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Written by Kristie Bertucci | Photos: Phil Gordon

Robbie Bryant explains why not every build goes according to plan

Not every build goes according to plan. Parts are either difficult to find, the design totally changes last minute or there’s not enough time to perfect it at all. More than likely, you’ve encountered a few of these bumps along the way, but you probably never had your vehicle completely disappear after you dropped it off at the shop.

Every builder’s worst nightmare actually happened to Robbie Bryant of Keg Media. Well known in the industry for his stunning project vehicle renderings, Robbie’s horrific tale still haunts him today. “I had a few bad run-ins with some shops, including one vehicle completely disappearing along with the owner of the shop,” he explains. “All my parts also disappeared, so I not only lost a vehicle, but a bunch of money, too. To this day, neither has ever been found.”

With his lost vehicle and its possibilities still fresh in his mind, Robbie sought out to build himself a substitute vehicle – something that his previous ride could have been if it was completed.

“I wanted to build something that would get a lot of attention and make a lasting impression in the truck industry. We named the truck ‘Head Hunter’ because that's exactly what I was doing at the time. I was on the hunt for a while for my old build that was stolen and wanted to also show those people, who held me back for years, my customizing skills if they didn’t take off with my vehicle.”

Determined to build a truck like no other, the 2009 Dodge Ram was originally supposed to be bagged and body dropped because it was a 2wd and his wife, Keena, was pregnant at the time. “She wouldn't let me build a big, lifted truck,” he mentions. “So, the original rendering was done laid out on the ground.”

But as soon as she had the baby, Robbie and Keena decided that bigger was better. Modding vehicles was nothing new to him, but at the time he was somewhat new to the world of building lifted trucks. He took to the Internet to educate himself and searched for builds that inspired him and went from there. “I knew I only wanted to work with very well known manufacturers so that I would get the best quality.”

Committing to a 2011 SEMA Show debut, Robbie made up his mind to build Head Hunter only 28 days before the annual Las Vegas, NV aftermarket show and hustled to get everything done. “Time wasn't on our side, but we made it work for us. This was my first lifted truck, so I learned a lot along the way.”

To start, Robbie had Arkansas Customs install a 7” lift with a 3” body lift on 38” wheels, but they were too big and rubbed. So the only way to go higher was to call on his friends at B&C Off Road in Pasadena, TX for a custom lift. “In doing so, we decided 19” of lift was the way to go.” He was able to reach the height thanks to a 16” 3rd Coast Customs IFS Lift with 4-link rear coupled with a 3” body lift. He then used 20x14 Fuel Off Road Hostage wheels with custom-painted hoops wrapped in some huge 46” Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Tires. “When I decided to go so big, that's when I knew I needed to do the sick custom paint job I had originally designed on the bagged rendering.”

The paint and artwork are obviously the most eye-catching highlight of the truck, which actually happened by accident, Robbie notes. After messing around with some new brushes in Photoshop, he happened to stumble upon the look of the “black rusting down over the top of the green” after he started combining them into one effect.

“The biggest thing about the build is its one-off custom paint,” he says. “It has won ‘Best Paint’ in every show it’s ever entered.” PPG Lime Squeeze Green paint with House of Kolor Lime Kandy applied over, while PPG’s Midnight Black creates a bold contrast to the eye-catching color. Ed Williamson airbrushed the macabre skulls on bone sticks which are scattered in a graveyard and continues onto the truck’s center console and door inserts.

Other exterior features that provide the truck its good looks include: Baja Designs Off- Road HID lights, Smittybilt Defender Roof Rack and Light Cage, AnzoUSA headlights and taillights, Bushwacker Pocket Flares, Suncoast Creations Ram air hood, N-Fab front and rear prerunner light bars, RBP RX2 grille and RBP exhaust tips and AMP Research steps. But what good would a gargantuan truck named Head Hunter do if it didn't have the power to back up its aggressive looks, so Robbie added a Borla cat-back exhaust, American Racing Headers long tube headers with race cats, DiabloSport Trinity Tuner, DC Power 280 Alternator, AIRAID cold air intake and opted for a Baer Brakes 15” big brake kit upgrade for stopping power.

Because of all the intricate customizations Robbie added to the Ram, Head Hunter has become one of the most recognizable lifted trucks in the Industry. “I can’t count how many times people have taken pictures with it at gas stations, stores and other places. To me, it’s a masterpiece. Everyone knows the Head Hunter Ram.” Robbie has since parted ways with his beloved Ram, but gets to “visit” it quite often since his friends, Chuck and Ashley Otwell, now own it (they also own two of his other SEMA builds). “I sold it to move on and start new projects,” he confesses. “With all of my trucks, I try to outdo the previous ones. But this one is hard to top. The paint was just really one-of-a-kind and has never been duplicated.”

Special thanks to Kris, Brian, Jeremy, Max, Don, Zach, Jason, Jeff, Joe, Ryan, Ricky, Patrick and Mike for their help throughout the build. But biggest thanks goes to my wife, Keena, for pushing me to do my first SEMA build.

Gear: 2009 Dodge Ram 1500

  • 16" 3rd Coast Customs IFS lift with 4-link rear
  • 3" Body lift
  • Fox 2.0 Reservoir Shocks
  • 20x14 Fuel Off Road Hostage Wheel with custom painted hoops
  • 46x19.50x20 Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Tires
  • Custom paint by Ed Williamson with PPG and House of Kolor paints
Exterior Accessories
  • Baja Designs Off Road HID Lights
  • AnzoUSA Head and taillights
  • Suncoast Creations Ram Air Hood
  • Undercover LUX Bed Cover
  • Bushwacker Pocket Flares
  • RBP RX2 Grille and Exhaust Tips
  • N-Fab front and rear pre runner light bars
  • Amp Research Steps
  • Smittybilt Defender Roof Rack and Light Cage
  • Borla Cat Back Exhaust
  • American Racing Headers Long Tubes with Race Cats
  • DiabloSport Trinity Tuner
  • DC Power 280 Alternator
  • Airaid Cold Air Intake
  • 4.88 Yukon Gears
  • Baer Brakes 15" big brake upgrade
  • Mag Hytec differential cover
  • Custom painted fiberglass center console housing (2) Alpine 12" TypeR subwoofers and Alpine 500.1Amp
  • Katzin brown and tan leather
  • Custom painted interior trim pieces and engine cover and trim pieces
  • Bed Rug in the bed with Swingcases for storage

Keg Media | | IG: @kegmedia B&C Offroad | • DC Power | • Baja Designs | • DiabloSport | • Mag-Hytec | • Undercover LUX | • RBP | • AnzoUSA | • Bushwacker | • American Racing Headers | • Fuel Off-Road Wheels | • Smittybilt | • Mickey Thompson Tires | • Yukon Gear & Axle | • Katzkin | • AIRAID | • AMP Research | • N-Fab | • Baer Brakes | • Alpine Electronics | • 3rd Coast Customs | • Fox Shocks |

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