We handed Josh the keys and told him to do his thing. Our guidelines were simple-make it look cool. As you can see in the original rendering, Josh opted to follow the current trend of flats rather than go flashy and that was fine by us. Using tape to mask off the hot-rod flames, Josh kept the factory red and then sprayed the flat black. Old school cool easily describes the new look. Due to time constraints, our SSR still had some details that needed to be handled and for those critical fixes, Project Super Stunner was dropped off in the capable hands of South County Customs in Lake Forest, California. While at the shop, Max Gilmore had his crew smoked the headlights, taillights, side markers, and even the foglights. The factory gray front grille was painted flat black, the silver door handles painted black, and the rear SSR emblem holes filled and painted. Up front, Jeff Styles came in and added a slick miniature set of flames on the Bow Tie and filled the Chevrolet letters on the front grille in matching red. We can't say enough how big of a difference the blacking-out and custom Bow Tie made to the Chevy, but we'll try-it was night and day. One huge piece of the puzzle was missing-wheels and tires. It was time to get back on the phone.
As we all know, wheels and tires can make or break a project truck and with our flat black retro look, we couldn't just bolt any old wheel onto the Chevy. After talking with Giovanna, we ordered a set of matte black Cuomo wheels. Up front, 20x81/2-inch Cuomo wheels in matte black were bolted on with ultra high-performance Nitto INVO 245/35R20 tires. For traction duties, 285/30R22 Nitto INVO tires wrap around matte black Giovanna Cuomo 22x101/2-inch wheels with 6-inch lips. To really make the wheel and tire combo jump out at you, new Koko Kuture bezel rings in bright red were installed in just minutes. The end result is a look that perfectly matches the hot-rod theme and still meets our performance needs. Helping show off all of the hard work GO-EZ performed, the upper portions of the red bezels disappear when the wheels tuck.
Inside the cozy confines of the Chevy, we opted for a more stealth approach, so that we could leave the top down while parked at a show. With our calendar showing weeks left until our deadline, we got a little crafty. In the Truckin' garage, we cut the factory CD-player head unit face off of the head unit in order to hide the new Pioneer AVIC-Z3 DVD, 30GB hard-drive navigation head unit. With the factory face in place, no one would ever know a top-of-the-line, in-dash navigation system was resting behind it. The AVIC-Z3 sends audio signals to two MTX Jackhammer amplifiers mounted underneath the seats. A JH600 mono-block amp powers two MTX Thunder Thin TT65 12-inch subs measuring less than 31/2 inches deep behind each seat. Each door is home to MTX TXC6.1 61/2-inch components powered by a Jackhammer JH404 four-channel amp. All of the audio was wired using high-end connectors and cables from Streetwires. No rattles ever crept up on us thanks to the cabin being covered in Hushmat. Cruising at speed with the top down doesn't diminish the monstrous audio coming from this SSR, not that we would know what cruising in the SSR is like.
It took people dedicated to excellence to make this Chevy SSR really come together and we'd like to thank Art from GO-EZ, Ron and Diko from Giovanna, Tim and Tomo from Nitto, Matt and Bill from Holley, the guys at Stan's Headers, Corsa exhaust, K&N filters, Air Zenith, Slam Specialties, Mac Springs, Josh from Nostalgic Restyling, Max Gilmore from South County Customs, Jade from Pioneer, Jesse from MTX, and Tim from Hushmat.
If only Chevy would have made such a sick-looking drop-top truck, maybe, just maybe the SSR would still be in production. If you want your ride to lay frame or just look completely custom, call the fellas over at GO-EZ at (714) 630-0600. For more pics of this cool project, check out truckinweb.com.