Designed To Impress

Custom Auto builds SEMA Truck

December 2018 Feature Steve Janes

 On a golf course it’s “drive for show, putt for dough.” But on the highway, if you’re going to “drive for show” it’s going to cost you lots of dough. In other words, a show truck doesn’t come cheap … but the looks you get when you drive it are priceless.

For James Brendle, owner of Custom Auto LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, building show trucks isn’t anything new, nor are the stares from other motorists when he drives his truck down the highway.

Since 2002, Brendle has built more than 10 show trucks. This year’s project is a 2017 Ford F350 Super Duty—his Premier DPI Build Truck. (Next year he plans to take a Ford F150 diesel and take it to the limit with performance parts.)

Brendle doesn’t just start throwing parts at a vehicle and hopes it morphs into something impressive. He starts with a plan. For the Premier DPI Build Truck, the plan was to make a display truck for some of the largest truck shows in the nation—including SEMA, UCC/DPI Expo and the Northwest Diesel Circuit.

SEMA is scheduled for Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Las Vegas, NV. It features more than 2,400 exhibiting companies with a wide variety of vehicle accessories—and there are a lot of impressive trucks on display. Brendle uses SEMA and the other shows to not only showcase what can be done to a diesel pickup, but to display on his vehicle many of the products he sells at Custom Auto. This gives consumers a chance to see how these various products look when installed.

Brendle says Custom Auto works closely with Premier Performance (a wholesale performance products distributor) and Outlaw Diesel (an authorized dealer for prominent diesel products) to build a vehicle that not only catches the attention of diesel owners, but also becomes the ultimate daily drive.

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