When gearheads think of special occasions, many automatically envision Hooters. What better way to celebrate NASCAR races, bowl games, or even divorces than with a plate of wings?
Hooters' enduring success comes from its take-the-party-to-the-people approach. At press time, the chain had 445 restaurants in 43 U.S. states and 27 foreign countries and even a hotel/casino in Vegas. This traveling fun philosophy extends to Hooters-themed vehicles. The company has been known to sponsor racecars and bass boats, but Hooters also participates in show-stopping display vehicles.
The latest example is an '08 Sierra 2500 HD Z71 4x4, which commemorates Hooters' 25th anniversary. The rolling party idea and vehicle rendering were hatched by Joey Arbogast and Jason Bradley of Superlift Suspension Systems' TurnKey Marketing division. These guys had previously teamed with Hooters to build the Ultimate Tailgater '06 Super Duty, which was complete with a built-in barbecue. Superlift's research and development department was then volunteered to install many of the accessories.
The build team of J.P. Pritchard, Jeff Marzula, Scott Lee, and Mike Martin flogged long and hard on the Sierra leading up to the truck's debut at the '08 Cherry Blossom Festival in Savannah, Georgia. The vehicle was stripped down, but not to a Tijuana chop-shop extent. First on was a Superlift 6-inch suspension lift with all of the extras. In addition to the basic replacement knuckle system (which includes full-width A-arm crossmembers and the necessary drop brackets), the GMC received Superlift SSR monotube remote-reservoir shocks, a monotube steering stabilizer, and a stainless steel skidplate.
The Superlift system uses replacement ductile iron steering knuckles that barely increase track width. This minimizes the strain on steering and suspension components, improves handling, and allows factory-offset wheels to be used. The kit also reuses the stock front driveshaft (in non-Autoride systems). Tapered blocks are employed to cost-effectively level the rear of the truck.
The 6-inch lift easily accommodates 35x12.50R20 Interco Vor-Trac tires on 20x10 American Racing ATX Vice Series wheels. For extra clearance and to stay street-legal, the Superlift crew added a set of Bushwacker cut-out fender flares.
Next, came all of the entertainment-related accessories. Custom mounts and enclosures were built to accommodate the electronics. These include a camper shell, which Leer modified with flip-up panels to reveal the Sony 12-inch Slim Series Xplod subwoofers. Mick's Rod Shop of Monroe, Louisiana, then customized an IFW BedSlide tray to mount the Sony 42-inch LCD Bravia HD TV, Optima marine batteries, and a unique beverage station: a pair of Coleman 48-quart stainless-steel ice chests.
The rest of the "Sony Ultimate Entertainment Package" was installed by Adam Klienman and Brandon "Twitch" Adkins at Auto Trim Design, also of Monroe, Louisiana. Monster Cable wire, blocks, capacitors, terminals, and connectors were used to connect the four Sony amps, Marine Series head unit, four two-way speakers, four subwoofers, and PlayStation 3 system. The interior ambiance is also enhanced with neon Bud Light art.
Next, the truck went to painter/moonshine connoisseur Jamie Morgenthal in the backwoods of Downsville, Louisiana. DuPont Hot Hues in Hooters-complimentary colors were sprayed. Finishing touches were applied at Superlift. These include step bars, a grille, door handles, and other assorted brightwork and marker lights from Putco. As the proverbial cherry on top, the TurnKey Marketing crew designed and cut the decals, then customized a surfboard.
The 25th Anniversary GMC appeared at select Hooters restaurants and various events throughout 2008. Its 2009 schedule isn't set yet, but if you see the truck, belly up to the PlayStation console and maybe even get your picture taken with the Hooters Girls.
6.0L V-8 / 6L90 six-speed automatic / stock transfer case
By: General Motors
Front & Rear: 20x10 American Racing ATX Vice Series with 5.5 inches of backspacing
Front & Rear: 35x12.50-20 Interco Vor-Trac
Front: Superlift 6-inch lift with replacement knuckles / Superlift SSR remote-reservoir shocks / brake line relocation brackets
Rear: Superlift 5-inch tapered blocks / brake line relocation brackets
Accessories: Superlift stainless steel skidplate / Superlift steering stabilizer
Chassis: Lower control-arm crossmembers, crossmember skidplate, kicker braces, and differential drop brackets
By: J.P. Pritchard, Jeff Marzula, Mike Martin, Scott Lee - Superlift R&D
Leer camper shell with custom flip-up panels / Bushwacker cut-out fender flares / Putco step bars, grille, door handles, and marker lights
BY: Leer / Superlift R&D
DuPont Hot Hues Molten Orange Candy, OE silver, and black / vinyl graphics
BY: Jamie Morganthall of Jamie's Body Shop / Turnkey Marketing (vinyl graphics)
Customized IFW BedSlide / two Coleman stainless steel coolers
By: Mick's Rod Shop
Sony 42-inch LCD Bravia HD TV, PlayStation 3, four 12-inch Slim Series Xplod subwoofers, four two-way speakers, four amps, Marine Series head unit
BY: Adam Klienman and Brandon "Twitch" Adkins from Auto Trim Design
To Noela Scarano, Hooters of America Director of Store Marketing, for making it happen