This article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue.
At first glance you might not guess this truck is over 15 years old, at least not from the condition as most truck enthusiasts can spot an LLY from a mile away. This spiral gray 2005 Chevy Silverado 2500HD LT is owned by Staci Sippl, who lives in Arnold, Md., just outside of Annapolis and relatively close to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. As a member of the locally-based Diesel Hotties female-empowering diesel performance club, Staci has owned her dark-colored LLY Duramax-powered beast, Reba, for more than four years, and it still brings her the same joy it always has, especially as she adds more and more upgrades. She joined the club in 2020 and has since been helping to promote the club and its mission as well as its merchandise. She frequently posts about the club as well as her truck on her Instagram profile, where she goes as @bigstace05.
Reba the LLY may be getting up in years, but it’s extremely clean and well kept, and it sure looks astonishing with Staci as the owner.
“For a 2005 it is very well taken care of; some people have even been flabbergasted after I’ve told them the model year!” she laughs.
This truck has also had quite a bit of work done to it with some amenities added as well. Because Reba is the LT trim (which is the most upscale for its model year), it has black leather seats inside the cab, giving it a more elegant touch that matches well with the outside.
“My truck is not even close to perfect,” Staci says, particularly pointing to rust and wear on some amenities and around the undercarriage, “but it is my daily driver.” Nonetheless, a little rust or corrosion won’t stop Reba from looking sharp and performing well. Not a single vehicle build is perfect, especially if the vehicle is more than 10 years old.
“I actually think it rides pretty well for an older truck,” Staci says. “It has the typical loose steering, but that’s actually something I like while I’m going down the highway, because I don’t have to mess with it much. It fires up great and sounds just as good and has no issues starting in the cold.”
This vehicle is still quite rich with its upgrades. Staci did a lot of the work on her truck herself, though some of the more involved installs required going to the shop. Currently, Reba is largely Staci’s daily driver, but the 2005 Duramax still sees its fair share of more truck-specific usage.
“Of course it gets used for towing for various tasks if needed,” Staci laughs. “It’ll also get used for hauling a camper in the future; I spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. This truck goes with me on my way to hikes, so it’s done a good deal of time off-road in getting to the trails, but nothing too crazy.”
Other than that, Staci’s dark-colored ride sometimes gets used for shows, as she has taken it to Carlise Truck Nationals.
“I do plenty of professional photo shoots with it as well,” she adds. That certainly explains why the truck looks so clean in many photos she posts on her Instagram feed.
Reba’s undercarriage is finished with a 3-inch Zone suspension lift with a leveling kit installed by Trick Trucks of Edgewater, Md., sitting on 20-inch TIS wheels and 33-inch Nitto Ridge Grappler tires.
“I got the wheels and tires from Custom Offsets,” she says. “I know that’s a great site to select wheel and tire combos from. Those 33-inch Nittos give me a pretty smooth ride despite the rough-looking tread. Of course the truck doesn’t turn full-range with those wheels and tires but they haven’t given me a problem yet in the area I live in.”
The lift isn’t super high above the ground, but that’s definitely the way to go in order to play it safe in the busy motoring public and when following your local suspension lift laws in many instances, especially when the truck is your daily driver. While most areas are lenient when it comes to lifts, others aren’t so much. Regardless, the modest lift kit still gives Staci’s truck an aggressive stance, and the lift along with the wheels and tires allow the truck to put up well with some rugged and thrilling off-roading adventures. Under the hood, the engine breathes very well as Staci added a Banks air intake and upgraded to a Banks dual exhaust.
Adding to the aggressive looks on the outside is an aftermarket grille with upgraded LED headlights and taillights. Staci also added a three-chime HornBlasters train horn, so she’ll definitely spice up the fun when she goes to truck events or tailgate parties. Although she didn’t do any interior work aside from replacing the stereo, she keeps up Reba so well that it still looks very much as if the truck has been reconditioned.
Sometimes it can take a while to get our trucks built up, but in many cases, it’s wise to only add parts as our time and our paycheck budget allow, and that’s very much the case with Staci. However, the truck is still full of character, and no budget will stop her from continuing to build up Reba. She still has quite a bit in store for her truck.
“Eventually, I plan on adding a new aftermarket grille and headlights, new bed cover, and a new front bumper and/or paint matching,” she says. “I also will redo my leather seats, definitely the driver’s seat. I’ll probably also add an EFILive tune and possibly go for a bigger lift.”
It’s not unusual to want a bigger lift kit when you’ve taken your truck off the beaten path frequently and/or familiarized yourself with local lift laws. With that, she also plans to take the rig to a few more local shows; her ultimate goal is to keep the rig around and running as long as she possibly can. Staci is a bold girl with big dreams who won’t let anything get in her way as she lives the diesel life.
“You’ve got to do what you love with full confidence,” she says. “You can’t let anyone ruin your shine!”