Exclusive Content
Original Shows, Motorsports and Live Events
Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM

1998 GMC Sierra - Cover Quest

Finding A Reader's Truck Worthy Of Being On The Cover Of 8-Lug

Dec 1, 2010
The entry date for Cover Quest 2010 has passed, and we are now scrambling to select the best trucks from the entries so we can present them to you on the pages of 8-Lug. Response has been humbling-apparently there's a strong desire to be on the cover of this magazine. We'll continue to show the best trucks through the December issue and then make arrangements to set up a cover shoot of the winner's truck, which will run sometime in 2011. Next month, the winner of the 2009 Cover Quest gets his moment of glory with a cover shot.
The Panel
If you haven't realized it yet, Cover Quest is in the hands of the critics you see here. Their decisions are final and you can count on their comments to be brutally honest or sincerely encouraging.
Each reviewer has a different specialty, but in the end, two or more judges must agree on the worthiness of each CQ truck for it to move into the final round of elimination. Typically, selections for publication have been a confidential thing, handled behind the scenes of a magazine like 8-Lug. But for 2010, we're showing you the people behind the curtain. Well, most of them, anyway.
Bob Carpenter
His career with automotive magazines dates back to 1982 when he was an editor of Dirt Rider magazine. After the stint with motorcycles, Bob subsequently took the reins of magazines like Custom Classic Trucks and Truck Builder and never looked back. He's contributed to more than 20 other automotive publications as well.
Photo 2/14   |   1998 GMC Sierra bob Carpenter
Bob knows what it takes for a truck to be good enough to make it onto the cover of 8-Lug, and he doesn't hold back.
Larry Saavedra
With 20-plus years covering custom trucks and cars, Larry is a Telly Award-winning producer of Four Wheeler TV and most recently the editor of RV magazine.
Photo 3/14   |   1998 GMC Sierra larry Saavedra
His career started in 1985 at Truckin' magazine and he was responsible for launching niche titles like Mini Truckin' and 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility Magazine. With his insight of the aftermarket and a lifetime of automotive culture under his belt, Larry will be one tough judge to please. But you can count on him to be encouraging, no matter how you rate.
Mystery Judge
Much like Simon Cowell has defined American Idol, our mystery judge has wreaked a lot of havoc in the pages of 8-Lug.
Photo 4/14   |   1998 GMC Sierra mystery Judge
People have gone out and spent lots of money to change their trucks after the mystery judge ripped them for this or that.
With the benefit of anonymity, the mystery judge can let the opinions fly without having to worry about answering to anyone.
This is the one judge the trucks are going to have to impress the most to get a thumbs-up.
The Truck: 1998 GMC Sierra
The Color: Olive Drab
The Owner: Rob Brown
The Location: Spruce Woods, Manitoba, Canada
The High Point: Military theme
The Lift: 6-inch IFS
The Engine: 5.0L (still, it barks the tires)
The Wheels/Tires: 20-inch KMC Rockstars/40-inch Toyo M/Ts
The Sound System: Custom, with JL/Kicker/Infinity Pioneer included
Photo 5/14   |   1998 GMC Sierra left Front Angle
The best way to let Rob Brown describe his truck is to simply reprint the bullet-point presentation he sent us...here goes.
• H.Bullee and Sons custom leaf springs
• HPD60 (front)
• 14-bolt FF (rear)
• 5.13 gearing
• Detroit Locker in the rear
• PML Inc. differential covers and transmission pan with temp sensor
• High Angle Driveline rear two-piece shaft with 1450 joints
• SYE kit from JB Conversions for the NP241 swap
• Offroad Design rear shackle flip
• Rear disc conversion
• Off-road Direct SAS kit
• Off Road Unlimited front sway bar
• Off Road Unlimited crossover front steering
• Custom-built front crossmember (factory one removed)
• Custom-built front shock hoops
