make a home for a set of ZR-1 Corvette taillights. Finally, a new graphic paint scheme by Show Time Creations of Tuscon was added to complete the look.

  • The factory 5.7L pushrod V-8 Chevy is pushed by stock internal parts. The external parts, though, are a different story. Gibson Performance provided a complete chrome exhaust system with new headers, 3-inch tubing, and mufflers to help the engine exhale easier. The engine compartment was also dressed up with several billet aluminum accessory covers from Billet Specialties, and a removeable strut bar braces the upper shock hoops.