Your mind can't really wrap around the amount of work involved in this Gold Rush Hummer H2. If it could you'd wonder how many years it took to bend, mold, and create such a custom automobile. Truth is, Bill Carlton and his talented crew at Ekstensive Metalworks in Houston, Texas, built the laid out mastery in an amazingly short six weeks. Now able to ride just inches off the ground while turning 26s at each corner, the 500hp beast of an SUV is known in the world of custom trucks simply as Bill's Hummer.

You may have seen this Hummer in other publications looking drastically different, with no body mods, color, wheels, etc. However, this is the first time Bill's reincarnation has graced the pages of any magazine. After the sudden and unfortunate death of baseball star Ken Caminitti (the original Hummer owner), Bill purchased the H2 from the Caminitti family and decided to take the SUV to the next level. The next level meant building a "what if" vehicle that was much easier said than done. It's easy to sit and shoot the bull with your buddies about building a custom chassis, shaving everything, and creating an interior that audio sponsor Directed Electronics could use in its booth at CES. It's easy to talk about, but when the words fade and the truck is still sitting in the shop - well, that's where metal meets welder, and in the Ekstensive Metalworks shop, the welder always wins.

Pulling the body off the frame, the original frame and chassis were tossed in favor of Ekstensive's own mandrel-bent frame, custom motor mounts, custom tranny mounts, custom tubular body mounts, and custom trailer hitch. (The key word here being "custom.") New fuel lines were ran from the custom aluminum fuel cell, as well as new hard brake lines installed. With the frame painted, it was time to install what has become Ekstensive's bread and butter: the air suspension. Up front, custom built, chrome-plated tubular upper and lower A-arms were bolted to the spindles with Firestone 26c airbags installed. Out back, an Ekstensive two-link was put in place and provides the 20c Firestone 'bags a place to reside. Providing the air for the two Thomas 337 air compressors are custom-made air tanks using four G.C. 450 valves and 1/2-inch copper air line. This air suspension provides Bill with ample adjustment for the perfect ride height that can literally be just inches off the ground. Stuffed under each of the driver-side fenders are huge 26x10-inch Gianelle Spezia 6 wheels mounted on Hankook 305/35R26 tires by Derek Kruse. Flipping the Hummer around reveals the 26x10-inch Giovanna Merano wheels with paint-matched caps. Each side exudes a class that is limited to high rollers.

With over 500 hp on tap, smoking those huge Hankook tires is as easy as laying on the throttle. Modifying the 6.0L V-8 with a polished ProCharger supercharger with a custom intake tube, the whine of the blower is intoxicating. Lifting the tilt hood might have you thinking it's an LS-1 between the framerails, with the Street and Performance LS-1 throttle-body, chromed intake, and almost every Street and Performance chrome accessory bolted on, but it is a 6.0L. Ekstensive built the hand-formed, painted valve covers, while a Ron Davis aluminum radiator cools the engine via a custom core support. Other performance goodies include JBA ceramic-coated headers, a CGS Motorsports intake, and a CGS muffler. A custom computer program by Street and Performance was implemented using a Street and Performance harness wired by Peden Performance. Narrowing the rearend was the last task to complete for the powertrain...once it was stuffed with 3.73 gears, of course. No performance improvement was made by installing three 17-inch Directed Electronics monitors under the forward-tilting hood, but it sure looks great among all the Gold Rush paint and chrome.

Keeping fortunate passengers entertained is as easy as turning on one of the seven Directed Electronics monitors inside the Hummer. With the dash removed, sanded, and painted, Dante from Dante's Sick Designs fitted the dash with a Clarion DVD head unit and two 7-inch Directed monitors. Each headrest is also equipped with a 7-inch Directed screen. Replacing the cargo area, Ghetto Bob, from Homeless Entertainment, built a back wall that houses six 15-inch Directed Xtreme subwoofers facing forward and six Directed Xtreme amplifiers facing rearward. Three 17-inch Directed monitors are also mounted in the back wall facing rearward. Each back window was equipped with a 17-inch Directed screen for show purposes only...right, Bill? Completing the video portion of things are two 10-inch Directed screens that serve as the side and rearview mirrors. Two color cameras were installed in each front fender facing rearward and using the split-screen monitor where the rearview mirror once called home. Bill can effortlessly see what is on either side of his custom ride. Looking behind him, where visible access out the back window would typically be, another 10-inch Directed monitor serves as his sight into what is lurking behind him via a color camera mounted above the license plate. Turning to the aural side, six sets of Xtreme 6-1/2-inch separates are dispersed throughout the interior in the stock locations, and two in the rear enclosure. Powering all of the audio and video are four Kinetik high-current power cell batteries. Joe, at Advanced Auto Trim wrapped the factory seats in gray Ostrich leather, as well as the center console and suede on the door panels. A BAD billet steering wheel completes the killer interior package. With all of these important details handled, the only thing left to talk about is the body, and what a body it is.

By far the most custom Hummer ever built, Bill, his crew at Ekstensive, and several super-talented friends and shop owners collaborated to smooth, sculpt, and create an incredible work of metal art. In its previous state, when Ken Caminitti owned the Hummer, body mods were minimal, with the slammed stance providing most of the oohs and ahhs. That was then; this is now. The new body mods are very extensive. Starting in the front and making our way to the rear, a new one-piece bumper was handmade out of sheetmetal, the hood completely shaved (including the vent, handles, and side latches), and new lock pins built underneath. On the sides of the H2, the factory rocker panels were removed and new smooth ones were welded in place. The body lines were shaved smooth, as were the door handles, side markers, and the mirrors. Out back, a new one-piece bumper that includes a recessed license plate was hand-built and molded to the body. The hatch no longer houses the license plate, lights, or hatch handle. Completing the body mods, the roof rack is gone and the three rear lights on top of the hatch were shaved, along with the gas door shaved smoothed and relocated to the rear hatch opening. Bill is the first to say he couldn't have done all of the insane body mods without the help of Aaron, Jacob from Auto Lab, Chuy, Roy, Chris from Chaotic, and Dave from Pristine Image. With the immaculate metalwork finished, the Hummer was delivered to South Coast Customs, where Chris and Skinny applied the House of Kolor Gold Rush paint to the entire Hummer. When the sun hits the SUV just right, a sight as bright as freshly minted gold bars can be seen for miles.

Competing against Bill and his Hummer at shows is a task no one envies and most people have become accustomed to losing. When it comes time to go up against the Hummer, it's definitely "game over." Bill says it's not about the trophies, however. "This truck was built because of friends...and all of them were willing to drop what they were doing to come and help us get it done." Sounds like quality people to us, and the list is long including Joe, Ghetto Bob, Charlie, Skinny, Chris, Cory, Big Pat, Tim, Pat, Bill, Matt, Casey, Ron, Mark, Carey, Frank, Daryl, Dante, Mitch, Leo, Eric, Billy, Derek, Giovanna Wheels, and Directed Electronics. As any good husband will proclaim, Bill's wife, Jennifer, must also receive proper credit for putting up with Bill and his 24-hour workdays for six straight weeks completing the build. Was it worth the long hours, lack of sleep, and pushing other projects to the side? We'd say it's worth its weight in gold.

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