BUILDING A CUSTOM VEHICLE IS NOT AN EASY TASK, AND BUILDING A CUSTOM VEHICLE THAT IS A DAILY DRIVER IS EVEN MORE DIFFICULT. Luckily, Erick Griffey of New Market, Tennessee, has a lot of supportive family and friends who were always willing to lend a hand.
“My family has been a major part of this truck build,” he says. “From encouragement and support to laying paint, my family has always been there for me.”
Sometimes picking a name for a build can be tough, but Family Pride fits Erick’s truck and life perfectly.
Erick purchased this black ’03 Chevy Silverado 1500 brand new with 8 miles on the odometer. This was to be Erick’s daily driver. He didn’t have a garage or carport at the time, so it had to sit outside every single day. Erick loved the platform and body lines of the truck and knew it was a perfect fit for him. As just about every vehicle enthusiast knows, it wouldn’t stay stock for long! The very next day, Erick put a set of 20-inch Lexani Slates on the truck. After changing the wheels, Erick was hooked on making this a custom vehicle.
“I loved the platform of the truck but wanted to be different,” he recalls.
Erick knew this was going to be difficult because he had never built anything like what he was imagining. After the wheels, he bought a BellTech 4/6 lowering kit and had TuffEnuffin Morristown, Tennessee, install it. It was low, but not low enough!
Erick started taking the truck to a few shows in 2004. He decided to drive out to Nashville for Southeastern Mini-Truck Nationals. Erick was only going to the show to check out all of the other rides.
“But it was cheaper to enter the truck for the weekend than it was spectating and paying for parking each day,” he laughs.
This was a huge show and he knew he had a lot of competition. To his surprise, he was presented with a second-place trophy. To this day, Southeastern Mini-Truck Nationals holds a special place in Erick’s heart because, as he says, “that was the show that started everything for me.”
Unfortunately, only two weeks after the show, Erick was T-boned. The truck took a hard hit to the passenger side of the truck bed. He was devastated and heartbroken, and he just knew there was too much damage that couldn’t be repaired. Erick’s father, Rick Griffey, who happens to do bodywork, took a look at the truck after the accident. To Erick’s amazement, Rick said he could fix it. After many hours of hard work, the truck rolled out of the garage and looked as good as new. After the accident, Erick was determined to continue the build.
Little by little, Erick built the truck of his dreams. In 2008, he purchased a full air-ride setup. Erick took all of the components to his uncle’s body shop, J.R. Griffey & Son Body Shop, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Although this was Erick’s first time installing an air-ride system, he was determined to get the job done.
“I took a layoff at work and my uncle was retired so we built this truck together,” Erick says.
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