• Six Sway-A-Way/RaceRunner 14-inch-travel reservoir shocks
• 20x12 KMC Rockstars painted to match with matching spare
• 40x15.50x20 Toyo M/Ts
• Mile Marker stainless steel manual hubs
Interior/Sound System
• Bonneville SSEI bucket seats
• Factory rear leather seat from donor
• Black carpet from ACC with matching carpeted mats
• Black inserts in the doors
• Custom-painted headliner of a WWII air raid
• FatMat throughout the truck (two layers, four on the doors)
• JLW612 subwoofer fires out the back of the center console, which is shaped like a bomb
• Custom-built amp rack that's mounted to the bottom of the rear seat with a built-in cooling fan to move air around and behind the amps for extra cooling
• JL450/4 amp
• JL500/1 amp
• Kicker 6-inch components up front
• Infinity 4x6 plates in the rear
• Pioneer in-dash DVD/CD/MP3 player
• Viper two-way paging alarm system
• 0 awg wiring throughout
• Custom gauge overlay (brushed aluminum)
• Nu Image billet accessories throughout (heater knobs, etc.)
• Triple-gauge pillar pod with three Auto Meter gauges (trans temp, vacuum, and air/fuel)
• Billet, flamed steering wheel
• Custom-machined .50-cal solid steel transfer case shifter
• Billet rearview mirror
Engine Compartment
• Volant cool-air intake
• Vararam intake plenum
• Dual Odyssey batteries
• Flex-A-Lite dual 15-inch Monster fan
• HD radiator swap
• Borla cat-back exhaust
• Wester's Garage PCM tune
• Custom mix of my own, Olive Drab by Endura
• Bushwacker Cut-Out fender flares
• Steel painted handles ('88 to '94 GM)
• CIPA power extendable mirrors (painted to match)
• Stull billet grille
• Custom-made grille emblem (old belt buckle I had)
• Pro Comp front bar (modified)
• Pro Comp 8-inch off-road lights
• Sectioned factory front bumper for tire clearance
• Goodmark cowl-induction hood
• Billet fuel door (painted to match)
• FBI steel roll pan
• TYC headlights and park lamps
• LineX bedliner
• Kodiak power steps with 12-inch arm conversion
Bob Carpenter
I'm practically speechless. This truck is so freaking cool and put together with such attention to detail that I wish I owned it. I mean, who strips a frame down to bare metal then applies three coats of chassis paint before applying three coats of spray-on bedliner? Maybe I'll make Rob an offer he can't refuse. You could say this truck is a subtle dedication to the soldiers who have served and those who continue to serve. Rob drives it every day (when it's not being re-torn apart and rebuilt as he often does) and is not afraid to tackle high-speed gravel roads and his favorite: mud. Excuse me, I have to go onto Orbitz For Business and see how much a flight to Manitoba is going to cost.
Photo 12/14   |   1998 GMC Sierra thumbs Up
Mystery Judge
I'm all for it. I just wish this truck didn't have the wimpy 5.0L gas engine. I know Rob protests that it easily chirps the tires and gets great fuel range, but I think something this burly and tough should be sporting many hundreds of pound-feet of torque. That's just me, and that's just one opinion. Put this thing on the cover, for sure.
Photo 13/14   |   1998 GMC Sierra thumbs Up
Larry Saavedra
The fact that Rob Brown literally picked himself off the ground and built this '98 GMC into a real head-turner is a testament to his commitment and courage under pressure. Rob was left paralyzed after a motorcycle accident, and through sheer determination, he started walking again after years of physical therapy. That's the kind of story I think more people should hear because staying busy and doing something as constructive as customizing a vehicle can really go a long way in keeping people healthy-both mentally and physically.
Photo 14/14   |   1998 GMC Sierra thumbs Up
I've said it many times before: I like clean lines on trucks. And Rob's GMC is a prime example of what can be done without destroying the integrity of the original design of the vehicle. I'm not all that thrilled with the 6-inch lift, but if it makes him happy, then so be it. I think too much lift looks awkward.