This month, we are featuring three trucks that don't really have unique stories behind them. This isn't a tale of a classic truck found stashed in a barn and restored to its former glory, nor is it the story of a father and son teaming up on a kid's first ride. Nonetheless, each of these trucks is exciting to look at and provides a rare glimpse into the world of aftermarket parts suppliers and how each goes about distinguishing itself from the rest of the industry. You won't catch these trucks competing for trophies at your favorite show. Heck, you might not even catch a glimpse of them rolling down the highway, which is all the more reason for us to show them off while we have the chance. The Chevy SSR, Ford Ranger, and Chevy S-10 featured here don't even belong to anyone you know, unless you are on a first name basis with the owners of Godfather Customs, Leer, or Al & Ed's Autosound. Nope, these trucks are not daily drivers. Rather, these three have the distinct job of serving as rolling advertisements for some of the sport truck industry's biggest players.
Al & Ed's Autosound was founded by Al Brotzky and Ed Zionts in 1954. The company has grown to become California's largest mobile electronics and communications specialist with more than 25 retail and installation centers. Al & Ed's Autosound founded the Mobile Electronics Certification Program, as well as the mobile division for the Electronics Industry Alliance, now under the Consumer Electronics Association. As one of the originators of the mobile electronics industry, Al & Ed's Autosound was instrumental in the development of innovations, such as FM radio for cars, cassette players for cars, and the first car alarms, and is viewed within the mobile electronics world as a "frame of reference for the industry." Al & Ed's Autosound prides itself on its top-notch installers. Virtually all of the Company's technicians are MECP-certified, and the manufacturer's top technicians have trained all.
To show off their ninja building skills and Al & Ed's impressive product line, the guys at Mike Vu Designs took this simple assembly line Chevy SSR and turned it into a party machine. At first glance, this hauler appears to be a slightly modified custom with the two-tone paint, MagnaFlow Exhaust System, and custom wheels. To get the party started only requires a flip of the proverbial switch, and as the tonneau cover goes up, you notice the massive 32-inch LCD TV fold-down form the bedcover and the fully functional barbeque that slides out the back as the motorized tailgate drops down. The reaction of people, when they see the back open up and deploy the 32-inch LCD monitor and stainless steel, propane BBQ of the ultimate tailgater, gets the wow factor going and displays what Al & Ed's is capable of.
Owner/hometown: Al & Ed's Autosound / Van Nuys, California
Year/make/model: '04 Chevy SSR
Engine/drivetrain: 295hp Vortec 5300 / 330 lb-ft of torque / four-speed automatic
Installers: Mike Vu Designs
Wheels/tires: (Front) AE Wheels 20x9-inch black spoke / brushed lip / BFGoodrich 245/35ZR20; (Rear) AE Wheels 22x11-inch black spoke / brushed lip / BFGoodrich 285/35ZR22
Suspension: Eibach sport lowering springs / Brembo eight-piston caliper with oversize cross-drilled rotors
Fabricator: Mike Vu Designs
Body Mods: Vermont Castings 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill / motorized track system for barbeque / hand-fabricated drink cooler / motorized tonneau cover
Bodyman: Mike Vu Designs
Paint: Two-tone black over factory red
Painter: Mike Vu Designs
Interior: SSR seats wrapped in black leather with red leather inserts / door panels wrapped to match / color-matched dash trim pieces
Upholsterer: Mike Vu Designs
Audio/video: Eclipse AVN5495 DVD/CD/Hard-Drive Navigation / Eclipse XA4000 840W four-channel amp / two Eclipse DA7232 2,000-watt digital sub amps / Eclipse SC8365 6-1/2-inch three-way component speakers / Eclipse SC8355 5-1/4-inch three-way component speakers / four Eclipse SW9102 10-inch titanium subwoofers / Vizio 32-inch LCD television with motorized fold-down / KVH Tracvision satellite television receiver with DirecTV
Installer: Mike Vu Designs