It's mind-boggling just how different worlds can be. On one hand it's the year 2007, and in the world of custom vehicles it's all about the bigger the wheels the better, the louder the stereo system the better, and the more designer material stitched into the interior the cooler the ride. Yet step back 30 or 40 years and it's all about custom body mods, paint, Cragar S/S wheels, and more. No one knows this better than Erik Johnson.
Erik owns his own mobile detail business, Image Detailing Service, and his day-to-day rig ain't too shabby by today's standards. A brand-new Suburban decked out with 24-inch wheels, big brakes, a Vortec supercharger, video entertainment-basically the modern works-is what Erik rolls from job site to job site in. Now sure, the truck gets a lot of looks everywhere, but when he pulls up into a hot rod show, it's as if he's driving a rolling chunk of kryptonite. Needless to say, business does not exactly prosper. Therefore, in order to advertise his business to the hot rod crowd, he decided he'd better get with the times and find himself a classic cruiser.
Erik has been building custom show trucks for almost 20 years, and he has wanted to build an older truck for quite some time, specifically a '67-70 Chevy or GMC. So when the time came to build his rolling piece of advertisement, he knew it was his mission to hunker down and find some vintage iron. By the luck of the draw, Erik was on his way to a customer's house when he spotted this '68 GMC shortbed. The truck was externally and mechanically sound, and before the owner even had a chance to say no to the offering price, the build was on.
Like most builds, the chassis came first. Since Erik knew he wanted the truck to lay frame and tuck 22-inch Boyd Coddington wheels out back, the first order of business was to get the truck's rear half in gear. IF Customs was called in, and their first step down the path to getting the truck to lay frame was to C-notch the frame's rear. With the extreme C-notch, the stock suspension wasn't gong to cut it, so Erik then had a custom triangulated three-link built that incorporates airbags.
With the new rear setup, the truck was down on the ground out back, but the front was still sitting pretty up in the cheap seats. To complement the rear setup, the front A-arms were modified to hug the ground and tuck in the 20-inch Boyd Coddington wheels with the assistance of airbags.
With the airbags up front completely deflated, the truck was on the ground, but it still wasn't quite low enough since the wheels were hitting the inner wheelwells. To fix that problem, Erik modified the hood hinges, which mount to the inner fender, and cut away on the inner fender to clear some room. When the work was done, it put the front end a much needed two inches closer to the ground.