Travis Vaughn owns Innovated by Design in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and custom trucks are what he loves. When it comes to his pride and joy, he admits his '02 Suburban languished in its stock form for years until six months before the SEMA show was set to kick off in 2009. That's when things got busy.
Travis turned to The Choppin' Block in Fresno, California, for their suspension know-how. Driving in his stock SUV and handing over the keys, Travis knew the Subrurban was in good hands. The crew at Choppin' Block wasted no time in gutting the interior of the 'Burban and cutting out the floor and wheelwells. In their place went a notch and massive wheelwells that are nearly level with the bottom of the rear windows. The front suspension uses McGaughy's spindles and Choppin' Block arms on the stock hydroformed framerails. The arms allow for so much drop that the frame had to be notched for the tie rod. The back half of the frame was fabricated from 2x3-inch 1/4-inch-wall rectangular tubing. A sizable notch and wishbone three-link with Slam Specialties 'bags on the lower links tucks the axle deep under the truck. The fact that Chopping Block was working with a Suburban rather than a truck meant that they had to narrow the rear axle even more than usual to tuck the 26x10-inch U2 55SB wheels. New Strange axles were installed to match the 7-inch narrower axlehousing and the lines were plumbed to finish the air suspension.
Leaving Choppin' Block laying running board, Travis brought the Suburban to Innovated by Design to begin the bodywork. Off came the original front clip and on went '06 Silverado HD sheetmetal and grille. The roof rack and OnStar antenna were shaved to clean up the roof as Travis prepped the body for the champagne and candy green that was sprayed by Charles Degan of Degan Designs in Midwest City, Oklahoma. The candy green was sprayed over a sparkling base of metalflake to get an intense shimmer in the right light and jump off the understated champagne and black two-tone. Charles also smoked the taillights with black candy and painted the D-pillars to create a seamless look.
Turning his focus to the interior, Travis had nearby Audio FX build a cavernous enclosure to mount five JL audio 10-inch subs along with the JL 1000.1 amp that powers them. In the forward section of the cab, Travis controls the booming audio with a JVC Chameleon head unit while sitting in factory bucket seats upholstered by Midwest Auto & Trim in tan leather and black ostrich.
In true SEMA-project fashion, the Suburban was in pieces on the eve of the 2009 SEMA show. Thanks to the hard work by Choppin' Block, Audio FX, Innovation by Design, Josh Stillwell, and Travis' friends, the truck made it with plenty of time to spare. OK, truth be told it was cutting it close, but to Travis it was all worth it. We sure can't argue with the results.