Sometimes when you don't want those tan lines, you have to go topless. That is the whole theme of the 2005 Colorado you see here. To say it is simply topless is probably a bit of an understatement for this truck really has been sliced and diced to perfection. A modern day mini-truck with a street rod twist is bound to push the envelope and Bryan's truck accomplishes that very thing.
The owner of this fine piece of workmanship is Bryan Gillespie of Louisville, Kentucky, the owner of a custom shop called Cool Cars. Bryan will admit he is a little out of his element since he is used to getting down with wild custom lowriders (Bryan is the sole proprietor of CCE and has been since its introduction fifteen years ago). However, ever since making the plunge into the ever popular air suspension market Bryan felt he needed something special that would stand out and promote the air products he sells. After much thought and page turning through various custom auto magazines, it came to him like a thief in the night: "Why not merge the old with the new?" With that question reverberating over and over again in the back of his mind, Bryan purchased his brand spankin' new Colorado, with only 20 miles on the odometer, and immediately had the Cool Cars crew get to work taking it apart for a radical buildup that would eventually land Cool Cars a spot in the 2005 SEMA show at the ViAir booth.
Kicking off the four-month marathon build, the front clip was Z'd 3½-inches which moved the suspension up and allowed for a stock floor body drop. Next, DJM 2-inch drop a-arms were installed to get the maximum drop from the front end. 2500lb Firestone bags were installed in new custom frame pockets and the transmission tunnel was moved up 2-inches to allow for proper clearance.
In the rear, the factory frame was cut off right at the back of the cab and the stock rear end was shortened 3-inches. The Cool Cars Crew designed a unique tubular frame, from 1½-inch tubing, that runs under the rear axle. Once the framing was complete, three 3-gallon air tanks were plumbed into the design of the frame. After the tanks were in place the bag mounts were fabricated and put in place and a custom cantilever rear suspension was designed and installed.
Not wanting to take the everyday roads that seem to be so popular in the mini-truck community, Bryan decided on the concept of merging the old with the new, which was translated to his crew as a truck with a street rod feel, but with a mini-truck stance. This idea came down to a radical chop of some sort to the body. After many disagreements and long arguments, the Cool Cars crew finally decided on a design and style that would encompass everything Bryan wanted and was appealing to everyone and hence the first Colorado Roadster was born! The radical chop on the Colorado flows with a constant angle from the windshield all the way to the bottom of the rear pillars. This gives Bryan's truck a unique look and with the addition of speed glass (race car windows made of scratch-proof Lexan); this wild modification has a very clean look.
Other body fabrications included shaving the big bulky door handles, tailgate handle, and gas door to give the truck a very sleek and smooth appearance. A Sir Michael's roll pan replaces the stock rear bumper and the stock tailgate was welded closed to undo any dividing lines. The stock hood was replaced with a Reflexxion cowl induction hood, the stock grille shell received a Trenz billet grille, and the side mirrors were swapped out for Street Scene sport mirrors. The rear door jambs were modified, so the rear doors could open suicide style and the stock floor was reinforced to support the weight of the side pillars since the roof had been chopped off.
With the body squared away, Bryan sent his truck to Thompson Hot Rods, in Louisville, Kentucky, for a two-tone burgundy and champagne hot rod styled paint job, which is separated with graphics. Once the paint dried and the body was being reassembled, the 22-inch Bonspeed Huntington wheels finally arrived. Hankook rubber was mounted onto the huge billet hoops and the wheels were put on at the body shop.
The interior was also heavily modified to keep things within the realm of street rods. The front seats were chopped and recovered in a combination of tan leather, burgundy suede, and snakeskin. The rear seats were made from scratch, but there is always more than meets the eye with this Colorado, for the amplifiers and battery are hidden under the custom rear seats. The dash and custom fiberglass door panels also received a healthy dose of leather, snakeskin, and paint, too. A painted center console, with vinyl armrest, was built from fiberglass which houses the window and lock switches. All fiberglass work was performed by Cool Cars and the upholstery was stitched up by Scott's Upholstery in Louisville, Kentucky.
In audio entertainment, Cool Cars went with a pioneer head unit, Infinity Kappa component speakers, 10-inch Infinity Reference subs, and Infinity amps. Other in-cab electronics includes a CCE touch-screen airbag controller in the lower dash and Kinetik batteries.
Since this truck is primarily a show piece, there wasn't too much focus on performance factors, but what is a hot rod truck without some performance items, right? Right! Under the hood, a K&N cold air intake was installed and a Flowmaster exhaust system was hung beneath the bed. The stock brakes were upgraded to SSBC 13-inch slotted brakes with steel braided lines.
Bryan and CCE definitely have created one of the coolest Colorados around. ESM has seen many Colorados at shows, but none that compare to the radical mods on this "sliced and diced" sled.
Shout Out: "Thanks to GM for the truck, Percy's for the Speed Glass, Trenz for the front grille, DJM for the lower control arms, Reflexxion for the hood, Bonspeed for the wheels, Street Scene for the mirrors, Hankook for the tires, Sir Michaels for the tailgate and rear rollpan, SSBC for the brakes, Flowmaster for the exhaust, Kinetik for the stereo batteries, K&N for the air filter, Omega for the security with remote start, Infinity for the amps & speakers, Thompson Hot Rods for the paint job, Scott's interior work and to everyone helping out by making this happen. " -Bryan Gillespie