Custom 2004 Chevrolet Colorado - Ice Machine
Cool Colorado Entertainment
For the most part, you just roll up to a party in a stylin' sport truck. But how about hauling the party along with you instead? Or at least have your pickup provide the entertainment for it? That's the idea behind this rockin' rig from Stainless Steel Brakes
In addition to making the party happen, Mike Jonas, president of SSBC, won some door prizes as well. After taking home General Motors' Best High-Performance Product Design Award at the 2003 SEMA Show, he decided go for another trophy at the 2004 show with his Colorado HD project vehicle.
A veteran builder of numerous project vehicles, Jonas' goal was to dress-up his Colorado with styling cues from the fullsize Chevrolet Silverado 3500, along with enough Sony onboard entertainment electronics to rock the house.
"I like the dualie look, and when I noticed a lot of room in the wheelwell, I figured this truck would look great having it slammed down and putting on some big rubber," he says. "It's actually a phantom dualie, though, because we use just one pair of tires in the rear. We put two and two together, and got five."
Did he ever. Competing against a slew of Chevy pickups on display, this 1/2-ton Colorado HD won the GM SEMA Design Award for Best GM Midsize Truck. One of only nine different GM SEMA Design Awards presented by GM Design Studios Executive Director John "Kip" Wasenko, the Colorado HD was honored with the prestigious award based on significant styling cues, quality of the build, attention to detail, and overall project execution.
Colorado owners will likely draw some inspiration from this project for their own rocky-mountain rides. The Street Scene body mods muscle-up square-shouldered styling with a front fascia, bumper covers, and front fender flares for the 8-1/2-inch Colorado Custom rims. Reflexxion Automotive made a new, reversed-scoop hood expressly for this Colorado buildup.
Aero Collision crafted those flowing rear flanks with massively wide fender flares. The 20x12-inch wheels and 335/35 Toyo tires are so big, Aero had to use two sets of flares from Street Scene to cover them, even with the sheetmetal stretched out.
A lot of extra effort went into preserving the body lines. It took about a month of shaping and sanding so those 6-inch-wide bulges precisely matched creases on the rest of the sheetmetal. To tuck in the tires even more, Ground Force dropped the suspension 3 inches with lowering springs in the front and blocks under the axle to push the meats farther into chassis.
To bring this baby to a quick stop, SSBC supplied some serious binders: 14-inchers in the front and 13s for the back. The rotors are slotted, plated, and custom-milled with the Colorado logo on the caliper. For a solid bite, the SSBC calipers are three-piston Force 10 Tri-Power units with built-in biasing. And for a coordinated appearance, they were powdercoated to match the body color.
Speaking of that intense hue, Aero Collision custom-mixed the blinding yellow. "We really took our time to get the correct color," Jonas recalls. "We must have spent two weeks in the spray booth to get the right metallic, experimenting with 16 different test panels. There's a lot of gold flake in that BASF paint, and we had to re-spray the basecoat to make sure it worked together with the translucent topcoat." The white accent is a new Cadillac Pearl White, which nicely offsets the brilliant canary hue.
Accenting the bulked-up body is a Be Cool billet grille, along with other billet accessories. During the day, a Webasto electric folding sunroof retracts to illuminate the cabin, but when the sun goes down and the party gets started, a light show comes on with under-car neon and strobes courtesy of Street Glow.
Then things get really cool with that load of ICE in the cargo bed. Hit a switch and the bedcover scissors skyward to reveal an array of monitors. This portion of the buildup took six months to get the custom cover to work properly.
"I realized I had 6 feet of hidden real estate under that cover, and I wanted to build something that hadn't been done before," Jonas says. "That meant refabricating the Electrashade unit, which was originally designed for a fullsize truck. I wanted it to fit inside, instead of on top of, the bedrail, so it would suck down tonneau cover. The framework is all custom. It normally mounts on top of the bedrail. So we stripped it down, and rebuilt it to fit inside between the rails instead of on top."
There is so much ICE on this truck, you could turn it into an rolling electronics store. In addition to the 7-inch monitor in the dashboard, there are four other 5-inch monitors in the doors, so when they're open, the screens face both front and rear. With a pair of 17-inch flatscreens and a 7-incher in the rear, that brings the total to eight monitors in all. Why so many? Well, when you have three DVD players (in the head unit, the overhead, and PlayStation 2), you need extra displays, right?
For blasting out the tunes, you can't miss the four 10-inch subwoofers mounted in Sub-Zone boxes, plus two 9-inch three-way components speakers and four 6-inch components. Driving the speakers are six Sony amps: four 800-watt and two 600-watt units with crossovers. As you might imagine, they drain a little bit of juice, so Scosche supplied a pair of 1,100-amp dry-cell gel batteries, and there's a 110-volt power supply from Cascade audio as well to plug in at shows.
Dressing-up the interior are Woodview brushed-aluminum dash inserts, along with Katzkin two-tone gray-and-black upholstery on Scat Enterprises seats and tracks. Rod Doors supplied interior trim and fabricated universal molds speaker enclosures.
Of course, you've got to see and hear it all to really appreciate the sensory overload and sonic boom of the Sony Dreamscape system. It produces an audiovisual explosion of epic proportions. At the Pomona Roadster Show, spectators lined up three deep to play the video. And when the audiovisual system kicked on, it emptied all the nearby booths.
More than 200 pounds of wire and six sheets of 4x8-feet MDF (medium density fiberboard) went into this ICE chest. Altogether, this Colorado hauls an extra 1,000 pounds of weight, which required adding some Airaid airbags in the rearend and two bottles of go-juice from Nitrous Works. Even so, this rolling ICE chest is still a cruiser, not a muscle truck. "It may not be the fastest Colorado out of the hole," Jonas laughs, "but it sure is the loudest."