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2005 GMC Sierra - Righteous Resurrection

Everything Happens For A Reason

John Mata Jr.
Sep 1, 2009
Photographers: Brandan Gillogly
Photo 2/9   |   2005 Gmc Sierra left Side Angle
Eli Barro, owner of Air Concepts, in Ceres, California, first laid eyes on this '05 GMC Sierra while picking up some parts for a job from KP Components in Hilmar, California. The truck was sitting underneath a few layers of dust and was tucked way back behind KP's parking lot. At this point, the only question on Eli's mind was if the truck was for sale. Upon further investigation, Eli learned that the Sierra was part of a trade for another vehicle so he offered the owner a fair but somewhat low cash offer, which was gladly accepted without much hesitation. The truck was already 'bagged but the pumps were burnt and the rolling stock consisted of mismatched OE wheels, but none of that phased Eli one bit because he saw past the truck's flaws and focused only on its possibilities. Since the truck was inoperable, Eli ran to his shop and grabbed enough tools to hook up a Nitrogen bottle, which got the handicapped airbagged hauler home.
Photo 3/9   |   2005 Gmc Sierra right Side Angle
With a few slight repairs out of the way, Eli had a drivable custom truck that he only planned to make as his mildly modified shop vehicle. This far into the story-six weeks to be exact, one would be quick to believe that Eli's adventure was just about to end on a high note. Well, if it wasn't for the guy who smacked into the back of the truck while Eli was headed out to grab some lunch, it may have. Owning a custom truck shop must be an awesome advantage over us everyday truck fans, since Eli's insurance cut him a check to heal the truck's fresh wounds. With the Sierra's bed sitting on the sidelines, the rear suspension was assessed for damage but the only thing that needed fixing was an accident that occurred prior to the crash. Eli noticed that whoever notched the truck's frame must have done so with a blindfold and maybe a day or two of welding experience at best. All hope wasn't lost, however, since there was a KP six-link already resting in place. After a couple of days at Air Concepts, the GMC was going up and down with no problem and the truck was equipped with a KP Watts-link and new airlines.
Since the suspension wasn't too far gone, Eli spent some much needed time on the Sierra's beaten physical appearance. The damage that was caused from the collision was cured and all the handles were shaved, as were the rear bumper and taillights, which were replaced by a pair of AVS Cadillac Deville LED replacement lamps. Eli then called on his good friend, Richard Galindo, to finish up the remaining minor bodywork and they worked up a paint scheme that would cover up the dull, all-white color. Two sets of vibrant flames were laid down over the metal canvas. The final touches were completed the night before the Reso '07 show as Eli and a few friends wet-sanded and buffed the truck for its grand unveiling.
Although the interior wasn't quite complete in '07, Eli made sure that it was a wrap before the last Reso show in '08. A few interior pieces were pulled and painted an electric shade of green that was good enough to influence the color of the suede-wrapped seats. Audio Pros, in Modesto, created custom kick panels and a center console to further push the radical interior styling. Zapco tweeters and midrange speakers along with 12-inch Kicker subs were wired to Zapco amps. A set of Nu Image gauges and billet accessories were added to the list of in-cab accessories and come together to create a wild interior space to match the exterior demeanor.
Since the rest of Eli's GMC was showing exciting signs of life, he decided not to gloss over performance upgrades in the way of a cool air intake, throttle-body spacer, a less-restrictive exhaust system, and a power programmer to manage the extra ponies. Eli didn't need to gain anymore attention from his all-night draggin' exhibitions, but with a gnarly V-8 rumble, the Sierra can't help but turn more heads.
Eli managed to raise his underdog GMC from the ashes and create an all-around custom that overcame the odds that were stacked against its survival. Without the knowledge and support from his father, who taught him the trade of metal fabrication, building such a truck would have been out of reach. Since '99, Eli and Air Concepts have been 'bagging, dragging, and body dropping trucks with the best of them and he plans on taking his skills to higher levels in the future. Eli would like to extend much-deserved thanks to Acrophopia, Richard Galindo, Anthony and Clint from KP, Kris and Nick from AVS, Frank at Nu Image, Rob at Line-X, Robert from Zapco, Eddie at Audio Pros, and his friends and family for the never-ending encouragement that he thrived on along the way.



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