Suspension was next on the list. The front required a set of BHC upper and lower control arms, McGaughy's drop spindles, and a set of Slam Specialties airbags with custom mounts on the frame. Out back, the rearend was narrowed 4 inches, and a wishbone three-link was fabricated. Terry then bent and welded in several steel tubes to strengthen the frame as well as integrating two air tanks for air supply. When all of the components were finished, the chassis was powdercoated to match the color of the body.
With the frame work and suspension done, all that was left were finishing details like the interior upholstery and coating the bed in Line-X. During these final stages, it was rushed to make it in the Air-Zenith booth at the 2007 SEMA Show. Of course, everyone drooled over it, but little did they know the history behind it. Not only was it painted years before, but it used to get torn up from being hopped. That kind of transition is rare, especially for a vehicle that turned out so clean.
Justin had to do a lot of work to get the truck to look as it does on these pages. He can always shock and entertain people by telling them that it use to hop about 2 feet in the air.
THE HOPPER Justin didn't lie...
Justin didn't lie when he told us that he hopped his truck. We were told it got about 24 inches in the air.
Justin "Kitty" Kitahara / Reedley, California
'99 GMC Sierra
GM 5.3L V-8 engine / Airaid cold-air intake / custom exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers / Optima YellowTop battery / factory automatic transmission / rearend narrowed 4 inches
By: Terry Elms of Draggers Inc., Fresno, California
Front & Rear: 24x10 bonspeed Tsunami
Front & Rear: 275/30ZR24 Nitto Invo
Front: BHC upper and lower control arms / McGaughy's drop spindles / Slam Specialties HE-7 airbags
Rear: Custom wishbone three-link / Slam Specialties HE-7 airbags / Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks
Two Air-Zenith compressors / 3/8-inch Parker valves (to make sure Justin doesn't hop it again) / custom aluminum 18-gallon fuel cell
Factory front clip raised up / custom body-drop-less frame from the firewall back built from 2x4-inch mandrel-bent steel tubing / custom round tubing in the rear with two air tanks
By: Terry Elms
'04 GMC grille shell with Denali headlights / shortened '99 GMC Denali front bumper / Street Scene mirrors / shaved door handles, third brake light, taillights, stake pockets on bedrails, fuel door, tailgate handle, and Sir Michaels roll pan / two Hitech LEDs in gap between roll pan and tailgate / custom wheeltubs in bed / Line-X spray-on bedliner
By: The Hot Rod Shop, Fresno, California / Line-X, Clovis, California
Corvette factory blue, DuPont Hot Hues Midori Sour, House of Kolor Blue (graphics), and House of Kolor Silver Mini Flake (graphics)
By: The Hot Rod Shop (bodywork and base colors) / Kool Hand Luke of Kool Hand Kreazionz, Fresno, California (graphics)
Factory bucket seats reshaped and covered in blue and gray suede / all other interior panels covered in suede / top half of dash smoothed and painted / '02 Escalade gauge cluster
By: Raudell Jacobo of Big Daddy Upholstery, Pixley, California / Walter Pena of Jay's Auto Body, Fowler, California
Factory head unit / 6.5-inch Focal mids and tweeters in the doors
Jay Martinez, Jeremy, Walter, Benji, Bobby, his parents, Air-Zenith, bonspeed, Discount Tire Center, Line-X, McGaughy's, Nitto Tire, Slam Specialties, and Valley Controls