Time and time again we feature classic builds that begin with owners hunting for a particular year, make, and model of truck that they had when they were younger. For John Oates, this '95 GMC Sierra is that truck, but he never let it slip away. John got the truck in stock condition from his older brother when he was 16. In the ten years that he's had it, it's slowly been transformed into the simple, clean custom you see here.
John tackled the chassis in his own garage in Natchitoches, Louisiana, as the frame was stripped and boxed with 3/16-inch steel in preparation for the new suspension. A wishbone three-link and Slam Specialties RE-8 'bags nestle the '96 Impala rear axle into its notch in the frame, while identical 'bags were used in the front along with Belltech drop spindles. Monroe shocks were used all around, along with the necessary 1/2-inch air lines and 1/2-inch SMC valves that can alter the ride height in a hurry. John's wheel of choice is a 22x9-inch set of C5s from Coy's Wheel that lend a classic look to the GMC.
By now you've probably guessed that there's more to the GMC's super-low stance than just a simple 'bag job, and you'd be right. Since John had the body off the frame to give it a nice coat of black paint, it only made sense to body drop it while he was at it. After channeling the floorboard 2 1/2 inches over the frame, John set his sights on all of the subtle changes that would set his Sierra apart. All of the usual suspects were rounded up and eliminated: stake pockets, door handles, tailgate handle, antenna, and fuel door. In their place, John welded in his own tailgate skin and taillight fillers along with a roll pan. In the front, a '00 Escalade clip was bolted on and some intricate metalwork was done to blend the body line into the grille. The GMC bumper was sectioned three inches and filled to eliminate trim-mounting slots before it was prepped with the same care as the body before everything was sprayed with PPG Tangerine pearl. The coppery-orange hue is in its element at shows, gleaming in the sun with the depth and shine that only comes from tireless prep and careful attention to detail.
The inside of the truck doesn't get as much sunshine as the exterior, but the tangerine paint still radiates custom appeal from a dash, center console, and a massive flowing subwoofer enclosure, all done by John himself. A-1 upholstery in Logansport, Louisiana, took care of the shortened factory bucket seats, wrapping them in two-tone vinyl that is a perfect accent to the gold carpet as well as the drivers on the four 12-inch Alpine Type-R subs. The subs are powered by dual Power Acoustik 1,920-watt amps and John controls it all with an Alpine CDA-9855 head unit in the factory location.
John wanted to give special thanks to everyone that helped with his build: Luke, Chad, Eric, Trey, Thomas, Russel, and especially Renee for keeping him motivated to finish the truck. Hopefully John will keep the truck in the family, because we have a feeling that this one would surely be missed.
With the help of Thomas Mizell, John rebuilt the small-block with a .030-inch overbore, ne
John is the man behind the metalwork in the bed too. The twin nitrogen bottles are wrapped
"Shaving the taillights makes it tough to get an inspection sticker." – John Oates