High Mighty H2
This Hummer Delivers the Goods
In stock format, the GM Hummer H2 is an imposing vehicle. With the ability to travel through streams 20 inches deep, climb 16-inch steps and rocks, and paddle through deep sand, the H2 offers capabilities far and beyond the means of mere mortal SUVs. The H2's power is also impressive, with 315 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque on tap, enough to run down anything fleeing from its path. And this predator is designed to intimidate, with an aggressive boxy body, straight windshield and windows, and a brawny and broad front and side design. Order the H2 in its bright-yellow paint scheme, and you'll definitely garner attention wherever you travel.
Is this enough to qualify for the cover of Truckin's SUV? Well, being an aftermarket-driven publication, we prefer that the retina-attraction quotient be as high as possible. Lucky for us, Manny de Encio, the owner of CTL Motorsports, and the builder and owner of the awesome '03 H2 featured here, agrees. After one look at this in-your-face beast, we're sure you'll second our choice of this issue's cover vehicle. Lifted to the stars, sporting a bevy of exterior refinement pieces, powered by numerous performance upgrades, and with an interior that is as dynamic as it is comfortable, this H2 certainly qualifies for a starring role.
The first time we laid eyes on this bright-and-brawny beast was several months ago at CTL Motorsports' shop in Westminster, California. Manny had invited us over to check out the modified H2, which was in the midst of its final aftermarket tweaks. We were immediately floored by this dynamic ride and made plans for a cover shoot as soon as the vehicle was completed. We ran into Manny later at the Las Vegas Truckin' Nationals, where he wowed spectators and vendors alike with his impressive ride. In fact, we presented Manny with the Truckin's SUV Editor's Choice Award for the best SUV at the show.
Interestingly enough, this is one of our few cover vehicles that still sports the stock paint. In our eyes, the yellow OEM hue is perfect for the H2, and in this case, it's nicely set off by an impressive array of exterior aftermarket pieces. However, when you view this vehicle for the first time, your initial impression is that of height. This H2 definitely reaches for the heavens, accomplished by a 14-inch suspension kit and 44-inch tires. The extensive suspension modifications include the Bulletproof lift kit, 2.0 Fox Racing Shox shocks with reservoirs, billet shock clamps, and stainless steel brake lines.
The suspension pieces are completely chromed, with the frame painted to match the color of the H2. All of the suspension work was expertly carried out by CTL Motorsports. The huge and impressive wheel and tire combo is made up of 16.5x12-inch Weld Racing Mountain Crushers wheels wrapped by mega-rubber in the form of Interco Bogger tires measuring 44x19.5x16.5 inches.
Also grabbing your attention is the multitude of exterior body refinement in the form of billet pieces, uses of carbon fiber, painted-to-match components, and fabricated add-ons. These include a custom billet grille, rear bumper billet trim, billet covers over the rear taillights, side marker and rear roof lights trimmed out in billet, and billet pull handles to open the front door. All of these pieces were supplied by B-Cool Billets. Additionally, all plastic trim pieces were sanded and painted to match the H2's yellow hue by Santini Paint and Body Werks in Westminster, California.
Other body mods include Kodiak Sidewinder electric steps, an American Outfitters stainless steel wraparound front bumper to replace the plastic factory piece, Hummer H2 Bi-Xenon projector headlights with stage-two bulbs from HIDS-4Less, an electric billet gas cap door from Profit, and an array of LED lighting with controllers by Varad. Setting everything off is a carbon-fiber hoodscoop and hood caps from Kasad. Chrome-plating is also abundant and was provided by Anaheim Plating.
The H2's 6.0L V-8 powerplant also benefits from a number of aftermarket pieces, including a Volant cool air intake and mass airflow sensor, and a Nology Hot Wire ignition set and Beru spark plugs provide a sparkier spark. A stainless after-cat exhaust system from MagnaFlow takes care of spent exhaust gases, and the drivelines have been reworked by J.E. Reel. To beef up braking chores, a set of Power Slot rotors were also added to the mix.
Step into the interior of the H2 and you're greeted by more aftermarket wizardry, the most impressive of which is a dazzling audio/video system. For style and comfort, the H2 was turned over to the crew at Gomez Custom Upholstery, in Walnut, California, where they applied their solid expertise. The headliner is stitched in black suede, and the H2's seats are stitched in black suede with special designer touches. The dash and console trim are painted in black lacquer, and the pillar posts and speaker enclosures are stitched up in tan leather.
The real stars of the interior show, however, are the audio and video components. Orchestrating the entire system is a Panasonic CQ-DS8024 Ghost Face head unit, which sends signals to a four-pack of Crossfire amps -- two VR1000D 1,000-watt units and two VR404 four-channel 400-watt amps. Crossfire crossover units in the front and rear are also included in the mix. The tunes are played from four Crossfire component sets -- mids and tweeters -- located in the front and rear doors. Four ED 312D Crossfire subwoofers provide the bass, which are nestled in their own custom enclosure. All enclosures were custom molded by Precision Auto Sound. Additional audio components include Scosche battery terminals and power distribution blocks, and the entire H2 is wired with S12 series speaker cable.
The entire system was expertly installed by Precision Sound, in Chino Hills, California. On the video side, the H2 is home to five 10.5-inch Eiger Vision flip-down screens, and an Eiger DVD player. A custom game controller was built by Precision Sound. Lastly, a hitch-plug camera is on call to provide video information at the rear of the H2, which is displayed on a dash-mounted color monitor.
When seen in its entirety, the H2 is a stunning piece of aftermarket ingenuity and quality workmanship. However, you really begin to appreciate this vehicle the more you look at the details, and this H2 is chock full of details. So, grab a ladder, hoist yourself in, and travel with Manny and his H2 down the yellow trick road