While some people may have had the fortune of being born with a silver spoon in their mouth, very few are brought into this world with the natural, raw talent to build a custom vehicle from the ground up. It all has to start somewhere, be it schooling or apprenticeship or, in the case of East Coast up-and-comer Mark Giambalvo, some good old trial-and-error learning. With his father Leonard at his side, he dove head-first into a '52 Chevy pickup--but whether he realized it or not at the time, that learning experience is how he'd launch his now-blossoming career as not only a top-notch builder, but a shop owner to boot.

The father-and-son project actually began way back in 1996. The "guinea pig," as he calls it, has over 250 hours in body/paint and chassis fabrication and over 40 unique custom body modifications. What started out as a family venture (his wife Heather also helped out considerably) eventually led to the opening of Creative Rod & Kustom, in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania. The '52, obviously, is nothing short of a rolling business card.

In short, the truck exemplifies exactly what his shop's name might suggest: it's rod, kustom, and without a doubt creative all in one! Underneath that gorgeous cloak of PPG Midnight Blue Pearl (that he applied over the bodywork he and his wife had previously labored on) are not only the numerous aforementioned modifications, but a highly modified chassis as well (Air Ride Technologies RideProE, stainless four-link, Wilwood discs). The interior, crafted by Krist Kustoms in Fort Wayne, Indiana, nicely complements the contemporary styling, both inside and out, with its sculpted paneling and modern-car features.

It may have taken him a little over a decade to complete the `52, but at the ripe young age of 25, Mark Giambalvo still has a long road ahead of him--one hopefully lined with equally impressive rods and kustoms!