Article and Photos by:
Bryan Fross
Model: Holly Weber

   Being widely known for building mostly sky-high lifted custom trucks is not such a bad thing, if you like pulling yourself way up to get into your vehicle every time you want to go somewhere. The name Craig Elder is synonymous with building some of the biggest, baddest, and overall best lifted trucks anywhere. This 1999 Chevrolet Silverado was sort of an unplanned project that Craig could not pass up on. The previous owner had worked on it and lost interest so Craig purchased the truck in order to finish it and enjoy a slammed truck for a while.

   The truck was already laying on the pavement with an air bag suspension including MIC air valves, air tank, and compressors. Being the way Craig is with all of his vehicles, some changes and upgrades were in order for the truck to be up to his standards. The truck was body dropped 3-inches and the body needed some protection from the California roads. Custom chromoly tubing was fabricated into the under carriage to protect the body from any damage when Craig decides to lay it out while driving or if he has to drive over any ridiculously tall speed bumps. SCD Fabrication in San Marcos, California is credited with the custom 4-link consisting of 1-1/4-inch heim joints and 1-3/4 -inch chromoly tubing. The trucks fender wells were in for a big set of 24-inch Oasis wheels which was going to entail a lot more work for the guys at SCD Fabrication. The fitting of the two-foot wheels required them to move around a lot of factory parts as well as customizing some brackets and installing some custom parts that were made to fit with the big wheels. The brake booster and computer module were relocated to fit the custom stainless steel fender wells.

   One of the nicer additions to Craig's truck had also been installed before he purchased the truck. It was a Cadillac Escalade front end and it was a major reason Craig purchased the truck. The Escalade front-end kit is not an inexpensive upgrade so having it on there already was a bonus. The body was clean after the the door handles, gas door, taillights, and rear bumper were removed. The holes that remained were all welded shut and smoothed out. The previous owner had painted the truck yellow but for Craig to make it his own, the truck needed a new hue. Gonzalo's Auto Body in Murrieta, California sprayed the truck with PPG Sky Blue Pearl paint. The truck also has a color-matched Rhino lined bed by Temecula Rhino Lining and a flush California Customs tonneau cover.

   Inside Craig's ride is a bevy of additions to the dash, door panels, seats, and even the windows. All of the tinted glass that was on the truck was removed and replaced with new clear replacement windows. Then they were tinted at House of Tints in Tustin, California with a custom design by Joe Conduff. The dash, pillars, kick panels, and door panels were painted to match the exterior of the truck. The seats were reupholstered with leather Katzkin seat covers. Empire Motorsports is well represented in Craig's interior with billet parts including air conditioning vents, knobs, heater cover, steering wheel, and door panel inserts. The factory stereo was replaced with a Pioneer head unit and chrome flamed Audiobahn amplifiers to pump up the volume.

   A lot of work  was performed under the hood to make the big wheels fit but that is not all that exists under the hood. The 5.3 liter V8 was updated with Gibson header and cat-back exhaust. A custom 4-inch air intake was fabricated to fit in with the fender wells that SCD Fabrication had recently installed. A Hypertech chip was also installed to negate the factory speed limiter.

   Until now, I hadn't been able to shoot any of Craig's famous custom rides but Craig assures me that you and I will be seeing more of his future creations on this website. Make sure to check out our models page for the interview with the model for this feature, Holly Weber.