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Pistons spirit loaded in pickup


Detroit Free Press

DETROIT - It was supposed to be a simple paint job.

But even before the two gallons of tangerine pearl were poured on, the ideas started flowing.

What about a Pistons-mobile?

Yep - brothers Morris and Marvin Essix knew they were about to get carried away.

The Pistons had just won the 2004 NBA Championship and Redford Township resident Morris Essix, 41, was inspired. He felt the urge to paint his $46,000, 2003 Chevy SSR convertible truck the color of a basketball.

About six weeks - and at least $38,000 - later, he and Marvin Essix, 39, of Inkster, had designed a Pistons shrine.

On game nights, especially while the Pistons are battling for the championship, you can often spot the ride outside the Hoops City Grille in Southfield, where the brothers park it out front for team spirit. The truck is a merger of their two loves.

"I'm like a basketball fanatic," said Marvin Essix, an assistant varsity girls basketball coach at Southfield-Lathrup High School and a dock clerk with the U.S. Postal Service. "He loves cars."

Morris Essix, who worked in road construction until he went on disability in 2001, said he originally bought the truck for his son Justin, 12. He's thought about selling or auctioning it off, but if he doesn't, Justin could likely be driving it after he turns 16. Until then, the truck serves as a positive symbol for Detroit and the Pistons, he said.

"Everyone," Morris Essix said, " seems to find something they like about it."

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