1998 Chevy Tahoe - One Smooth Operator

This Tahoe Does It With Simple Aplomb

Harley Camilleri
Sep 1, 2006
Photographers: Dan Ward
Photo 2/2
It's questionable why we do what we do. Apparently, the answers are hidden in some monk's hairless head, perched high atop an unknown and unobtainable mountaintop. We know Jim Shumate sure isn't searching for a cure, as he has an A-list of customs under his belt, including a '55 Chevy, '67 and '69 Camaros, and the clincher, a '69 Cadillac. Any custom vehicle aficionado would chop off a near-and-dear part of himself to own just one of those, let alone all of them. And so that brings us to Jim's current toy, a '98 Chevy two-door Tahoe.
A far cry from the street-rod grouping of vehicles already through his stables, Jim latched onto this Tahoe because of its two-wheel-drive drivetrain. Visions of a clean, smooth cruiser danced around, and to start, the 'Hoe's suspension was brought to a more respectable stance. A 4/5 DJM drop and Edelbrock shocks were installed at Allgood's in Pendleton, South Carolina. Stillen brakes with stainless, braided lines take the place of the stockers, including a drum-to-disc conversion out back. Centerline 20- and 22-inch Edge wheels roll the Bow Tie on 255/35R20 and 285/30R22 Dunlops. At Allgood's the front control arms got whacked an inch shorter to make plenty of clearance to tuck and turn the front wheels easier.
For some grunt, the Chevy came equipped with a 5.7L V-8, but for a rodder like Jim, stock wasn't going to get his heart pumping. To pump up the power, the most obvious additive under the hood is the fully polished Cool Charger feeding the small-block with a bit of boost. After being fired in the cylinders by a JET EFI program the exhaust is tossed aside through JBA ceramic-coated headers and a fully stainless Borla system. Driving the power rearward is a factory 4L60 four-speed feeding the 3.73-cogged rearend. A full complement of shiny chrome and billet bits fills the engine compartment with a tasteful array of eye-pleasing gleam.
Attacking the exterior, David Smith of Walhalla, South Carolina, welded and filled the usual components, like the door handles, antenna, roof rack, and third brake light. A Sir Michael's roll pan fits in place of the rear bumper and a chrome smoothie bumper fits in front. Furthering the external modifications are a smooth cowl and an AAD Cobra hood. OE Argent Red was applied over the modified areas before APC projector headlights, clear corners, clear turn signals, and Altezza-style taillights were installed. For an extra touch of class, the SUV's framerails and rear differential were smoothed and coated in Argent Red to match. Calling it quits at this point would be fine for most but Jim had Greg Porter in Easley, South Carolina, layer on some Diamont and House of Kolor gold and purple tribal-like flames before burying it all under a thick layer of clear.
Custom is the word inside this sweet two-door, and most of the attention-grabbing would have to be the Cherry-wood rear floor laid down with Mar-K hidden-bolt, stainless strips. It's definitely cool. The rest of the interior features Argent Red-painted plastics and more of the billet brigade, topped off with an NRG all-billet steering wheel. Classic Auto Interior of Pickens, South Carolina, put sewer to material and covered the front factory buckets in natural leather and the floor in natural loop carpet. Splitting the distance between the seats is a hand-made center console. Allgood's filled the interior with sound. A Pioneer head unit feeds Crossfire amplifiers, mids, and subwoofers. If you can tear yourself away from the mile-deep shine on the wood floor you might not even notice the two 5-inch headrest monitors, 7-inch flip-down monitor, or even the 15-inch screen, all of which face rearward.
Jim has amassed quite a few trophies with his show travels and he carries each of them home in the matching C1500 trailer. The full Line-X treatment, topped with a Scottland tonneau, is just the thing for storage, seeing as how you wouldn't want anything to scratch up that shiny wood floor. Jim even went so far as to put matching APC taillights and a Sir Michael's pan on the bed-trailer. Jeremy of Churchill Customs gets the nod of approval from Mr. Shumate for all the ideas and help making the truck ready to show. With the completion of the truck it would seem that good ol' Jim just needs a couple more toys to complete his collection.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Specifications

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Fair Market Price $43,383
MSRP $46,300
Editors' Overall Rating
Mileage 16 City / 23 Highway
Engine 5.3L V8
Horse Power 355 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque 383 ft lb of torque @ 4,100 rpm
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Chevrolet Tahoe

Fair Market Price
$43,383
Editors' Overall Rating
Basic Specifications
MSRP: $46,300
Mileage: 16 / 23
Engine: 5.3L V8
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