Highway Life

Home Is Where The Truck Is

Published in the August 2019 Issue August 2019 Feature Steve Janes

Almost three years ago Eric Madrid and his wife, Krista, were working on architectural salvage jobs, which meant towing heavy loads far distances. Their daily driver was required to work hard so optimum performance was critical.

On one such job, Madrid was on his second trip hauling a loaded trailer from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania when his truck started acting up. His injectors were going bad and needed to be replaced. One thing led to another … and in a very short time Madrid went from doing salvage jobs to starting a new business in diesel truck performance.

That’s how Stealth Performance started, and how Madrid went big-time into modifying his diesel truck.

Fast forward to now. Madrid drives a 2017 Chevy 3500 Dually. He still pulls heavy loads … but now instead of salvage, he mostly pulls his RV around the country to trade shows.

“Stealth Performance offers diesel performance solutions to the working class and beyond,” Madrid explained. His main product is performance modules. This provides diesel truck owners a simple and safe option to get more from their truck without doing a ton of modifications.

Madrid has been driving diesel trucks for about 10 years. He started with a 6.5 Detroit diesel van. The towing power was addictive. Since then he has owned four other diesel trucks with the ’17 Chevy Dually being his most recent.

Since diesel performance is now his line of work, he uses his daily driver to not only tow his fifth wheel (so he can take his family with him to work), but also uses it to help develop products for Stealth Performance. Madrid says he’s been “pretty much full-time RV living while traveling the country for two years.”

This gives him a chance to obtain first-hand knowledge as to what diesel truck owners need from their vehicle when it comes to performance and economy.

 “There is definitely room for improving the low end on stock diesel trucks and that's where our product really shines,” Madrid explained. “Getting rid of the turbo lag and getting more pull down low really just makes it more drivable for everyday use.”

When Madrid purchased his ’17 Silverado, he decided to get the extended warranty since it was the first year for the L5P. Because he wants to protect his warranty, he said he hasn’t gone too crazy with additional modifications yet. 

“It's been really reliable and capable so far,” he said. “But my 2005 Kodiak 4500 is a monster.”

Keeping It Simple

Naturally, one of the first mods added to the Silverado was the Stealth Performance L5P Stealth Series Module … after all, work comes first.

But to make it look as good as it performed, Madrid added custom cut 22-inch rims (powder coated in “Stealth Charcoal” with Black Satin accents), with a custom matte wrap design provided by GLARB. The wheels were matched with  33x12.5 Toyo Open Country A/T tires.

He then installed Fusion bumpers powder coated in black satin, Anzo headlights and taillights, Firestone Red Label Air Leveling airbags and a PISK Kryptonite Kit and upgraded tie rods.

“When the new L5P engine was introduced, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on one and get a performance product out for it … especially with all the hype about tuning not being available for a while,” Madrid said.

Madrid has always been a GM fan, with his list of past vehicles including an ‘82 Chevy step side, ‘87 Scottsdale dually, ‘92 Silverado, ‘95 Cadillac Fleetwood, ‘96 Buick Roadmaster, and his beloved ‘05 Chevy Kodiak.

“I do feel each brand (Ford, Ram, etc.) has its own favorable features, but GM became a part of the Stealth family forever,” he explained.

As for his most recent diesel truck, Madrid said he ordered it in January of 2017 and picked it up in March 2017.

Living On The Road

“At the time, we were traveling and living in a slide-in camper,” he said. “We moved it from the 2005 Chevy Kodiak, to the 2017 Silverado eventually and lived out of it for another five months before getting a 5th wheel toy hauler.”

Since the Silverado featured a first-year engine, Madrid wanted to make certain he went slow on the aftermarket products while he did the R&D on his Stealth Module.

“Being the first year of this particular motor, and confidence in our product not leaving a footprint, we invested in the extended warranty as many of our customers have done,” he explained. “So far we have traveled around the country four times in the past two years hauling the 40-foot 5th wheel (approximately 16,000 lbs dry).”

Madrid has been impressed by the working capacity of his daily driver. “This truck really loves to put in work,” he said.

As he traveled around growing his business, he started making great contacts and friends within the industry.

“It started with a small Stealth decal along each side of the truck and on the back,” he explained. “We had been traveling to different trade events and truck shows and met a lot of great connections. One of which was Britton Wasmer from FST Images.”

Madrid said Wasmer convinced him that Stealth Performance needed a better image than a couple of small decals on the side of the truck and introduced him to GLARB Wrapped, who specializes in custom wraps.

“The rendering GLARB came up with was a no-brainer,” Madrid said. “We just had to pull the trigger.  After the wrap was done, the truck got a ton of attention.”

Since the wrap caused so much attention, Madrid realized the truck deserved some nice wheels. “So that was our next step,” he explained. He got the rims and tires and hit the road from New Hampshire, driving down to North Carolina where Dream Works Motorsports helped add the final touches to the Silverado. “Their vision and professionalism were literally a dream.”  

Everything Madrid and those who have worked on the Silverado have done has transformed his truck into a highly functional yet attention-grabbing machine. “It stands out from the crowd no matter where we are.”

Along the way there have been a lot of people who have helped as Stealth Performance blossomed into a good business for the Madrids

“We appreciate everyone who helped us get as far as we have,” he said. “That includes our loyal followers and awesome customers.  We appreciate the support and the opportunity.”

As for the Silverado, Madrid has invested close to $100,000 to make it the face of Stealth Performance. But this investment has succeeded to attract attention and promote the business.

Although Madrid does all the maintenance on his Silverado, he left most of the installs to the professionals.

“Local to our home we use Rev's Enterprises in Swanzey, NH,” he explained. “For custom work we have been using Dreamworks Motorsports in Roxboro, NC. Both companies are filled with great people who do excellent work.”

Although some people have a problem in taking their work home, for Eric and Krista Madrid, they have the blessing of taking their home to work. The Silverado is more than just a daily driver. It promotes the business while transporting the family and second home around the country.

 

Eric Mandrid

Claremont, NH

2017 Chevy 3500 L5P Dually

 

 

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