When we first met Shocker monster truck driver and owner Pat Gerber, we instantly got along with him. It's hard to miss his humility, easy-going personality, and the appreciation he displayed while shooting his vehicles. After thinking about his unique situation-he owns an off-road shop and gets to drive a monster truck for crying out loud-we thought he had it made. However, after finding out this '07 Chevy Suburban 2500 4WD actually belongs to his wife, Randi, we realized his smile was from something else. Pat is married to a woman who understands his need to turn wrenches, get dirty, and go play in the dirt all day. Some guys have all the luck.
Literally driving the huge Chevy every day, Randi has no problem running errands, stopping at the local grocery store, or if need be going off-road to beat a traffic jam. Her Suburban wasn't always this cool, though. We show you the full build-up on page 132, but here is the skinny on the project.
Kyle at K-Daddyz Kustomz applied the DuPont paints to the Chevy.
Before the first wrench was turned, the Chevy was delivered to K-Daddyz Kustomz in Bakersfield, California, where Kyle Gann and his crew began the custom paint scheme. Wanting a truck to represent the Shocker shop, but not be a rolling billboard, Pat and Kyle agreed on a two-tone with lightning-bolt styled yellow graphics separating the two DuPont primary colors. Pat made a quick trip to D'Angelo's Paint & Supply to pick up the DuPont paint and the 'Burban was officially underway. The factory white was used as a basecoat and Kyle applied the DuPont blue to the bottom half incorporating yellow graphics and airbrushed lightning streaks. With the body grabbing attention, it was time for Pat to do what he does best.
Knowing the ins and outs of custom off-road vehicles, Pat and his team at Shocker Motorsports in Bakersfield began the project by tearing the Suburban down to the frame. After several people tried to talk him out of it, Pat went over the edge and decided to take the family hauler body off of the new GMT-900 frame. With every nut and bolt removed from the frame, it was sent off to be powdercoated by Powder Coating USA. His team installed a 12-inch Cognito Motorsports suspension lift incorporating new uni-ball upper control arms, heavy-duty heim joint steering tie rod ends, and heavy-duty idler pivot assembly. A bonus on this kit design, the torsion bars are in the factory location and don't have to be dropped, which keeps everything close to factory specs and helps ground clearance. Fox Racing Shox reservoir shocks were chromed and bolted onto the front and rear of the Chevy.
This is the angle the sand dunes see before Randi launches the Suburban.
Those quick-release clear mud flaps keep the Chevy street legal and look good doing it.
In the rear, Deaver lift springs bring the business end up high. Every part of the suspension was coated by Powder Coating USA or ceramic coated by Brooks Coating. Chrome was added here and there for a great show look. Yukon 4:88 gears were stuffed in both differentials to help in acceleration and in fuel mileage and capped with ORU aluminum diff covers that received the chrome treatment. Providing the rolling stock for the project, Pat ordered the first set of 12-inch wide Pro Comp Alloy 6001 wheels and wrapped them in appropriate Pro Comp Xtreme Mud Terrains, sized 37x12.50R20. The much larger wheels required some serious brakes, so Pat installed a big brake kit from SSBC in the front and rear. Stopping was handled, but making the 3/4-ton family hauler haul the mail would require some serious effort.
Pat contacted ProCharger and had a polished supercharger system delivered for the new '07. The team at Shocker installed the 9psi blower with huge, polished air-to-air intercooler, which helped give the 5.3L nearly 150 more horsepower. Other performance bolt-ons included a 3-inch MagnaFlow exhaust system and dual Kinetik batteries. Stopping on a dime and roasting the 37-inch tires, Pat was ready to turn his attention to the rest of the 'Burban's big body.With the paint cured and buffed to a high-gloss shine, the guys at Shocker installed a Warn Industries Trans4mer grille guard and HP Powerplant winch and compressor system. Also bolted onto the body were Muth signal mirrors, In Pro Car Wear LED taillights, Ryno Lynx billet grille, Ryno ultimate drop hitch, AMP Research power running boards, and keeping everything street legal, Shocker Products quick-release clear mud flap system. Helping to light up the night, a Defender Rack was bolted onto the roof with Explorer Pro Comp off-road lights ready and willing to blast the sand dunes. Inside the people mover is an interior that is clean and simple, yet still show-worthy. Katzkin two-tone leather seat covers replaced the cloth covers and Lizzard Customs installed an Infinity audio system featuring components in the doors, three amps, and four 10-inch subs facing the hatch. Gryphon monitors provide video for passengers and everything was wired using Sonic Electronix. Painted accent trim completed the interior.
It took a little more than three months to create this one-of-a-kind Suburban that does everything well, including get dirty, as seen by some lucky people at the sand dunes. The best part of this truck build is watching people's reactions when Randi hops out of the driver seat and Pat is riding shotgun.