Jhan Dolphin and the people at Real Wheels Corporation (RWC) in Gurnee, Illinois, are known for building full-tilt custom vehicles, several of which have been featured right here in Truckin'. Many of their builds revolve around a theme that dictates the overall feel of the vehicle, like Criss Angel's Mindfreak magic-themed H2 SUT. For this build, Jhan Dolphin was inspired by his children while they were playing Rockband. Jhan noticed that his children were playing and singing along to the same songs that he listened to when he was growing up. Seeing the chance to build the music-themed vehicle the team had been waiting for, Jhan had to look no further than nearby Rockford, Illinois, birthplace of legendary rock band Cheap Trick. After brainstorming with fellow RWC employees, Jhan contacted the band to get their feedback. What you see here is the result of their collaboration.
Jhan assembled the team that would work on the project: Ron Tushner, Mike Jucius, Roberto Carbajal, and Cory, Greg, and Eric Polka. The same team has worked together on several projects, so they are able to interact seamlessly to build show-quality vehicles, even when facing nearly impossible deadlines while still attending to their everyday customers. Their usual schedule involves conception and planning for the project early in the year, beginning the actual build early in the summer, and debuting the vehicle at the SEMA show at the end of October or early in November. This kind of forethought makes for a less stressful build. That wasn't the case this time, as Jhan explains, "We did get started on the concept very early in the year, but did not buy the stock '08 Avalanche until the first week in September. Thankfully, most of the aftermarket parts and components had already arrived and were ready to install." One of the first components to be installed was the 6-inch Superlift suspension that raised the Avalanche to a commanding presence once the GWG 20x91/2-inch wheels and matching 35-inch Toyo Open Country M/T tires were mounted. The wheels feature a Hydro Graphics checkerboard print by Southern Comfort Conversions that you'll see throughout the truck, as it's a favorite pattern of the band that can be seen on guitars and album art.
Under the hood, the 5.3L V-8 is force-fed 11 psi of boost from a Procharger supercharger. The exhaust is helped along by a 3-inch Corsa exhaust system that terminates in a one-off Zonda-like quad tip that's made of 4-inch Corsa tips and exits through the center of a Sir Michael's roll pan. The result: 550 hp and a smile from ear-to-ear for anyone fortunate enough to be behind the wheel.