Mike Dempsey had been building this shortened '69 Chevy Suburban in his head for a few years before getting around to actually cutting it up. Most of us would agree that the old Suburban is just too long, and since GM didn't build a Tahoe back then, it was begging to lose some distance between the bumpers. But, since the 'Burban was Mike's only mode of transportation, his dream of slicing and dicing it eluded him. Fate intervened when his friend, Britain, threw Mike the keys to his Tahoe while he was out of town. With the support of his girlfriend, Mike spent the next three weeks taking 12 inches out of the wheelbase of the Suburban, 20 inches out of the sheetmetal, and then welding it all back together so he could drive it to work again.
"Subby" quickly became known as "Tubby" among Mike's friends at www.67-72chevytrucks.com, and the message board thread chronicling the SUV's buildup became an instant hit. To date, the body has been relieved of the fender badges, hood lettering, and tailgate hinges, which Mike reworked to be hidden behind the gate. By the time you read this, Mike will have moved on to adding a fourth door and converting both side doors to swing in suicide fashion and without pillars. Combined with the reduction in wheelbase and a vintage roof rack, and you can see the appeal of this one-of-a-kind cruiser.
The rest of the truck is just as cool. Although it was originally a 396 truck, Tubby now moves out thanks to a 476-cid big-block and a suspension that's tight enough to run circles around a few Porsches and BMWs. Mike combined Early Classic Enterprises drop spindles, Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks, and a 1.25-inch sway bar with a Suicidedoors.com airbag kit up front for a controlled ride. Out back, a KP Components step notch adds much-needed axle clearance, while Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags carry the load and an ECE Super-Track Panhard keeps the rearend in check. Toss in a set of Coys C5 rims in 20/22-inch diameter stuffed inside low-profile rubber, and Tubby looks the part of a serious player on the road. Mike's got more than a few tricks left up his sleeve for Tubby. We can't wait to see the finished product because this is one hell of a start.