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2007 Chevrolet Tahoe - Progress To Perfection

The Evolution of One Man's Dream

Maxwell Matthewson
Jan 13, 2014
Photographers: Dan Ward
With every vehicle build, there is a certain evolution that happens. Slowly over time, the build changes and grows into something greater. Take this 2007 Chevy Tahoe owned by Ricky Rygaard of Texas City, Texas. It started out as a clean, 'bagged daily that slowly evolved into a ground-pounding, tire-smoking hellion that Ricky can barely control.
When we featured Ricky's 'hoe back in October of 2009, it was tucking 28-inch Asanti wheels thanks to a fully built, custom suspension from Ekstensive Metalworks in Houston. This involved fabricating a set of lower control arms and moving the upper arms higher up on the frame. A two-link was created for the rear, along with a track bar for locating the narrowed rearend. Ekstensive also created the massive wheeltubs to accommodate the almost 34-inch-tall tires. After four years of cruising and dragging it, the suspension is still working perfectly. Wanting to keep it fresh, Ricky decided to make some changes to the body— and the rebuild began.
Photo 2/12   |   2007 Chevy Tahoe
Continuing his relationship with Ekstensive, the Tahoe was delivered to the fabrication pros for some much-needed body smoothing. Up front, a sheetmetal front bumper was crafted and melded into the steel fenders. Out back, a matching roll pan was fabricated and the hatch completely smoothed. Looking sleek, Ricky took the Tahoe to Status, in Rockwall, Texas, and told Brian Vastine and Darren Wenzel that he wanted undead German military skulls integrated into the candy-red paint. Following Ricky's instructions, Brian prepped the to-be-painted areas, and in stepped Darren Wenzel with his airbrush in hand to take care of the skulls. A tear-away graphic separates the skulls from the red and an orange pinstripe perfectly breaks up the sea of red. After spraying literally hundreds of skulls, Brian came in and sealed the work of art with several coats of clear. The team then moved on to the Tahoe's interior.
This job belonged to Jake Moore, also of Status. Jake removed the previously installed audio and video components to give Ricky's Tahoe a reinvigorated system. With the electronics out of the way, Jake was able to create an iPad mount in the dash as well as a new center console flowing from front to back. In the rear, the center console ends at the cargo area that now holds a massive sub box and wall of amps and monitors. Monitors also fill the door panels and center console, giving any lucky passengers something to watch on long road trips. Status also added tan suede inserts in the black leather seats, wrapped the pillars and headliner in matching tan suede, and covered the floor in cut-pile tan carpet. A paint-matched Grant steering wheel was also swapped in place. After spraying and respraying the interior plastics with fresh coats of matching red paint, the horsepower situation was addressed.
After four years of driving around on such large wheels and tires, Ricky wanted the Tahoe's 5.3L to slam him back in his seat, so he made a call to Magnuson. This added over a hundred more rear-wheel horsepower to help propel the red brick down the Texas highways. Because of Ricky's need for deep bass and to power the 14 monitors throughout the cab, Ricky had a dual alternator setup installed to keep the four 2,000-watt Kinetik batteries fully charged.
Photo 3/12   |   Status also powdercoated the Asanti 143 wheels to better match the new look of the SUV.
Ricky successfully revamped a killer show truck and transformed it to look, sound, and feel different. But having one custom truck wasn't enough, check out Ricky's matching 'bagged Chevy Kodiak from the cover on page 70. Ricky wanted to thank all of the shops and sponsors that helped his Tahoe evolve from just a clean custom to a show stopping family hauler.
Inside the Build
Year Make Model:
2007 Chevrolet Tahoe
Owner and City/State:
Ricky Rygaard • Texas City, Texas
Type: 5.3L LY5 Vortec
Induction: Magnuson TVS1900
Exhaust: Magnaflow 3-inch exhaust
Built by: Status
Transmission: 4L60E with shift kit
Rearend: Narrowed with shortened axles
Front suspension: Custom control arms, Slam Specialties RE-8 'bags, Monroe shocks
Rear suspension: Two-link with track bar, RE-8 'bags, Monroe shocks
Brakes: Stock
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: 28x10-inch Asanti 143 wheels
Tires: 295/25R28 Pirelli Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico



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