When large quantities of people collaborate on just about anything, there is bound to be some mismatched opinions and hurt feelings. With a show-styled vehicle involved, the project's identity could get lost and suffer from garbage rather than glam. Those facts just don't support the story in this case. DSO Eyewear, GM's Hummer Division, Vortec Engines, and Maxum Boats are the brains behind the brawn splayed across these pages. What should have been a complete nightmare has morphed into a fairy tale of affordable fun.
Starting with a base $29,500 2006 Hummer H3 replete with the Vortec I-5, and knowing that the SUV would never see dirt, a McGaughy's suspension kit moderately shortened the distance inside the wheelwell. Adding to that are 22-inch MHT DUB Cream wheels and BFGoodrich 305/40ZR22 G-Force T/A KDW tires. Compensating for the higher-weight rotating mass are QA1 Stocker Star 12-way adjustable shocks. The planned motor mods called for some potent power, and that necessitated the use of an AP Brakes 6-piston caliper kit squeezing down on slotted and cross-drilled 15-inch rotors. Stainless brake lines add to the performance feel when the brake pedal sees heavy-duty use.
The bucky little I-5 Vortec engine currently powers H3s, and for all intents and purposes they make an adequate 225 hp. Adequate does not a custom make, so on went a Turbonetics ceramic ball bearing turbo. Inside the turbo is an F1 turbine creating a maximum of 8 psi of atmospheric boost while sucking cool air through a W.A.V.E. technology Spearco intercooler. Added to all this is a UniChip fuel and timing controller and a Raptor bypass valve ganging up on the 5-cylinder engine to create 300 hp. Passed gases route through the turbo and then out a polished stainless Gibson dual-outlet exhaust.
Truly boxy by nature of design, Auto Air Colors made all the difference in the H3's persona. Paint 'n' Place was saddled with the responsibility of turning the H3 into a rolling piece of art. Before the coloring could go on, all the rough textured plastic surfaces were knocked down to a smooth sheen. Then, utilizing Auto Air Colors' palette, Paint 'n' Place sprayed a full body coating of Sparklescent Nightmare Blue over Hot Rod Sparkle White. Star Shield Armor clear vinyl protects the leading edges of the SUV. The H3's taillights were darkened, and billet galore was added for shine. Defenderworx's glistening chromed aluminum bits highlight the hood grille, bumper hooks, mirror skins, antenna bezel, and roof rack knobs. PIAA lights replace the driving lamps and headlight bulbs, and paint-matched AMP Research motorized access boards reside under the rockers.
In the comfort zone, Katzkin Tuscany Midnight leather and Royal Suedezkin seat covers, embroidered in the DSO and Katzkin corporate logos, replace the factory offerings. To add to the effect, an Alliance Technologies thick ring steering wheel in titanium and black is at hand for driver control. Defenderworx outfitted the interior in their wares too. Everything from the shifter knob to the interior grab handles, the seat control bezels to the doorsills, and even the foot pedals, are CNC billet aluminum goodies. Entertainment from show to show is provided by a full multimedia system. An Eclipse double-din touch screen navigation head unit fits in the stock location thanks to Scosche and orchestrates the whole ensemble. Audiovox screens in all the headrests and a 15-inch monitor on the cargo door make sure passengers have something to look at also. All together from there the system's power stems from three Eclipse amplifiers. Two Eclipse component speaker sets see duty from the front doors, while two other pairs of integrated speakers throw sound from the rear passenger doors and cargo door. Bass fill-in is from two 10-inch Eclipse Titanium-series subwoofers firing from the cargo area. Tsunami Fishman grilles protect the subs from damage while Tsunami power cables light the fires from dual yellow-top Optima batteries and a 40-farad capacitor. The entire Liquid Trends fiberglass subwoofer enclosure and cargo area were wrapped in Katzkin Tuscany Midnight leather to match the rest of the interior's motif.
Defenderworx's kick-butt billet apparel adorns much of the H3's interior and exterior.
Maxum's $13,995 entry-level 1800 MX resides out back on a converted trailer from Kustom Trailer and Welding. KTW changed the factory single-axle trailer into a dual-axle trailer replete with extended fenders to match. Also, to allow the H3's cargo door to open with the trailer on the hitch, the trailer's neck had to be extended for clearance. All the incandescent lighting on the trailer was removed in favor of LED lights. MHT DUB Shoreline wheels in 19-inch sizing roll BFGoodrich 245/40ZR19 T/A KDW rubber. Matching Auto Air "Hot Rod Sparkle White" covers the trailer and is protected from road debris with a Star Shield Armor clear bra.
The boat itself was stripped down and painted to match the H3 before the flurry of aftermarket accessories went on. Wake Air provided one of their Slider towers fully rigged with its Iron Cross wakeboard rack, stainless five-lamp light bar, and billet mirror mount. Rockin' the water while doing crazy flips is a necessity, so Eclipse was again called upon for stereo nirvana. In the dash is a CD head unit sending signals to two Eclipse amplifiers under the driver's well. Outwards, like an explosion, the sound runs through Tsunami cables to ten Eclipse integrated speakers, six of which are parked in a custom Liquid Trends enclosure hanging from the Wake Air tower. A single titanium subwoofer is fit under the passenger well. All electrical is from two blue-top Optima batteries. The Vortec 3.0L Mercruiser-powered 1800 MX was reassembled with matching interior wrapped in blue and white marine-grade vinyl.
Definitely an outstanding representation of the abilities these teams possess, they managed to turn inexpensive into art. With the fast-growing water action sports market, these vehicles are right up there on the need-to-have scale due to their diminutive cost and gutsy power. Pricing on the two vehicles is well within everyone's reach, and with some slight upgrades either can stand alone with the best of them. For more information on where you can see the water action tour yourself and get a glimpse of these trick toys, head over to www.dsoeyewear.com to find out when they're scheduled to stop in your town.