Home Featured Trucks MODERN THROWBACK


by Fuelish Media

When you own and operate your own auto body repair shop, working on a personal project can be a much-needed break in the monotony – when extra time becomes available, that is. Between customer work and fighting the urge to plop on the couch with a cold one after a long day, and after-hours build may end up on the back burner for an extended stay if a healthy balance of life’s responsibilities isn’t acknowledged and followed.

DJ Mullen is the proud proprietor of Edwin’s Body Shop in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and just happens to be a custom truck junkie just like the rest of us. Having owned quite a few one-off pickups in the past, he had been looking to find another project to sink his teeth into when he came across this particular ’93 GMC Sierra. “I bought the truck from a friend Ricky Ary”, he says. “Ricky had already disassembled the truck and started working on a few things like setting the motor and transmission in so I was able to save myself some time right from the start.”

Even with a lot of tedious work already completed on the truck, DJ quickly found himself facing the familiar dilemma many automotive business owners struggle with in finding the time to work on their own vehicles. “Finding the time to work on this thing did prove to be a challenging part of the build”, he admits. “I have had several of these trucks growing up, and I knew I was ready to get busy on another one, so I put a deadline in front of myself and asked for help where I needed it the most to help get it done.”

Even though DJ is a seasoned auto body repair wizard, he recruited his talented pal James Moore to assist in the prepping of the GMC’s exterior. With the cab and bed already removed from the chassis, the guys were able to start by shaving the trucks’s surface clean of any unwanted visual distractions like the stake pockets, antenna, and cargo light. The guys then began looking to add a few accessories in the way of a smoothie-style front bumper, a custom, smoothed factory rear bumper that they cooked up themselves, along with a fresh front grille and 454 SS side mirrors. The guys ended up making quick work of the body mods and were soon enough mixing and spraying the Boyd Coddington Red paint that is the most ideal finishing touch to the truck’s outwardly appearance.

The next order of business was to lower the GMC’s stance with the key objective of adding some pep to its step. To do so, DJ simply lined up front 2-inch drop spindles and a rear flip kit from Belltech to achieve a front-to-back slammed appearance. Then, Aldan American coil-overs and adjustable shocks were added to each corner for a much smoother ride quality, increased handling and control, as well as having the ability to drop the truck up to an additional 2 inches lower whenever DJ feels like playing around with his truck’s stance. Fresh Wilwood braking components were then added for superior stopping power, and a staggered set of Schott Tomahawk wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport rubber were assembled to complete the chassis overhaul. Oh, and since it is not readily available for full view, just know that DJ and James took the time to paint the entire frame as well as the new suspension parts to take this truck into a whole new level though most onlookers wouldn’t even realize it.

The ’06 LS and 4L60E transmission both came with the truck when DJ bought it from his friend, and he has definitely made the most of the combo by keeping the engine compartment as clean as possible. The LS has been upgraded with a combination of Holley gear in the way of a water pump, intake manifold, fuel injection system, a mid-mount front accessory drive kit, and valve covers to finish it off. A Magnaflow exhaust rounds out the list of performance add-ons to produce an intimidating growl.

While it is easy to find yourself ditching perfectly good parts just for the sake of changing things up, DJ fought the urge and kept the cab space as original as possible. Luckily enough, the factory dash, door panels, carpet and seat were all still in excellent condition in both form and function. DJ even kept the original stereo in place but has wired up new Pioneer speakers for better sound quality. Aside from the Billet Specialties steering wheel and Dakota Digital gauges, the Sierra’s interior space remains an early -1990’s time capsule, which is a welcomed sight to see.

In just 6 months after he began work on his GMC, DJ has knocked out an impressive OBS build that is amazingly clean and hearkens back to the custom sport truck spirit of the Sierra’s era. While the truck was an in-progress project when he got his hands on it, DJ certainly grabbed ahold of the reigns and has made it his very own. From the obviously subtle detailing to those that will most likely never be seen by other sets of eyes, this classic GM pickup is one that will continue to be appreciated by its new owner for the long haul.

DJ MULLEN • ‘93 C1500

  • 2006 Chevy LS 5.3L 
  • Holley water pump, valve covers, intake manifold, Sniper fuel injection system and mid-mount front accessory drive 
  • Custom sheet metal in engine compartment 
  • Taylor plug wires 
  • Magnaflow exhaust
  • 2006 4L60E transmission 
  • DJM 2-inch drop spindles 
  • Belltech front anti-roll bar and rear flip kit 
  • Aldan American coil-overs and adjustable shocks
  • Wilwood front and rear 14-inch brakes, proportioning valve and black tandem master cylinder 
  • 20x8.5 and 22x10 Schott Tomahawk wheels 
  • 245/45R20 and 285/35R22 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires 
  • Shaved stake pockets, antenna on fender and cargo light 
  • Axalta Cromax Boyd Coddington Red paint 
  • 454 SS outside mirrors 
  • Smoothie front bumper, custom smoothed rear stock bumper 
  • Stock seats, carpet and door panels, dash, insert and head unit 
  • Dakota Digital VHX gauges 
  • Billet Specialties steering wheel 
  • Pioneer front and rear speakers 

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