MTX Car Audio's Cool Z-71
Everyone knows that if you have a great product, it will sell itself, whether you try to sell it or not. However, if you are Mark Schleipfer of Marble Hill, Missouri, a regional sales manager for MTX Car Audio, one of the ultimate manufacturers of high-end car audio components, then you are always thinking of ways to help that great product sell itself just a little better. Enter the buildup of his very impressive Z-71 daily driver. One look at this masterpiece, and all of the hard work and many long hours that Mark and his sponsors put forth will be recognized in each of its meticulous details.
Elevating the Z-71 to new heights required the installation of a Dick Cepek 6-inch suspension lift kit, Rancho torsion bars, and four Dick Cepek Race Series shocks. Add to the mixture some hefty 35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains wrapped around 15x12 Weld Racing wheels, and suddenly people begin to move out of the Z-71's way. Of course, having one-of-a-kind custom-bent-and-designed front and rear prerunner bumpers and a custom bed-mounted fullsize spare tire carrier and rollbar doesn't hurt. The front bumper plays host to a pair of PIAA 520-series and 9050-series lights, while mounted atop the rollbar are four KC Daylighters. Smittybilt side step bars round out the package.
To better get the attention of his potential customers, Mark commissioned Trentham's Auto Body of Marble Hill, Missouri, to install a Harwood cowl-induction hood prior to the application of the snow-white paintjob. Completing the exterior look, Deano's Auto Body of Phoenix applied stunning peach, gray, and blue graphics. While the Z-71 was getting its new colors, the plastic OEM grille inserts were swapped out for custom billet aluminum units. For the finishing touches, a Dick Cepek stainless steel front skidplate was bolted into place.
Proving that he was not just concerned with the visuals, Mark improved the performance of his show-stopper with a plethora of aftermarket goodies. The first item to gussie up the stock 5.7L Chevy V-8 was the addition of an Edelbrock air cleaner system with breathers and a pair of Edelbrock's famous headers. When combined with the stainless steel Gibson after-cat exhaust system, the small-block gained a few noticeable ponies. To make certain that spark plugs were always on the firing line, a set of ACCEL ignition wires was installed. To complement the Z-71's exterior, the engine compartment was treated to a Cool-Flex chrome-plated radiator hose, stainless steel braided lines, and Edelbrock valve covers.
To add versatility to his truck, Mark installed a 9,000-pound Warn winch on the front prerunner bumper. Judging from the pictures and the locations he drives his wild ride, we can almost guarantee that the winch will inevitably prove to be the most-used accessory on the rig. To handle the additional strain and load that the PIAA lights, Warn utility winch, and the mega watt MTX Pro Audio system will be putting on the vehicle's electrical and charging system, a pair of Deep Cycle Optima batteries and a high output alternator were the preferred replacements for the OEM equipment.