This article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue.
So much has been done to this Duramax that it was featured at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nev. Not bad for a truck owned by someone from the greater Boston, Mass., area. While we don’t see too many lifted and heavily built diesels from large and densely-populated metros, there are plenty of them out there.
This L5P Duramax build, owned by Nick Ledwell of Norton, Mass., is unique based on the sophistication and quality of the large undercarriage and the ton of add-ons. Nick works as a commercial electrician, but outside of work, his life revolves around diesels and his multiple trucks.
Built, Not Bought
Nick’s 2018 Silverado 2500HD LTZ was purchased brand-new in the vehicle’s corresponding year, and Nick had it built right away upon driving the rig off the lot. His truck wasn’t solely built for SEMA, though. Nowadays, it gets used quite regularly as a daily driver.
“This truck is equipped with nothing but the best products in the industry,” Nick says. “And it has a color scheme that stands out wherever it goes. It was built with an open checkbook with no shortcuts.”
Especially in an area with so many people, a bold color scheme like Nick’s, which is black with accents of purple and gold provided by the powder coating from Prismatic Powders, is destined to turn heads. It complements the large stance so well.
“The truck is fully customized from the True Spiked light nuts to the specialty-built starlit headliner from RFS Motorsports,” Nick says.
Much of the work on the truck, including the powder coating, was completed by Valley Truck and Off-Road in Ellington, Conn.
“The truck build overall went pretty smooth for the entire process, but this is my first serious build. There wasn’t a stone left unturned and in my opinion, Valley Truck and Off-Road absolutely killed it! I wouldn’t bring my truck to any other shop!”
Nick’s build was actually originally showcased at the 2019 Daytona Truck Meet in Florida, but then he had the opportunity to attend the SEMA Show in 2019. There’s no denying the Daytona Meet put him in the right mindset to help him get a lot more out of SEMA.
“Step by step, everything got done on time with no ‘SEMA crunch,’” Nick adds. “At the show, I was able to really customize the truck to another level to show off all my ideas.” Shows like SEMA provide the perfect opportunity for any vehicle builder to get his work out into the world. Nick was very lucky his build worked out so well in allowing him all this time to polish it for the big Las Vegas show.
Undercarriage & Performance
We talk about undercarriages a lot, but they encompass some of the favorite upgrades we see on trucks. Plus, this undercarriage in particular is quite colorful. The front suspension is a 12-inch BulletProof lift with BulletProof shocks powder coated in Illusion purple, while on the rear is a 10-12-inch Kelderman air ride suspension with BulletProof shocks powder coated in Prismatic’s Illusion purple and Memphis gold. Of course, those components play the biggest role in the truck’s massive stance. Below the suspension are 24-inch American Truxx wheels wrapped in 40-inch Atturo Trail Blade Boss tires. The wheels also are powder coated in Illusion purple; the complementing powder coating scheme runs throughout the entire powertrain with gold on the extended front and rear driveshafts and axles. The black VMS Racing True Spiked Crown lug nuts provide a very strong finishing touch on the wheels.
SEMA trucks tend to be more undercarriage-heavy, but their performance upgrades are also always noteworthy. Under the hood on Nick’s Duramax are a custom intercooler, intake, coolant pipe, and turbo inlet from Wehrli Custom Fabrication, all powder coated in the Illusion purple with gold accents. Topping off the engine is a Banks 5-inch Monster exhaust system with a black tip, and tuning everything under the hood is a Banks Derringer with iDash. To better support all the amped-up performance from the intercooler, intake, and all the associated additions, a Banks rear differential cover was also added. Nick figured it would help to have higher braking capacity with all of these upgrades, so he added a Wilwood six-piston braking system with braided lines for both the front and rear.
Exterior & Accessories
A lot of impressive work was done to the body and exterior on this truck as well, especially as it has a laundry list of accessories. BodyGuard A2L bumpers are used on both the front and rear, featuring Rigid LED lighting and Royal hooks and shackles. The front bumper lighting consists of two 30-inch Radiance light bars and four surface-mounted pod lights. On the rear bumper are two surface-mounted Radiance pod lights. “All the Rigid lights are Radiance white lighting,” Nick adds.
The wheel wells are also well decked out with a total of 50 single-color Twisted Pro rock lights. The Royalty Core grille, powder coated black with purple and gold accents, goes perfectly with the color-matched headlights, taillights, third brake light, and cab lights. The door handles are custom-lit and color-matched, and the tailgate handle is also color-matched. Whew, talk about lights and color matching. This truck is chock-full of it!
Inside the cab are double diamond-stitched Roadwire leather seats with ostrich leather stitched in gold. The cab also has a custom RFS Motorsports headliner wrapped in suede; the suede also wraps the A, B, and C door pillars and visors. The headliner has a color-changing star kit with a remote controller. The center console is also customized and painted to match with an iPad Mini built in; it consists of wood grain plastics wrapped in carbon fiber. Also on the console is a Phoenix 12-inch replacement touch screen. Nick added a subwoofer box built by Mobile Toy Inc. and two 13-inch JL Audio speakers with a 1,000-watt amp kit. The box has white lighting and was matched in custom Roadwire leather fabric and gold stitching to match the seats in the cab.
Nick definitely didn’t hold back in adding extras to his truck. On his bed, he has an Undercover one-piece bed cover color-matched as well as a BedRug bed liner. Because the truck is so tall, he had to add AMP Research drop-down steps; he had them powder coated in Illusion purple for further emphasis. The steps are controlled by a ride controller that also controls all the other 12-volt accessories on the truck. He also added a 15-inch GEN-Y drop hitch with stabilizers and a seated step, powder coated Illusion gold. He even went so far as to add a train horn, which is the HornBlasters King 5; it runs off a 5-gallon tank that’s powder coated both in Illusion purple and Memphis gold.
“I mainly built this as a show truck, but it sees some pretty good use now,” Nick says. “It’s built tough and it definitely gets driven more often than your average show truck.”
It does a little more than daily driving, too. Although he doesn’t use the truck for his job regularly, the truck is used as a work vehicle when it needs to be. The truck is well traveled, as it has been driven across the country (not towed) to many shows, the most noteworthy ones being Daytona and SEMA. With his hitch, Nick does some regular light towing with the truck as well.
“I’m actually in the process of getting my Class A CDL, so I’m sticking with little trailers for now,” he says. “I’m not towing anything too crazy at the moment.”
With everything he does now, Nick really could not have asked for a better build.
As far as the near future goes, Nick has little to nothing planned for upgrades. He does go by @pitbullsand_diesels95 on Instagram if you’re curious and want to see more photos.
Regardless of what life throws at him, he’ll likely never get bored of the sophisticated big boy toys.
“You’ve got to do what makes you happy,” Nick says, “because that’s all that matters.” Motivation is one of the key factors to success, and Nick is a highly motivated person when it comes to diesel trucks.
Mobile Toys Inc.
Twisted Pro All-Terrain
Undercover Truck Bed Covers
Valley Truck and Off-Road
Wehrli Custom Fabrication