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1997 GMC Sierra - In Spite

Proving Them Wrong

Brandan Gillogly
Aug 1, 2010
Photographers: Dan Ward
When Chad Fincher purchased this '97 GMC Sierra in 1999, he had no idea that it would turn into the body-dropped custom that you see now, but after driving it with a static drop for several years, a fender bender damaged the front end and gave him the opportunity he needed to go full-bore with the customization. When Chad decided to build it to debut at SEMA, there were plenty of naysayers that told him he'd never get it done in time. To prove them wrong, Chad employed a team of trusted craftsmen and put his nose to the grindstone to finish the build in time without cutting any corners.
Photo 2/10   |   1997 GMC Sierra right Side Angle
Lowboy Motorsports in Mesa, Arizona, took over the suspension portion of the build, which involved serious frame alteration. The front of the frame was pie cut for clearance and Ride Tech control arms, DJM spindles, and Slam Specilaties RE-7 'bags were installed to allow for the correct camber throughout the suspension's travel. The rear was notched and a KP Components six-link was welded in place before the Slam Specialties bags were plumbed with 1/2-inch stainless steel tubing and 1/2-inch valves.
Two new crossmembers were fabricated, one to mount the gas tank above the frame, and another to mount the 8 1/2-gallon tank and two Viair 480 compressors that feed the 'bags. Lowboy also handled some of the sheetmetal work, as they fabricated inner fenders and the mount for the Optima battery under the hood. The goal of the frame fabrication was to showcase the Chevy and fully lay out on 22-inch Bonspeed Quasar wheels and, as you can see, they were quite successful.
Chad's favorite modification is the body drop, which was performed by his friend, and Truckin' contributor, Kevin Whipps at Whipps Industries. You may remember the channeling tech, as we ran the story a few years ago, but to freshen your memory, with help from Chad, Kevin channeled the cab floor 2 3/4 inches and raised the bed floor to maintain a flat load floor.
From there, the truck was off to Demented Customs in Hobbs, New Mexico. Chad had already installed the Caddy front clip and the front bumper that was sectioned by IF Customs, but there was still a lot of work to be done. Demented shaved the door handles, tailgate handle, and stake pockets, before the entire body was prepped for Dark Toreador Red, a factory Ford color. Next, two layers of flames were sprayed on, one in burgundy, and the other in snow-white pearl.
The paint was gleaming and the graphics were practically leaping off the truck, but Demented wasn't done yet. Turning to the interior, a huge sub enclosure replaced the rear seats and was filled with Kicker zx650.5 and zx1500.1 amps and three 12-inch Kicker L5 subs. Treble and midrange duties are managed by two sets of Kicker KS components in the doors and in the C-pillars. A center console was also fabricated to hold the switches and an Accellevision monitor to match the two monitors in the sub enclosure. Master Craft Upholstery in Hobbs was tasked with wrapping the Escalade seats in tan leather and burgundy suede Katzkin upholstery.
With all of the talented individuals that helped out on the build, it's hard to imagine that anyone would be skeptical of Chad's goal, but no doubt they spurred him on in finishing his GMC. Chad would like to send out thanks to Jaime, Andy, James, and the rest of the guys at Demented Customs, Kevin Whipps, Todd and Justin at Lowboy Motors, Jack and Nadim at ZK Express, Little T, and his family, especially his wife Shelly.



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