1996 Chevrolet Suburban

Xtreme Bodyworks' Parts Hauler

Wes Vreeland
Oct 1, 2001
Photographers: Calin Head, Wes Vreeland
Photo 2/6   |   1996 GMC Suburban Front Passenger Side View
Work trucks usually stay in their native form…beaten, dinged, and driven hard. From looking at Jay Martinez' custom ride, you'd never guess it's used to haul everything from rebuilt transmissions to half the soccer team. Jay recently went into business by starting his first body shop, Xtreme Bodyworks. In need of a work truck that could double as a family hauler, Jay found this 1996 Suburban at the salvage yard and got started. With salvage title fresh in hand, the Sub was parked for the duration and Xtreme went to work.
Photo 3/6   |   1996 GMC Suburban Front Wheel View
The condition of the truck in the beginning was far from what you see today. The truck was a stolen vehicle that had been scrapped. Since it was void of interior, drivetrain, and most of the chrome and accessories, Jay had a clean slate to start his project. First in line was shaving the door handles and installing remotely-operated opening solenoids all around. While the metal nibbler was handy, Xtreme removed the stock taillights and plopped in models from a Cadillac cruiser. For the complete Cadillac look, the front sheetmetal traded for an Escalade front clip. To further streamline the ride, Xtreme shaved the antenna and smoothed out the roof rack.
With the metalwork done and body in primer, a paint scheme was next. The loud yellow and striking tribal flames were laid out and sprayed on by the infamous Mad Marco from Fresno. The DuPont yellow shine job was pinstriped in a dark turquoise by Harvey Espeta. Xtreme’s parts hauler was given a stock drivetrain…it is a work truck, after all. To slightly enhance the sound a 2½-inch Flowmaster setup was welded in. The custom Suburban was brought to eye level using Belltech 2-inch drop spindles up front in combination with 3-inch lowering springs. To bring down the rear, custom de-arched leaves and a flip kit do the job and lower the ride 7 inches. Jay wanted to keep the truck a strong and dependable hauler, so airbags were ruled out as an option. All bounces are controlled with a full set of Eibach shocks. Power is connected to pavement by Big Daddy Wheels Gonzo 20-inch rims covered in Michelin Pilot XGT-Z4 rubber.
The key to this Sub's great look is its combination of components and paint. The lowered stance in unison with plus-sized rims and hellishly sticky tires gives the sub first-rate handling and an aggressive look. Tribal flames accent every curve of the body and continue into all the body seams under the hood and into the doorjambs. The Big Daddy name pinstriped on the rear door gives it the final touch. Maybe for the size of his family or fist, Jay has always been called Big Daddy and now has the perfect ride for such a position.
Vehicle: '96 Chevrolet Suburban
Engine: 350 cubic inch TBI V-8
Transmission: 700R4 four-speed automatic
Rear-end: 12-bolt 3.55 with posi

Front: Belltech 2-inch drop spindles, 3-inch lowering springs
Rear: De-arched leaves to 5-inch drop, Belltech flip kit
Wheels: 20x8-inch Big Daddy Gonzo
Tires: 255/35R-20 Michelin Pilon XGT-Z4
Paint: DuPont stock yellow and Viper Purple
Graphics: Mad Marco and Harvey Espeta

2015 Chevrolet Suburban Specifications

Fair Market Price $46,116
MSRP $49,000
Editors' Overall Rating
Mileage 16 City / 23 Highway
Engine 5.3L V8
Horse Power 355 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque 383 ft lb of torque @ 4,100 rpm
See all Specifications
Truck Trend Network


Chevrolet Suburban

Fair Market Price
Editors' Overall Rating
Basic Specifications
MSRP: $49,000
Mileage: 16 / 23
Engine: 5.3L V8
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