2012 Dodge Ram
Austin O’Krinsky has always been a builder. From a young age, he was obsessed with trucks and off-road racing, which evolved to working on trucks by the time he was a teen. The bigger, the better was his motto. As a fan of lifted trucks, he knew he wanted to go beyond being an enthusiast and found his calling while in college when he realized that the custom trucks he worked on were better than most shops. With the help from his father and brother, he founded Extreme Offroad & Performance, Inc. in Katy, TX six years ago.
“At first things were slow and difficult, but once we started getting in work and building an awesome product, word got out about our work and things just skyrocketed from there. We named it Extreme because we thought it was a catchy name and it fit the product that we were creating.”
From enormous wheels and tires to sky-high lifts, show-worthy custom lifted trucks that impress at car shows and excel on dirt are the shop’s specialty. “I have a certain eye and talent to make them into what they are,” he says. “I can take something bone stock and with a few basic tweeks, transform them into head-turning vehicles. There has been a big off-road boom, starting with the introduction of the Hummer H2 and Jeeps, with the hottest off-road vehicle on the market the Ford Raptor, in my opinion. These vehicles have brought back the true off-roading enthusiast.”
With a strong attention to detail, no corner of a truck/off-road vehicle that rolls through his shop’s doors gets overlooked. For Austin, everything has to be perfect or it’s not a finished build. While wheel and tire packages are the most requested customization, the shop can do it all and sees anywhere from 15-25 cars a day and a couple of long-term, more in-depth projects at all times– a testament to how successful Extreme Offroad & Performance has become since its inception.
“We’re lucky to have such a huge customer following,” Austin says. “The majority of our customers are referrals and repeat. Word of mouth is still the best advertisement. That’s why you have to make sure your customers are satisfied with the final product and ours always are.”
Extreme Offroad & Performance’s detailed skills are especially seen on Austin’s own “Clownin’” Dodge truck, which he built for last year’s SEMA Show. “I thought the clown theme would be something different that no one has done before,” he says. As his most costly and detailed build to date, as well as one of the largest Dodges they’ve done, the clown-themed truck sports an insane black and orange exterior paint job that features intricate air brushed artwork from Coachwerks by Kinsey and personal details like necklaces with Austin’s wife’s initials and a portrait of his dog. “The guys at the shop like to joke around and name the crazy clowns after one another according to their personalities,” he laughs. “It’s a true crowd pleaser that we take to local car shows, tailgating at the Texans football games and more. It never disappoints.”
The paint job alone on the Dodge took three months. With suspension, accessories, wheels and tires, the sound system and interior another five weeks, making the build long and extensive, but it was all worth it in the end. “I’ve met my expectations with this truck,” he says. “It exemplifies what our shop can do. We strive to be innovative in our industry. We recently started doing in-house hydro dipping, which is a water ink transfer process with more than 500-plus patterns that we can put on lift kits, dash pieces, etc. We aim to stay ahead of the curve with the latest technologies and engineering that keep developing in the customization industry.” Now, Austin’s biggest problem is trying to figure out how to make something bigger and better than his Clownin’ Dodge for this year’s SEMA vehicle.
And from all his experience in the custom truck scene, Austin has a few words of advice for those looking to build their ultimate vehicle. “Don’t be part of the norm,” he mentions. “Do something extreme that makes your build stand out in a crowd. The aftermarket accessory business is always growing and there are thousands of ways to make your vehicle your own. Just think outside the box.”
GEAR: 2012 Dodge
- 6" BDS lift kit with Fox shocks and coilovers
- 3" body for a total lift of 9"
- Custom lightning-themed paint
- 22x12 TIS Wheels TIS534B
- Toyo Open Country M/T 37x13.50R22 tires
- Custom interior
- RBP custom grille
- Lift and all suspension custom painted blue
- BushWacker fender flares