Making a good first impression is something most people try to do. The way people present themselves visually is a big part of this, since most first impressions are based on appearance. In a general sense, a first impression applies mainly to meeting new people, but its importance is found in several other areas in life. Take the automotive enthusiast hobby for example. When you bust out that freshly slammed or lifted hauler sporting a new set of hot licks and body modifications galore, your truck offers a first impression. In short, custom truck enthusiasts either love it or hate it. The other unique aspect about first impressions is you only get one chance to make them, which is why when custom truck enthusiasts roll their handcrafted work of art out of their garages, they make sure every detail has been attended to before it is revealed to an audience of custom truck critics.
The folks from AIM Industries in Mesa, Arizona, are big on first impressions and work hard to make good ones when introducing new products to the company's extensive line of aftermarket custom truck parts. This is also true when they roll a freshly finished company custom out of its shop bay doors and into the custom truck limelight. The company's owner and president, Joe Morrow, takes great pride in building quality components aimed at those who go a bit on the extreme end when making modifications to their custom rides. One of AIM's latest developments is a custom bolt-on 18-inch suspension lift kit for the popular Hummer H2, which maintains the OEM independent front suspension, uses all Grade 8 hardware, and keeps the torsion bars in their stock locations. In order to market this kit and make a splash in the custom automotive aftermarket parts arena, Joe decided he needed to build a wild custom H2 to show off the new lift kit. To get the ball rolling, an '03 Hummer H2 was purchased and a plan of attack was drafted up.
Joe and the crew from AIM Industries knew in order to snag looks from enthusiasts and potential customers, as well as get the attention of the World's Leading Truck Publication, the Hummer not only needed to be sky-high on big wheels and rubber, but it needed extensive cosmetic updates on every surface. To help make the Hummer a cutting-edge cover vehicle, Truckin' magazine teamed up with AIM Industries to build and orchestrate the many facets of the extensive buildup.
The transformation began at AIM Industries' facility in Mesa, where much of the stock suspension components were tossed in the round file to make way for the custom AIM 18-inch lift. The kit is built out of 1/4-inch CNC laser-cut steel and features a complete bolt-on installation with no welding required. This custom lift comes in a silver-vane standard finish but can be powdercoated in a variety of custom colors upon request. A custom triple-shock hoop up front provides additional ride enhancement, while AIM Industries' Airwave air springs can be inflated to provide even more ride comfort. The Airwave is a custom airbag-over-strut setup designed for supreme ride quality and adjustability. To damp the suspension, AIM's custom-valved chrome-plated shocks do the trick for the weight demands of the H2. To make the kit highly visible on Joe's Hummer project, it was powdercoated bright-yellow for visibility under the massive H2 skin.
After the lift was put into position on AIM's cloud-scraping business card, a massive wheel and tire combination was needed to fill the space between the wheelwells and ground. To enhance the extra-tall stance, a set of 20x12-inch Weld Racing Dagger 8 wheels from Weld's forged F1 Series line was mounted within Interco IROK 49.5x21x20-inch tires. The 49.5-inch-tall meats make a strong statement and contribute to the overall intimidating exterior looks of the AIM Industries H2.
Completion of the suspension alterations led to exploring the custom possibilities for the Hummer's exterior skin. Desiring a plethora of custom paint to adorn the envelope of this desert cruiser, Joe turned to L&G Enterprises in San Dimas, California, where Theresa Contreras worked her custom painting magic to capture the cutting-edge look Joe was shooting for. Once the H2 was rolled into the L&G spray booth, a combination of House of Kolor hues was pulled from the paint cabinet shelves, and the fun began. Up top, using House of Kolor True Blue Shimron blended with Platinum and the H2's stock pewter, a custom stripe was laid at the beltline. Moving down, House of Kolor Tangerine was artfully applied and gradually faded into Lemon Yellow for a bright and bold look. Braking up all the blinding hues and giving the paint scheme some additional dimension are aggressive tear-away graphics ripping through the yellow like a hot knife through butter. The intricate tear-away graphics are shaded with House of Kolor custom-mixed platinum and gray hues to jump boldly off of the bright-yellow backdrop. For the paint scheme's finishing touch, Theresa applied flash striping using One Shot Silver to break up the various colors and graphics patterns.
