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SP Rides: Forever is Forever

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BY MICHAEL KITCHENS

Name: Lopaka Rodrigues
Age: 36
Occupation: Kamakaze Garage
Hobbies: Drifting, RC racing, video games
Year, Make, Model: 1994 Chevrolet Silverado
Color: House of Kolor Candy Apple Red Top with Kamakaze Solid Black and custom
Engine/Transmission: 350 Chevy V8 out of a 1989 Silverado, 700R transmission fully built with shift kit, stall, nine-clutch, Airaid intake systems, Flowmaster with fatty 4-inch tips
Exterior:
Two-tone paint, custom offset wheels with pulled fenders; LED taillights, headlights and blinkers
Interior:
Custom interior upholstery and door panels, Wet Okole seat covers, Autometer aftermarket gauges, color-matched steering wheel
Suspension: C-notched, air shocks, Belltech lowering kit
Wheels/Brakes/Tires: 20 by 8 front, 20 by 10 One Off Raceline wheels, Milestar MS932 tires

For the Rodrigues brothers, their 1994 Chevrolet Silverado it does it all — from hauling and carrying dirt bikes, to towing drift cars, this truck can be used for everything; you name it! It’s what you call a really nice work truck, plus it sure is pretty. Lopaka Rodrigues and his brother Keoni put some serious effort into revitalizing this workhorse, and for good reason.

Originally, this 1994 Chevrolet Silverado rolled with its standard V6 engine but after a not-so-gentle ending to its life, it was swapped out with a 350 Chevy V8 from a previous 1989 model. Along with the swap came the requisite upgrades to give this truck a muscular update. This included a fully built 700R transmission with upgraded 9 stall and shift kit that helps put it down when needed. An Airaid intake system along with a Flowmaster exhaust with fat tips to help to deliver some added performance.

The body is exquisitely detailed in House of Kolor Candy Apple Red and its own custom mix of Kamakaze Solid Black. The ever-present DJ Wish (aka Mike Quering) took great pains in the application of the pin-striping that travels along the body lines as well as the hood and tailgate.  The result is a side of a Silverado so clean and pretty you could eat off of it. Custom LED lighting has been layered throughout the ride with an emphasis on new headlights, turn signals, taillights and interior lighting. A color-matched Chevy emblem sets off the aftermarket grill, as well as aftermarket low profile mirrors.

Suspension wise, the entire vehicle has a Belltech lowering kit fitted which drops it about 5 to 6 inches. The truck has also been c-notched and rides on air shocks. Of special note are the 20 by 9 and 20 by 10 custom-ordered Raceline polished chrome wheels. These bad boys were originally ordered a bit too wide resulting in the need to pull and roll the fenders. The look is so subtle that only a fellow Chevy lover would be able to tell. The brake calipers and rear drums have also been color matched.

The interior has been retrofitted with OEM components as well as being color matched as well. An aftermarket steering wheel has been fitted and custom tailored Okole seat covers. Several aftermarket gauges provide additional monitoring for the engine components. Even the door panels have been swapped out and color matched for an upper class feeling.

So, why all of the love and affection for what amounts to a do-it-all work truck? In reality this ride is a tribute to Lopaka and Keoni’s recently departed mother and father, Cheryl and Bobby. It’s actually Bobby’s former ride so letting go just doesn’t translate for the brothers. “This one goes with us to the grave,” said Lopaka and Keoni.