Godfather Customs Creates Rolling Perfection
When someone operates one of the largest aftermarket automotive parts businesses in the industry, a lot is expected of them. Not only is their company expected to deliver a quality product accompanied by great service, but the added pressure of being on the cutting edge with fresh products that push the envelope makes day-to-day business a growing challenge.
For Hal Johnson, proprietor of Godfather Customs in Decatur, Georgia, this is a reality he knows all too well. Through the years, Hal has used his passion for customized vehicles as an escape from day-to-day business stresses and has successfully created several highly modified haulers that serve as on-highway advertisements for his business. A recent example of Hal's exceptional lineup of custom pickups would be the Nov. '01 Truckin' cover truck titled "Two-Week Wonder," which was a GMC C3 pickup resting on 23-inch rollers. This year, Hal and the Godfather Customs' crew has stepped it up a notch with a new '02 GMC Sierra pickup sitting on 24-inch Oasis B-1 wheels and covered in an elaborate and colorful paint scheme.
The truck was built to be displayed at the 2001 SEMA Show in Las Vegas this past November, so implementation of an intense stance, big wheels and rubber, performance enhancements, paint and body updates, and interior and audio modifications had to be completed quickly.
In order to create an aggressive stance when the truck was standing still and get enough lift to clear the larger-than-life 24-inch Oasis B1 rollers mounted on BFGoodrich P305/35R24 g-Force T/A tires, Hal decided that an adjustable suspension system was a must for Trendsetter. Lifting the truck up and hammering it down is a complete Airlift Easy Street Fast Bag bolt-on air suspension kit complete with a joystick remote and VIAIR tanks and air compressors.
Smoothing out the ride over the Georgia roadways are Toxic shocks planted on all four corners of the adjustable suspension. A trick, fast air-adjustable suspension system and bold 24-inch rollers warranted some performance enhancements to mix in the power with the handling, so Hal and the Godfather's crew put together a combination of performance components to make the factory Vortec motor roar.
Any true show truck should have a bit of performance attitude to back up its aggressive exterior looks. With that said, Hal acquired a polished Powerdyne BD-11A Supercharger and bolted it to the top of the factory 5.3L Vortec mill for throttle-stomping excitement. A set of Borla headers routes exhaust gases through a Borla Cat-Back exhaust system and out of dual pipes that run underneath the roll pan at the truck's tail-end section.
A Granatelli Mass Airflow Sensor and Superchip lend a few extra ponies, while a Powermaster chrome alternator and Taylor plug wires contribute some visual spice. On the detail side, Hal had the engine compartment coated with plenty of House of Kolor Passion Pearl paint and installed Zoops Products billet hose ends and a Reactor Power Cell II battery with a polished billet hold-down bracket. Completion of the tire-roasting performance modifications led to cleaning up the exterior and laying down some colorful paint hues to stop show spectators dead in their tracks.
Modifying the exterior of Trendsetter began with a trip to Gary's Body Shop in Decatur, where professional bodyman and painter Mike Lewis created the heart-stopping look seen here. First a Sir Michaels steel roll pan was bolted to the rear section over the top of a Sir Michaels hidden hitch. A Sir Michaels tailgate relocator was used to clean up the factory gate and moved the handle to the inside for smooth looks. Moving forward, Mike removed the factory door handles and, instead of shaving them all together, installed a set of late-model Corvette units.
An APC carbon-fiber hood, Street Scene signal mirrors, a Street Scene wiper cowl panel, Zoops billet wiper arms, and a Street Scene front bumper cover with PIAA driving lights updates the nose in style. The grille region was given the custom treatment using a Trenz Manufacturing one-piece billet grille embossed with a billet GMC logo for clear brand identification. A set of APC carbon-fiber Euro taillights warns close followers of stopping and lane-changing intentions, while a Gaylord X2000 tonneau cover keeps the ultra-clean carpeted box sealed from the elements.
A Trenz Manufacturing billet antenna, a billet lighted license plate frame, and a billet third brake light cap are a few of the custom touches used to complement the miles-deep paint scheme. After the body alterations were complete, the whole exterior ensemble was coated in a House of Kolor Sunrise Pearl, fading to Tangelo Pearl on the top, and House of Kolor Passion Pearl, fading into a custom-mixed Passion Pearl on the bottom.
Aggressive tribal graphics in the Passion Pearl break the two extremely different colors apart, while Lilac pinstriping finishes off the look. Once the paint had a bit of time to cure, House of Kolor clearcoat was blown over the top to seal in all the shine and beauty. Now that the stance was nailed, neck-snapping power was in place, and the body gleamed with bright colors and sensational mods, the cockpit was given a dose of billet updates and harmonious audio amenities.
Cruising in Trendsetter is a treat for the eyes and ears thanks to an extensive audio system and loads of billet aluminum. An Alpine CVA-1003 multimedia receiver and DVD player take care of sending the music to Alpine MRV-F307 and Alpine MRV 100M amplifiers and on to a single 10-inch Alpine Type-S subwoofer and MB quart 4x6-inch and 6.5-inch mids and separates. Popping out of the dash on command is an Audiovox 13.3-inch TFT LCD television to entertain passengers on those long road trips. Creating the feast for the eyes inside Trendsetter is a host of Trenz Manufacturing billet components, including a stainless dash kit, GMC logo billet doorsill plates, a GMC logo dash insert section, flamed door panel pieces, flamed billet pedals, and a flamed rearview mirror.
A carbon-fiber and leather-wrapped steering wheel enhances driving comfort, while a bit of carbon fiber sprinkled on the door panels, the dash, and the center console complete the interior trim enhancements. Helping Hal keep an eye on supercharger boost is an Auto Meter A-pillar gauge pod filled with Auto Meter gauges. An APC Speed Glow gauge panel updates the stock cluster in style. Black GMC logo floor mats keep the carpets free from unsightly debris.
Hal Johnson and the folks at Godfather Customs have created yet another picture-perfect show pickup to make the cover of the World's Leading Truck Publication. The combination of the right stance, tire-burning performance modifications, wild paint and graphics, and super-trick 24-inch Oasis rollers make it a custom truck force to be reckoned with. Trendsetter is a perfect example of what the experts at Godfather Customs are capable of when it comes to building top-notch custom show trucks.