Sometimes we wonder what really motivates certain off-roaders to go to such extremes with their trucks. Some of these extremes make more sense than others. We can understand why someone would rip out their truck's stock drivetrain for beefier components, allowing the truck to go practically anywhere. We can even fathom the reasoning behind taking a perfectly good stock truck and equipping it for high-speed desert racing. One group of off-roaders that requires a bit more examination to understand is the extreme-lift crowd. One can't simply look at their trucks and say this group is overcompensating for something. There is definitely more to this need to have a larger truck than everyone else. Americans have always wanted to be king of the hill, and this group is merely carrying that idea into their trucks.
It seems that just when we think we've seen the biggest, baddest truck on the planet, someone else comes along and one-ups the current king of the hill. Since going huge is such a common thing these days, what was once considered an extreme lift quickly becomes the norm, and what was once an average-size lift is now small by comparison. Let's face the facts. Six-inch suspension lifts aren't all that big anymore. You can now go to your local truck dealer and finance a truck with a 6-inch lift and 35-inch tires, so the days of being different because you roll 35s is over. It used to be that a 10-inch lift made you a man who sat above the law and rolled to your own beat. Now, guys such as Brent Hodges roll with 21 inches of lift like it's no big deal, making the rest of us look, well, puny.
Brent makes a living in the construction industry, so having a truck is practically a prerequisite for the job. Brent decided that he needed a really big truck, though, instead of just a slightly big truck. Twisted Suspension Designs of Fresno, California, filled his need for air between the tires and body of his '01 GMC 1500 pickup. The shop crafted an 18-inch suspension lift and installed a 3-inch body lift that made room for a set of 42-inch tires below the chassis. The chassis sits atop 3-inch longer-than-stock coil springs, 3-inch lift spindles, and a unique cradle system that drops the control-arm mounting points downward an additional 12 inches in relation to the framerails. It's a big system, and it has been powdercoated.
The rear suspension garners a ton of looks because of its nontraditional composition. Gone are the leaf springs, which have been replace with a pair of triple-convoluted air springs. The rear axle is located via a triangulated four-link suspension pivoting on urethane bushings. A quartet of dampers keeps the rear suspension in check while the truck is in motion. The ride quality of the rear suspension is pliable and fully adjustable for towing heavy loads.
If the massive lift doesn't grab your attention, then Brent's choice of interior upgrades certainly will. Vic's Upholstery of Clovis, California, added orange and black accenting faux fur all over the inside of the cab. The fur looks like troll hair and matches the painted interior pieces accordingly. The graphic scheme, which Settin' Trendz of Fresno, California, executed on the outside of the truck, is carried into the interior. From the custom subwoofer enclosure to the dash and door bezels, Settin' Trendz sprayed the PPG hues throughout and made a conceivably bland gray interior stand out. More bling-bling was added with polished-aluminum parts from Trenz, and a 1,200-watt audio system rocks the house.
Brent's GMC is big, bad, and packed with style. While we could argue for days about the functionality of such a creation, or its impact on the off-road community in general, we'd rather sit back, pop open a cold one, and admire the work that went into such an outrageous truck. We're sure that's just what Brent does at the end of the day when this behemoth is parked in his driveway.
Brent Hodges/Clovis, California
'01 GMC 1500 Sierra
5.3L Vortech V-8, Flowmaster 3-inch exhaust
Precision Gear 4.88 set
Front: Twisted Suspension 18-inch suspension lift; rear: Twisted Suspension air springs and dampers
16.5x12-inch Weld Scorpio wheels/ 42x15R16.5 TSL Super Swamper tires