Upon purchasing his 2004 Chevy Colorado, Dave Tavares faced a predicament that many enthusiasts can sympathize with. The original plan was to keep an all OEM truck as a reliable daily driver. Nevertheless the urge to modify and customize continued to pester Dave. First, the Chevy was lowered. Then, Dave purchased a set of wheels. After just a few months of ownership, Dave gave in to the pressure and decided to commit to a full build. He reached out to Sam Hutchinson, owner-operator of Epic Rod & Custom. Together, the two devised a wicked plan for Dave’s custom Colorado and Orange Krush was born.
Words: Michael Phillips | Photos: Christine Elliot & Jager Bron
Dave’s Colorado is a proper build, from the ground up as the extensive build process began with a complete teardown. Once Sam had the body separated from the frame, the real fun began. The plan was to build a custom chassis to accommodate a 2.5-inch stock-floor body drop. Sam and the Epic team achieved this by fabricating a custom frame using 2×3-inch box tube and the front clip was Z’d to keep everything aligned. The front suspension makes use of custom upper and lower control arms. The rear uses a unique bag-on-bar, 3-link wishbone configuration. The rearend was narrowed by two inches and outfitted with Mosier axels and both the front and rear feature Air Lift Dominator bags. The custom chassis was then torn down and fully power coated, showing off and protecting the world-class fabrication.
With the custom chassis buttoned up, the Colorado laid flat to Mother Earth right where she belongs. Thanks to the narrowed rearend and custom control arms, the wheel wells had no trouble devouring the 22-inch Dub “Shot Colla” chrome wheels. Bringing the rolling attire to a quick stop are factory disc brakes in the front with upgraded pads and rotors. Both the front and rear are fed through custom hard lines bent-up for the tube-chassis.
Dave’s Colorado is an extremely well-balanced build. It’s both elaborate and humble, fitting Dave’s personality to a tee. Underneath the hood is the factory built 2.8L 4-cylinder. The General Motors Ecotec 4-banger is known for its reliability and adequate torque. Its parring with a 5-speed manual gearbox is absolutely perfect for this application. A custom exhaust system features a Magnaflow muffler that was fabricated to fit the chassis.
Dave’s truck achieves a special look. One that takes a dramatic stance and curb appeal and presents it in a way that could have been factory designed. This mark of the genre is only accomplished with exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail. Along with this look comes body modifications that are elaborate without being distracting. The primary modifications come by way of a molded rear rollpan, SS-style front bumper, billet grille inserts, paint-matched tail light covers, and custom inner fenders. The hand-built inner fenders leave the engine bay clean and neat, while providing the needed clearance for the deeply tucked wheels. The truck’s bed floor has been raised and finished to a factory appearance. Once the heavy modifications of the body were complete, the truck was given its signature Orange Krush color.
The Colorado’s interior is thoroughly customized but remains the same clean factory appearance. The entire dash has been painted a rich, glossy black. The black extends through the door panels, headliner, carpet, and one-off upholstery. Complementing the black are bright flashes of orange. The black billet steering wheel’s grip is wrapped in orange, as are the seat inserts and door panel inserts. The seatbelts have also been replaced with bright orange counterparts. The truck is an extended cab model, but the rear seat has been deleted to make room for a proper sound system. The back of the cab houses a custom panel for the Hertz subwoofers. The panel is trimmed in the same black and orange. The system is paired with a Kenwood touchscreen head unit for a flawless audio interface.
The flawless execution of Dave’s truck is what sets it apart with every little detail. A clean and classic minitruck built on a modern platform, Orange Krush stands out. Its minimal approach to exterior styling mingles with the top-shelf chassis fabrication and truly custom interior. The formula adds up to a current classic and serves Dave well as he continues to pour his passion into the minitruck scene from the North and beyond. Bravo gents!