Haze and mist thicker than 50W oil loom inside the confines of the alley creating a world of fear and doubt. A scream can be heard in the distance, meanwhile, a blaze of light and fire comes to the rescue like an angel descending from the heavens. Only, instead of trumpets blaring, booming decibels from the subwoofers can be felt. This is no super hero, it is the Real Wheels Hummer H3, also dubbed, the Guardian. Fearing no off-road trail, no dark and desolate alley, not even the bourgeois after-hours dinner, this purpose-built SUV is capable of freeing you from the confines of office boredom, or even worse, the restraints of city life.
Created by the uber-talented crew at Real Wheels, in Gurnee, Illinois, these two Hummer H3s were built with similar goals in mind, but by taking two different approaches, the duo turned out vastly unique. Real Wheels specializes in billet and stainless-steel accessories for Hummer's H1, H2, and H3 models. Needing a vehicle to showcase its newest line of products, the Hummer H3 was nominated for duty and the job of building a vehicle to stop people dead in their tracks.
Now, selecting gears in the Guardian H3 is as easy as turning the billet knob mounted onto
Given the moniker "Guardian," the first H3 built by Real Wheels was designed to be the companies most elaborate and custom rig to date. Starting with a stock H3 before they were even available to the public, the build team began by removing several of the interior plastic pieces, which were sent off to Extreme Finish & Trim, in Georgia, for faux carbon-fiber wrap and then they removed the factory seats and scrapped them. Keeping the original dash shape, all of the gauges and HVAC controls were removed, a new center-gauge cluster was built to house the 12 Stewart Warner gauges, and the upper dash was wrapped in suede by Showtime Audio in Chicago. While they were at it, Showtime Audio created a new surveillance system by installing five monitors in the stock-gauge cluster location which provided views from the exterior-mounted cameras in each fender and hatch. If you're familiar with H3s, you know they are equipped with center console shifters, but this special creation now has a billet turn dial to select transmission drives, and it is stealthily located on the driver door. Showtime Audio also wrapped the fabricated door panels that house monitors and billet pieces in suede, along with the headliner, complete with red-suede flames, and they also covered the Status Racing seats in matching Alcantara suede. Billet sunvisors were built by Real Wheels and house two 7-inch Salient monitors, each. Other monitors include a 7-inch in the passenger side dash, located next to the Playstation PSP, three 17.2-inch Salient widescreen monitors in the rear hatch, and, with the flip of a switch, the floor raises to reveal a 42-inch plasma TV-wrapped in suede, of course. Powering the audio and video system is an Alpine headunit sending signals to MTX amps powering four 10-inch MTX subs mounted in the rear-cargo window area with MTX separates mounted throughout the H3. StreetWires cables and fuse holders were used to keep everything powered along with a huge Ohio Generator alternator, and two Optima batteries. The interior is a modern marvel in upholstery, audio/video, and craftsmanship.
No longer factory, the 3.5L was turbocharged with 10 psi of boost to create nearly 400 hp.
Moving outside of the insane interior, the shell of the H3 needed to be modified. Real Wheels built dozens of chromed billet, polished stainless, and carbon-fiber trim pieces and accessories for the H3. Up top, a polished stainless light bar and roof rack was mounted to provide a home for the five KC Hilites off-road lights. Also mounted onto the H3, a GO Light remote-controlled searchlight system was installed, and provides instant accessibility for nighttime rescues. Other acces-sories include Real Wheels billet door handle surrounds, billet taillight guards, and a burly front grille and hood guard. Attitude Performance in Arlington Heights, Illinois, was called upon for the Rancho suspension lift and while they worked, added the LT335/55R22 BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tires, which were mounted onto 22x9-1/2-inch Luff S3T chrome wheels. Slowing this large rolling mass was put in the capable hands of the huge 16-inch six piston JBT Motorsports big brake kit. Stopping wasn't an issue now, but power coming from the stock 3.5L was in question. To remedy that situation, Real Wheels contacted Club Conceptz Racing for a Garret GT35 turbo complete with custom air intake, header, and 44lb injectors.
To finish off the Guardian H3, Jay Wright of Custom Painted Vehicles in Racine, Wisconsin, came in to paint the realistic fire onto the black Hummer with BASF orange, yellow, red, and white paints. Besides the flames, images ranging from angels, chariots, skulls, and other figures could be seen inside of the inferno. Special care was taken to make sure each piece of the unbelievable Hummer was custom and unique. The end result was well worth the hard work and collaborated efforts. You'll never see such a custom H3 anywhere, we guarantee it.
In order to fully appreciate just how much billet and polished stainless are on the Guardian H3, Real Wheels decided to build a sibling to it. Only this time, by using black instead of the shiny stuff. Starting with a stock red H3, the Real Wheels team went to work again.
Attitude Performance was called upon to lift the H3, and did so with an identical Rancho lift by using adjustable RS9000X shocks. Filling the void created by the lift are 20-inch Zyoxx ZX4 black-faced wheels mounted onto 35-inch BFGoodrich All Terrains. Adding more muscle to the stock 3.5L, a Corsa dual exhaust was bolted on. Real Wheels then added several black stainless accessories which included: front brush guard, roof rack, step bars, taillight guards, gas door, side marker trim, door handle surrounds, antenna, and rocker trim. Now, a whole new off-road attitude was present on the H3 and the team finished it off with a clean interior.
Inside the Hummer H3, Showtime Audio built two custom fiberglass sub enclosures in the rear window cargo area housing 12-inch MTX subs. MTX amps were bolted to a bar and mounted to the headliner with red lighting shining through the plexiglass. A JVC DVD/Navigation unit provides movies and tunes, alike, in the stock location. Everything else was left stock, after all, they already had an insane H3 to gawk at.
Built to showcase the Real Wheel's crew's creativity, build talent, and cool accessories, both of these H3s are in a class all their own. Riding down the street must be a fun experience, as these two would make people on both sides of the fence happy. For more information on Hummer parts from Real Wheels, check out www.realwheelsacc.com
Editors' Note: Special thanks to Jhan Dolphin and the entire Real Wheels team for making this shoot happen, we appreciate your dedication and professionalism.
Popping the doors on the Guardian H3 reveals an insane interior complete with 23 monitors,
Pushing a button on the remote activates the false floor where a 42-inch plasma TV motoriz
Inside the red off-road H3, two 12-inch MTX subs provide plenty of bumps in the road.