An Unmistakably Cool GMC
'02 GMC Sierra 1500
Our cover trucks come from a couple of Central Californian brothers-twin brothers to be precise. The beautiful GMC Sierras of Chris and Michael Torosian were too cool to pass up, so we seized the opportunity to photograph them together with the vivacious Cora Skinner (you can thank us later). It would be too clich to lump both trucks into the same story, so we split up the twins with good reason. Each truck stands on its own with a unique blend of custom paint and body mods and just the right stance. Michael's '02 GMC was the first of the twins' trucks to go under the knife.
The buildup of the truck with no name didn't happen overnight. Michael caught the custom bug in high school as his friends dropped their rides and joined truck clubs. The appeal of rolling in a righteous ride that would attract the fairer sex wasn't lost on Michael, so he began slowly and methodically tweaking his GMC. The body was the first area of his truck to change, with a new rolled rear pan taking place of the stock bumper. The tailgate was also relieved of the handle, the hole welded shut with a new sheetmetal filler plate, and then covered in factory white paint. A 4/6-drop suspension kit brought the truck down to a level that any high-schooler could appreciate.
From there, the truck became a bit more radical with each stop on a custom tour that included stints at a suspension shop and a body shop. 559 Customs in nearby Fresno, California, took the custom suspension one giant step further. The springs at all four corners were pulled from the truck and replaced with Slam Specialties airbags. The requisite four-link rear suspension was added to the frame and rear axle, and Monroe shocks found their way to all corners of the suspension. The air system was then plumbed with 1/2-inch air lines and actuated with SMC valves. A set of Billet Specialties deuce-deuces was stuffed under the fenders, and it was time for the makeover.
The original shave job was enhanced again by The Hot Rod Shop in Reedley, California. The door handles, antenna, fuel-filler door, third brake light, stake pockets, cab seams, and taillights all disappeared by the time the truck was ready for paint. Flush-mounted 12-inch LEDs would take care of notifying other drivers that they'd better not rear-end this ride. Mirrors from Street Scene and a smooth wiper cowl replaced the stock pieces, and a custom-mounted fuel filler was relocated to the bed beneath a Gaylord's tonneau cover.
The paintjob that ended up on Michael's truck is ridiculous, and we mean that in a good way. Just when we thought we'd seen every played-out way to flame the front end of a GM fullsize, Kool Hand Luke and The Hot Rod Shop came together and made sure we were idiots for thinking so. The swirling fireball that flows across the hood, onto the roof, through the interior, and onto the tonneau cover is as original as it gets, and the House of Kolors hues look spectacular. 1 Shot purple paint outlines the flames, which are covered in a slick Bittersweet Pearl clearcoat, and the combination looks perfect with the Stratto Blue and factory white basecoat.
This truck does get by on its good looks. The engine is fairly stock, so Michael isn't handing out beatings between stoplights in it. You also won't find this thing draggin' doors down the strip just to get attention. None of that matters because this truck is undeniably cool. It's not an everyday occurrence when the right paintjob, wheels, and stance come together in a truck build that looks like a million bucks-and without the owner dropping six zeros to get it done. We dig this thing and we think you'll love his brother's truck just as much. Flip to the other feature and check it out!
Michael Torosian / Clovis, California
'02 GMC Sierra 1500
4.8L LS1 V-8 / K&N FilterCharger air intake / MagnaFlow exhaust / Optima YellowTop battery
Front & Rear: 22x8.5 Billet Specialties SLG02 with 5.75 inches of backspacing
Front & Rear: 285/30ZR22 Dunlop SP Sport 9000
Front: DJM upper and lower control arms / Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags / Monroe shocks
Rear: Parallel four-link / Slam Specialties RE-8 airbags
Accessories: 1/2-inch SMC valves / Viair 380C air compressors / 1/2-inch air line / 6-gallon reserve air tank under bed / nitrogen tank in bed
Chassis: Step-notched rear framerails
By: John Banda, 559 Customs, Fresno, California
'03 GMC Denali front clip / shaved tailgate, taillights, and fuel-filler door / 12-inch LED taillights / smooth wiper cowl / Street Scene mirrors / custom fuel filler in the bed
By: The Hot Rod Shop, Reedley, California
House of Kolor Stratto Blue and Bittersweet Pearl over factory white basecoat / custom-airbrushed black and gray shadows and skull / freehand pinstriping
By: The Hot Rod Shop (paint) / Kool Hand Luke (design, airbrushing, and pinstriping)
Dash, pillar covers, doorsills, and seat bases were sanded smooth, painted, and airbrushed
By: The Hot Rod Shop / Kool Hand Luke
K&N and Optima