‘HOE DOWN

Drop it like it’s hot

Street Trucks - - CONTENTS - TEXT BY MIKE SELF

1999 WAS A HECK OF A YEAR FOR PEO­PLE WHO LIKE RAD STUFF. “The Ma­trix” was re­leased, Tony Hawk landed the first 900, the Yan­kees won the World Series for the 25th time and the “South Park” movie fi­nally came out. There were some bad times, too, though. Pam and Tommy got divorced, Y2K had ev­ery­one in a panic, boy bands were ev­ery­where and worst of all, the last two-door Ta­hoe rolled off the assem­bly line. We didn’t re­ally know it at the time, but we were los­ing a leg­end.

Some trucks just “do it” for us, and two-door Gmt400-plat­form Blaz­ers, Yukons and Ta­hoes are among our fa­vorites. This gen­er­a­tion has just aged so well that you al­most can’t go wrong with what­ever you want to do to them. Of course, it doesn’t hurt one bit when they’re slammed on big ol’ wheels!

And we’re not alone. Scott Sa­pio of St. Ge­orge, Utah, is just as fond of them, and as he told us, “I’ve al­ways loved the two-door Ta­hoes and just thought that this truck de­served to be built!” As you can see, how­ever, he went be­yond the typ­i­cal

“stop, drop and roll” com­bi­na­tion of up­graded brakes, a low­ered sus­pen­sion and cus­tom wheels. His ’99 Chevy Ta­hoe is an amaz­ing ex­am­ple of what can be done with these now-clas­sic rides, and no ex­pense was spared in the build. In fact, once Scott fi­nally took a look at all of the re­ceipts once the Ta­hoe was done, he was into it about $65K!

The first thing Scott de­cided to tackle was the ride height, and for that he chose one of Ari­zona’s best known and most well-re­spected shops, Tre 5 Cus­toms. Owner Jeremy Rice has had plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence with two-door Ta­hoes and knew ex­actly how to bring Scott’s ride down the right way. The right way, as is of­ten the case, was ‘bags and a body drop! The prob­lem is that, un­like with a typ­i­cal truck, there’s no bed to pull off to make the job eas­ier.

Nev­er­the­less, Jeremy had things planned out in ad­vance and started map­ping out and build­ing a new three-quar­ters-length chas­sis on his frame ta­ble, re­tain­ing the front one-quar­ter of the fac­tory frame. The front end also re­ceived a set of Stone Fab con­trol arms (which also cen­tered the front spin­dles in the wheel­well), Slam Spe­cial­ties SS7 airbags and a bunch of mod­i­fi­ca­tions to lay out the front over the 24-inch In­tro Vista II wheels. The rear re­quired a ton of work as well, with a cus­tom-built main 4-link that uses tri­an­gu­lated lower links, along with a pair of rear-fac­ing lever­aged link bars with Slam Spe­cial­ties SS7S for tons of lift. An Ac­cuair e-level sys­tem with ENDO VT air man­age­ment sys­tem and Vi­air 444C com­pres­sors pro­vid­ing the air needed to op­er­ate the sus­pen­sion.

Tre 5 also took great care when adding the front and rear wheel tubs to en­sure that the in­te­rior of the truck was prop­erly sealed from the el­e­ments. They also in­stalled the 14-inch AZ Pro Per­for­mance brake kits on the front and rear of the Ta­hoe.

As you can see, Scott’s Ta­hoe was turn­ing out to be some­thing pretty spe­cial, but it’s all of the un­seen stuff that is re­ally in­dica­tive of how far he was will­ing to go. The en­tire chas­sis and its com­po­nents are ei­ther painted or pow­der­coated, with great de­tail put into ev­ery part. Once Frank at Ikandy Paint­works took over, it was game on

for his in­sane shiny stuff skills. The whole body re­ceived a plethora of mods, such as a bunch of shav­ing and a Grant Kus­toms roll pan. Scott’s color of choice was a bit sur­pris­ing for a truck that is so wild—bmw Alpine White. How­ever, when you see the to­tal pack­age and how it looks with the painted green ac­cents, it just looks so right!

Even the in­te­rior re­ceived a lot of painted love from Ikandy, and the up­hol­stery (done by Steve at El­e­vated De­sign) has the per­fect blend of in­no­va­tion and class that just makes your jaw drop. The comfy orig­i­nal seats were re­tained, but now wear ul­tra leather, and the killer JL Au­dio sound sys­tem is sur­rounded by trick pan­els and mesh ac­cents.

Once Scott’s Ta­hoe was done and fi­nally ready to hit the streets a year af­ter the build be­gan, it quickly started col­lect­ing tro­phies at ev­ery show he took it to. In the end, it cost him two to three times what he orig­i­nally thought it would, but we think that hav­ing one of the finest two-door Ta­hoes around was well worth the ex­pense.

IM­AGES BY BRIAN GOUDE

BMW ALPINE WHITE WITH PAINTED GREEN AC­CENTS WAS SCOTT’S COLOR OF CHOICE.

IN­TRO VISTA IIS ARE A MOD­ERN-DAY CLAS­SIC, AND THE 24-INCH VER­SIONS THAT SCOTT CHOSE FOR HIS TA­HOE WERE THE PER­FECT CHOICE TO KEEP THINGS LARGE AND IN CHARGE WHILE STICK­ING WITH A SIM­PLE DE­SIGN.

THE FAC­TORY FUEL DOOR WAS SHAVED OFF IN FA­VOR OF A MUCH MORE TRICK CUS­TOM FILLER. IT MAY BE A SMALL DIF­FER­ENCE TO SOME, BUT DE­TAILS LIKE THIS ARE WHAT SETS SCOTT’S TA­HOE APART FROM THE REST.

ABOVE. IT’S SO CLEAN! A TON OF WORK WENT INTO GET­TING THE ENGINE COM­PART­MENT SO TIDY, IN­CLUD­ING CUS­TOM WHEEL TUBS AND A WHOLE LOT OF WIRE TUCK­ING. THE GREEN AC­CENTS ON THE ENGINE GIVE THE PER­FECT AMOUNT OF POP AGAINST THE BMW ALPINE WHITE PAINT.

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