H&H Trailer's Airbagged Business Card

Dan Ward
Mar 8, 2005
Photographers: Dan Ward
Heavy-duty trucks have been at the forefront of the OEM automotive market for many years. Doing duty on farms, pulling heavy trailers, and being used and abused to get the job done has typically been the role of heavy-duty pickups.
The Chevrolet dualie has been a staple in the use-it-and-abuse-it category of truck ownership for many years. While many of Chevrolet's six-wheeled workhorses have wound up in the hands of folks like Uncle Jessie from the Dukes of Hazzard over the last several years, quite a few of them have been swooped up by custom truck enthusiasts, laid out over big wheels, and splashed with elaborate paint schemes. Dualie trucks have certain characteristics that separate them from their 1/2-ton brethren. Wide rear fenders, heavy-duty suspension, dual rear wheels, and an excess of exterior lighting are the features that set dualies apart from other trucks on the road. A dualie has sort of a big-rig feel to it, and nothing can match the feeling of driving a 1-ton crew cab down the highway. In addition to looking cool going down the road, dualies have typically been used for towing. Whether it's a boat, desert toy, street rod, or drag car, dualies have been a key ingredient in motorsports since their introduction. Yanking top fuelers to the line, hot-rod water rockets to the ramp, and dirt-slinging sandrails to the dunes, dualies have the guts to haul it all. The folks at H&H Trailer in Clarinda, Iowa, specialize in building custom open and enclosed trailers to cater to several different types of hobbyists, and when the company began dreaming up a wild custom pickup to serve as a business promotional tool to grace its booth at the 2003 SEMA Show, a dualie was the only way to go.
Brothers Calvin, Curtis, and Craig Hull brought H&H Trailer to life back in 1993. The brothers' original manufacturing plant was located in Braddyville, Iowa, where the company started manufacturing flatbed and utility-style trailers, with the first unit rolling off the assembly line on December 31, 1993. That particular trailer was the start of a thriving business that has expanded to include enclosed cargo trailers. H&H's current offerings include more than 250 different trailer models with more than 175 options. The range of production at H&H includes building custom trailers ranging in size from a single motorcycle trailer to a 52-foot-long car carrier. After 11 years in business, H&H has expanded to five different production facilities and currently has more than 300 dealers throughout the United States and Canada. With a business experiencing this kind of success, a good marketing plan was a must to keep orders coming, and part of that plan for 2003 was to build a wild custom truck wearing the H&H logo to serve as a business promotional tool and rolling business card.
Beginning with an '03 GMC C3500 HD dualie, the crew at H&H got rolling on a plan to hammer the truck to the ground, modify the body and brighten it up with color, and give the factory 6.6L turbodiesel an extra kick. To nudge the project into high gear, the truck was delivered to Super Stripes Customs in Henderson, Nevada, where shop owner Mike Martin and his team of expert metal-shapers and fabricators worked steadily to get this land yacht on the ground and coated with color.
Constructing a cutting-edge custom show truck requires nailing the stance.
A truck's stance gives it the mandatory attitude and edge, while also setting the stage for the entire project. In order to get Cadually -- the name given to the truck --planted on the ground and looking mean, the adjustable suspension professionals at Air Ride Technologies provided one of their bolt-on air-ride kits for this popular platform. Up front, Super Stripes installed a set of Air Ride Technologies Shockwaves with the company's patented Strong Arms tubular upper and lower control arms. Moving to the rear, the dualie fenders were dropped in the dirt using an Air Ride Technologies Air Bar four-link assembly complete with Firestone air bellows for quick lift and drop motions. Plumbing for the adjustable suspension system was handled by an Air Ride Technologies four-way Pro Ride compressor system.
In order for the rear of the truck to sit low over the exceptionally large 22-inch rollers, and for the axle to have enough clearance for extra-low cruising, the crew at Super Stripes C-notched the frame using the Air Ride Technologies template and notch kit. Obviously, after the suspension was nipped and tucked, putting Cadually's rocker panels at a new low, the factory rims and rubber were removed and rolled into a dark corner of the shop. Replacing the factory rolling stock and making quite a statement in Cadually's fenderwells are 22x8.5-inch Alcoa custom wheels mounted on Nitto P285/45R22 rubber.
Before Super Stripes began giving the body the Caddy treatment, Diesel Dynamics of Las Vegas received the truck and gave the 6.6L Duramax diesel some additional throttle-hammering ponies. Feeding excess air into the powerhouse is an aFe air filter and airbox, while an Edge Products performance chip helps to get the rear Nitto meats smoking. Completing the engine's operating cycle with authority is a Diesel Dynamics 4-inch exhaust system. Using the factory Allison five-speed transmission, this heavy-duty Bow Tie puts an impressive 460 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque down to the asphalt when the go pedal is mashed. With a slammed stance and potent powerplant in check, H&H felt that adding a plethora of body modifications and a wild flamejob to set off the exterior would make the truck more photogenic and help to turn a lot more heads.
Super Stripes once again took charge and began altering the exterior landscape with a complete Cadillac Escalade front clip. Escalade door handles add a touch of class to the doors, while Escalade cladding lends a rich and luxurious look to the base of each of the four doors. In order to match the Escalade cladding on the doors, Mike Martin, at Super Stripes, built custom Escalade-style steel cladding and fender flares around the rear dualie fenders to keep the elegant lines flowing. Custom-made ground effects extend down from the rockers, making the truck look even lower. Out back, a Cadillac Escalade rear bumper fills the void the stock bumper left behind, while a shaved and smoothed tailgate using a Sir Michaels tailgate handle relocator kit further enhances the rear view. Additional tail-end tricks include a Cadillac wreath located in the center of the tailgate and an Escalade third brake light frenched into the back of the cab above the rear glass. Once the body modifications were complete and the metal cooled down, Mike loaded his spray gun with Matrix Jet Black liquid and covered the dualie from roof to rocker and grille to tailgate in the deep, dark hue. To really turn up the heat on the truck's reworked metal, Mike laid out three sets of traditional flames over the hood, down the beltline, and over the SnugTop tonneau. The fire was filled in with Matrix Yellow, Orange, and Blue liquid for a rich and bold contrast. The back of the cab was highlighted with a red fading effect, while the hot licks were striped and buried in Matrix clear for a glass-like finish.
After Cadually was driven out of the Super Stripes' shop bay doors and into the Nevada sunlight, the go pedal was mashed and the truck was aimed toward Vegas to be driven into the Las Vegas Convention Center for display in the H&H Trailer booth at the 2003 SEMA Show. The truck was a smash hit at SEMA, drawing quite a crowd around the H&H Trailer booth, where people drooled over the wild flamejob combined with the Cadillac-themed body alterations and slammed stance on double-deuce rollers. It looks like this heavy-duty hauler will be hauling in style for many years to come.



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