At first glance, this truck brings back a classic look you may think you've seen before. Red with traditional flames is a hot-rod look that will never go out of style. Add to that, 24-inch wheels with 6-inch lips, a blown small-block good for 15 mpg, and comforts like leather seats, and you'll quickly realize that this is the new generation of sport trucks, not your typical hot-rod wannabe. Built in three short months, this truck combines the essentials of a custom truck with the simplicity of today's styling.
Reed and Priscilla Fullmer aren't your typical truck gearheads. Sure, they have their toys, most recently a Pontiac Solstice GXP-that you have to pry the keys out of Priscilla's hands-but for the most part, they enjoy cars. Son Jared, however, has an affinity for trucks and has built his fair share over the years. When it came time for Reed to roll around in a new ride, he used his love of speed and Jared's ability to create a cool truck to work hand in hand. Being patrons of General Motors' cars and trucks, it was a matter of choosing Chevy or GMC. MotorCity GMC in Bakersfield, California, made an offer too good to pass up and Reed drove a new '07 Sierra home. Next, Settin' Trendz drew up a rendering, then after lining up some parts, the build was underway.
Tearing into the suspension, Jared and Reed performed the work needed to get the frame sitting on the ground. The guys bolted on an AVS parallel four-link with a Panhard bar in the rear, using Slam Specialties RE8 airbags to keep the rear end sitting low. An AVS notch in the frame aids in clearance, while Viair compressors keep the AVS air tank filled and the AVS valves working smoothly. An Airlift AutoPilot Hot Rod digital controller allows Reed to slam or lift the GMC on command. The Sierra uses Belltech 2-inch drop spindles with Slam Specialties RE6 'bags, then Jared made tubular upper A-arms using Howe screw-in ball joints to really bring the nose down. QA1 fully adjustable shocks were used in the front and rear to keep the truck riding in utmost comfort. Now the truck was tucking tire, but the factory 17-inch wheels weren't really exciting. One call to Jason Rushforth changed all of that. Jason launched a new wheel line in '07 and Reed's GMC was one of the first trucks to receive the billet hoops. Up front, 22x8-1/2-inch Rushforth Designs Rated-X billet wheels were wrapped in Toyo Proxes S/T tires, sized 265/35R22. The rear is where the magic happens and Jared stuffed a 24x10-inch Rushforth Rated-X wheel under the bed. Featuring 6-inch lips, the wheels were custom-cut to fit the truck, and provided the Fullmer's hot-rod look they were going for. Tires out back are a road-friendly 285/40R24 Toyo Proxes S/T. Fearless Gear in Fresno, California, narrowed the rear a total of 10 inches to accommodate the large rear wheels. Stopping the Sierra is a SSBC Force-10 three-piston big brake kit in the front and the rear, which was powdercoated red to match the GMC.
Delivering the Sierra to Kolor Kings in Ontario, California, Victor Rangel welded in a Grant Kustoms roll pan and bed corners. After prepping the rest of the body for paint, Steve Deman stepped in and applied the PPG base fire red and then masked off a set of traditional hot-rod flames. Using House of Kolor Kandy Pearl White, the flames fade to Kandy Yellow, then end in Kandy Orange. The look is classic and Steve finished things off using Apple Green for the pinstriping. A SnugTop tonneau cover and T-Rex billet grille were installed for improved good looks. Completing the body mods, Jared added Escalade door handles and Escalade ESV chrome door trim to help the GMC achieve a higher-end appeal. It was official, the Sierra looked the part of a classic hot rod and sport truck combined, but it lacked the muscle needed to be on the cover of our horsepower issue. Enter MagnaCharger and its intercooled supercharger.
Those wheels are new creations from Rushforth Designs and are 22x8-1/2 inches with Toyo 26
A quick drive to MagnaCharger had the hood popped and the factory 5.3L intake removed. In went an intercooled MagnaCharger supercharger good for over 400 rear-wheel horsepower. Polished for a show-truck look, the unit helps the GMC reach 15 mpg when the throttle isn't smashed and the rear tires are going up in smoke. Helping scavenge exhaust gases, a set of titanium coated JBA headers were bolted on and a JBA exhaust system installed. A Detroit Locker keeps the power spinning the rear tires and a modified two-piece driveshaft keeps vibrations to a minimum. Several pieces under the hood were smoothed, painted, and striped by Steve Deman and really give the engine compartment the look needed to turn heads. Keeping the bed protected, Marcel Venable from Line-X of Huntington Beach, coated the bed floor and sides in Line-X. A cool stance, flames, and power are all prerequisites, but the Fullmer's knew the interior needed some work.
A little color here and there really livened up the interior.
Katzkin leather seat covers were ordered in black leather and red suede, then installed by MotorCity GMC. Steve Deman also painted the dash bezel for some eye candy inside the truck. Arc Audio components replaced the stock units and the head unit was left untouched for the moment. Custom floor mats with "Old Flames" embroidered onto them were laid inside to protect the black carpet and billet pedals, while a shifter rounded out the bolt-ons installed.
When building a show truck or a daily driver, there are some simple formulas to follow in order to achieve a great-looking truck and Reed and Jared followed their formula to a "T." They added the parts they liked, nailed the stance, added some great color to the truck, and made it plenty fast. It's not rocket science, but it is a formula for success.