1997 GMC Sierra - Intense
Coming Full Circle
Initially commissioned as a custom by one of Troy Anderson's friends, this '97 Sierra went under the knife at Anderson Bros Auto Body in West Sacramento, California, but it was sold before it was finished. The second owner made good progress on the interior, but either due to a lack of funds or interest, put the truck aside. Troy didn't want to see the truck languish after he and several other northern California truck enthusiasts had put so much time and effort into making it unique, so he purchased the truck himself and set off to finish what he and the guys at Anderson Bros had started.
It should come as no surprise that the crew at Anderson Brothers Auto Body is familiar with getting bodywork arrow-straight, fabricating sheetmetal, and getting vehicles back to showroom condition after a collision, but one thing they don't specialize in is airbagged suspensions. For that, the truck went to Dan Trente, owner of Hot Rod Haulers in Sacramento, where Ryan Pobanz fabricated the back half of the chassis using mandrel-bent rectangular tubing for the notch and round DOM tubing for the bridge. The rear axle rides on a wishbone three-link with Firestone 'bags that are fed compressed air from two Viair 280 compressors via 1/2-inch hardware. There's also a nitrogen tank that serves reserve duty. The front suspension uses matching Firestone 'bags, drop spindles, and a tubbed firewall to drop the frame on 22-inch Boyd Coddington Timeless II wheels wrapped in 295/30R22 Pirelli Scorpion rubber.
The crew at Anderson Bros. treated all of the aforementioned suspension components, from the chassis and links to the nitrogen bottle and fabricated inner bed skin, with the same attention as the remainder of the body. Everything was coated in the same Sikkens Corvette Bright Blue paint that was sprayed over the exterior. Before a drop was poured into a spray gun, there was much to be done on the body. The tailgate was completely shaved and a roll pan was installed that wraps the body line around the rear of the truck before the taillights were filled in and replaced with thin vertical Cadillac lights. Then the entire bed was moved forward 11/2 inches to close the gap between the cab. On the cab itself, the seams were shaved along with the door handles and third brake light, which was replaced with a flush-mound LED. The Sierra front clip was unbolted in favor of 2000 Yukon Denali sheetmetal that was filled with a Street Scene speed grille and capped off with an '03 Sierra bumper. After priming and block-sanding the body, several coats of Corvette Bright Blue were sprayed before Anthony Armaz and Justin Frei layered on the orange-tipped yellow flames and pinstriping. The flames lick from the front wheelwells on each side until they meet in the middle of the tailgate.
The interior of the Sierra features body-matched dash and door plastics as well as a full-length center console by Dan Fonts that mounts the Arc Audio subwoofer and amp. Additional Arc Audio components can be found in custom-built pods in the doors, while a JVC head unit is mounted in the factory location just above the billet-clad HVAC controls. Subtle two-tone leather upholstery and fresh gray carpet round out the rest of the accommodations.
While the history of this Sierra is a bit complicated, the important part is that the truck got finished. The combination of classic bodywork cues, color, and paint scheme give the truck a bit of a throwback feel while still maintaining a modern look. We knew the moment we saw it that we needed to photograph it. Troy wanted to thank Arc Audio, his parents Diane and Bill Anderson, as well as Justin Frei for the help he received throughout the build.