After the graphics were sealed in clear and the H2's panels were buffed to a mirror shine, the front and rear factory skidplates were sent out to Kustom Recycled Bumpers in Pinion Hill, California, for a fresh coat of chrome-plating. Doing this provided a nice contrast at the front and rear of the vehicle against the bright-yellow paint. Now that the H2 had some custom paint artistry splashed amidst its body panels, the next step was to throw some billet aluminum flash into the outward appearance.
To spice up the already impressive envelope, Joe turned to DefenderWorx in Suwanee, Georgia, to obtain a host of the company's custom billet aluminum accessories for the Hummer H2. Up front, a DefenderWorx CNC billet hood grille with CNC billet hood handles makes a bold billet statement. The hood grille starts out as a 200-pound block of solid aluminum, then is cut on a CNC machine for the Hummer. According to DefenderWorx, this unique custom body enhancement for the H2 gives the vehicle a total concept look. The billet hood handles feature machined dimple holes for aesthetic appeal and come from DefenderWorx as an option, since the factory black handles can be used with the hood grille. Keeping the hood of AIM's amazing H2 fastened into position are CNC billet hood latches, which according to DefenderWorx, "replace the factory pieces with big billet components that add to the bold look of your vehicle."
Moving down the side of the Hummer from nose to tail, DefenderWorx billet door handle pulls break up all the paintwork and make a strong statement with machined dimple holes matching the dimple holes in both the hood handles and latches. Behind the billet door handle pulls are custom DefenderWorx CNC billet door handle bezels which provide an excellent backdrop for the stylish handles. Other custom DefenderWorx exterior CNC billet enhancements present on AIM'n High include vents, a rear-door handle pull with machined dimples, rear louvers on the rear-body pillars, a gas cap and fuel-trim ring, roof rack knobs, marker lamp bezels, running light bezels, rear D-rings, front D-rings, taillight guards, and a mini grille insert.
Now that the exterior transformation was complete, it was time to take matters into the interior and update the stock cockpit with a host of custom sights and sounds. The factory seats were pulled from their mounts and delivered to Classic Soft Trim in Commerce, California, for some fabric styling. To give the interior a bright and stylish appearance, the seats were covered in black-leather with maize-yellow leather inserts sewn into the seatbacks and bases. After the seats were given the Classic Soft trim touch, the H2 was driven over to Audio Innovations in Glendora, California, where a custom headliner was made to spice up the inside roof line and the extensive audio system was put in place. Audio Innovations owner Joe Provenzano and his talented crew constructed a black-leather headliner complete with a yellow-leather stripe insert down the center, which is further complemented by yellow-leather covered sunvisors. Getting down to the audio and video enhancements, the folks at Audio Innovations pulled out all the stops and began by installing an Icon TV DV-7 7-inch motorized in-dash monitor head unit complete with a DA-230 tuner pack. Providing entertainment for rear-seat passengers are two Icon TV MT-8001 headrest monitors sunken into the front-seat headrests. Filling the front and rear doors are two pairs of Bazooka RX-5S mid and tweeter component speaker sets to enhance the driving experience, while six Bazooka RX-T2 10-inch triangle subwoofers take care of the bass. The subs were mounted in a custom-built box and coated with textured spray material from Wurth West at Audio Innovations. Providing power for this massive audio artillery are three Bazooka EL-1500 amplifiers and a pair of Bazooka EL-2100 amps. The amps were mounted to a custom-built amplifier rack located just below the bold-looking subwoofer enclosure. Supplying power between the components is Stinger wiring, as insulation from Dynamat keeps the cabin airtight while locking in the sound.
Once the inner realm of the Hummer was completed, it was delivered back to AIM Industries, where Joe Morrow stood in amazement of his once-stock ride. Sitting tall on an 18-inch AIM Industries lift and rolling on Weld Dagger 8 wheels mounted on nearly 50-inch-tall Interco IROK tires while sporting bright and bold detail inside, outside, and underneath, this H2 was sure to be a successful rolling business card for the crew at AIM. Although it has not seen any shows as of yet, Joe reports it is a kick to drive on the street and pulls looks like nothing he has ever driven before. This Hummer H2 will definitely not have any trouble making that important first impression.