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1997 GMC Sonoma - Hidden Detail

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

Brandon Burrell
Mar 1, 2010
Contributors: Mike Alexander
Photographers: Brandon Burrell
Owner: Ben Nester
Ride: 1997 GMC Sonoma
Hometown: Spring City, PA
Club: Grounded 4 Life
Photo 2/10   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma front Left View
When walking around the showgrounds trying to find feature trucks and trying to spot some of the new and upcoming trends, we sometimes walk right by a truck that deserves more attention.
Trucks like that exist everywhere and very seldom get the exposure they deserve. That's exactly what happened when we first spotted Ben Nester's 1997 Sonoma. It was sitting at a show we were covering and while running through trying to grab the show coverage, we snapped a photo of it and moved on to the next truck thinking this nice-looking red GMC was just a super-clean Dime.
Photo 3/10   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma gauge
Coming back around and taking a second glance we were instantly grabbed by the painted and detailed V-8 squeezed between the trailer fenders and thought, "didn't see that one coming." Then our eyes were drawn into the interior and thought the same thing with the one-off fiberglass dash and console and a super-clean sub box built into the console. All these clean, custom additions were sprayed with some bright red paint and there were tons of detail accent pieces scattered throughout the interior. Next it was on to the bed where we first noticed the one-of-a-kind single 'bag setup, and a ton of sheetmetal bed work. After seeing how much detail this "mild mannered" truck had, we knew we had to track down the owner and line up a photo shoot for the world to see. Ben was quickly tracked down and the shoot was locked in.
Photo 4/10   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma engine
After talking to Ben during the photo shoot, we found out that his favorite part of the truck is the rear suspension. He gets more comments on it and the smoothed out bed than anything else. When asked if there was anything interesting that happened during the three-year build, he laughed and said that he had lost several girlfriends because of the truck and spent way too much money. But in the end, he has one amazingly detailed magazine worthy truck and finally found the right girl that understands Ben's passion for trucks. This just goes to show that the next time you're walking around a show and see a simple, clean exterior of a truck, don't judge a book by its cover. Take the time to walk around it and appreciate every little hidden detail because you never know what you might find. For more info on the mods performed on Ben's Sonoma, check out the Lowdown.
Photo 5/10   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma engine View
Rolling Attire
Wheels Front: 18-inch American Racing Torque Trust II
Wheels Rear: 20-inch American Racing Torque Trust II
Tires: Toyo Proxes
Photo 6/10   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma msd Ignition
Chassis Modifications
Suspension Type: Air
Front Suspension: 2,500-pound Firestone airbags
Rear Suspension: Custom single 'bag cantilever setup
Control Arms: Silver Star Customs
Spindles: 2-inch drop spindles
Valves: Parker
Compressors: Two Viair 450s
Frame Mods: Entire frame is smoothed and painted
Detail Work: Every nut and bolt painted, nothing left untouched
Performed By: Nesters Auto Body
Body Modifications
Shaved: Mirrors, tailgate, taillights, custom bed and bumper
Body-dropped: 3.5 inches
Front End: Cowl-induction hood, billet grilles, aftermarket bumper cover
Back end: Tailgate welded shut
Performed By: Nesters Auto Body
Photo 7/10   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma right Side View
Brand and Colors: PPG standard red
Performed By: Nesters Auto Body
Seats: Honda Civic
Material: Slate Suede
Dash: Custom fiberglass
Door Panels: Recovered
Center Console: Custom fiberglass
Flooring: Black Carpet
Gauges: AutoMeter
Performed By: Nesters Auto Body
Photo 8/10   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma truck Parts
Head Unit: Panasonic
Mids & Highs: Alpine
Subwoofers: Audiobahn
Amplifiers: Alpine
Video: 7-inch flip-out in center console
Custom Fabrication: Custom fiberglass sub box and center console
Performed By: Nesters Auto Body
Photo 9/10   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma truck Part
Displacement: 355 V-8
Camshaft: Crane Cams
Transmission: Turbo 350
Intake: Professional Products
Header/Exhaust: Headman Headers
Ignition: MSD
Driveshaft: Custom
Battery: Two RedTop Optimas
Detail Work: Painted and polished with several billet parts
Performed By: Nesters Auto Body
Photo 10/10   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma custom Interior
Special Thanks from Owner
"My mom for putting up with all the noise I make and dad for all the time and effort he put in with me building the truck."


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