GMC SLT4 Mini-Max Prerunner

You’ve seen Brian Bush’s creations on multiple covers of this magazine over the past five years. Each featured truck has its own unique style of machine, each with a diesel under the hood, and each having first been displayed at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

Bush says he’s “been granted full creative rights with an open slate” for each of his SEMA builds, and his “style is simply stated, functional, and less is more.” He has a racing background and built everything from racing UTVs to a Baja chase truck to an overland bug-out vehicle, to this latest creation, a GMC Prerunner, that can tow.

This latest creation is our Shell Rotella Truck of the Month which made its debut in the Truck Hero booth at the 2021 SEMA Show.

Functional SEMA Build

While not his only GMC Prerunner style builds, this one has been elevated a few rungs above anything else Bush has built. It’s important to learn from your mistakes and your wins, and this build solidifies that Bush knows how to build a truly impressive purpose-built truck ready to break necks, slay whoops, and induce massive smiles. Yes, it even works as well as it looks, something not always associated with SEMA builds.

“Building for SEMA is a challenge, because on the truck side, what is brought is generally for show only. In many cases non-functional and in my opinion, too extravagant.” -says Bush. “Building a truck that is not only functional but also visually appealing enough to grab showgoers’ attention is easier said than done. I simply will not sell my soul to build a truck that is not my style, or over the top with a concoction of free colorful parts because the masses will like it.”

Not Just For SEMA

Many SEMA builds are all show and no-go and get sold off right after the event. Bush’s creations are a bit different, as he builds them to a spec he knows he and his family will enjoy for at least a few years.

For this build, Bush wanted a truck that could haul six people, get reasonable fuel economy as a daily driver, tow a medium-sized trailer, and be ear-to-ear grin-inducing when the skinny pedal is used judiciously on desert tracks. Oh, and of course, it had to turn heads wherever it goes, it is a show truck after all.

A Banks Power Data Monster controls the Pedal Monster and gives amazing insight into the engine and transmission’s health via a mass of data displayed.

SLT Meets AT4

Bush chose a 2021 GMC 1500 SLT with the LM2 3.0L Duramax under the hood. Because he needed seating for six he was forced to get the SLT trim of the truck, to get the front center seat. The truck was sourced from Henry Brown GMC, in Gilbert, AZ, which Bush says was a hassle-free buying experience —which isn’t all that common these days.

He also wanted the sporty OEM looks of the AT4 trim though, so added the AT4 black chrome grill, fog light bezels, and fender badges. These factory parts touch helped tie the truck together, as they paired well with the Anthracite colored wheels, bed cage, shocks, and misc powder coat on the truck.

Ready to Dance

Below the AT4 grille sits a massive row of Baja Designs lights mounted on a custom front bumper with an integrated baja-style skid plate. Fiberwerx carbon fenders and bedsides offer up curves, lighter weight, and room for meaty 37-inch Toyo mud-terrains on 17-inch KMC Tank Beadlock wheels.

What makes this truck an impressive dance partner is the Dirtking Fabrication long travel 4WD suspension with bed cage. Combined with ADS Racing Shocks custom Anthracite ceramic coated 5 tube bypass shocks and coil overs and R81 12-leaf progressive-rate leaf springs from Deaver Suspension.

With that tire and suspension package, big whoops are little effort for this diesel GMC Prerunner build.

Drinking Fabrication Long Travel 4WD Suspension


You’ll find that the inside of this truck has also gotten the custom treatment with a full Katzkin leather package. The Sandstone colored ‘TekStich’ interior really pops with Mahogany contrast stitching. Upping the comfort game further is a Degreez heating and cooling system for the front seats. For added good looks and rugged durability Husky Liners, all weather floor mats were installed.

Keeping track and displaying the engine’s health is a Banks Power Data Monster diagnostic monitor and data logger. All the accessories, like the plethora of Baja Designs lights, are controlled through a Switch-Pros RCR Force 12.

Katzkin Leather Sandstone ‘TekStich’ w/Mahogany Contrast Stitching w/Degreez Heating and Cooling, Switch Pros RCR Force 12, Banks Power Data Monster, Husky Liners All Weather Floor Mats

Do Work

Out back there is a color-matched Dirtking rear bumper and hidden hitch, essential for towing and a reasonable departure angle. The truck bed is covered with an ARE Fusion folding bed cover, which is also color matched to the truck. An Inyati spray in Bedliner protects the bed, which is fitted with a spare tire holder, Undercover Swing Case tool storage boxes, a Pro Eagle 1.5 ton off-road jack, and a Box tool bag tool kit.

Finishing Touches

While the proper stance, big carbon fenders, and custom interior might already have you drooling, the little touches are what really make this truck stand out from the crowd. Little things like the American flag in the grille GMC logo and side mirrors that read “Objects in mirrors are Raptors” make this truck memorable.

There are Baja Designs LED lights everywhere on this truck as well; behind the grille, on the a-pillars, out back, and a bunch underneath. Under the hood, an S&B cold air intake keeps this GMC breathing right while a Banks Pedal Monster reduces pedal response lag. Under the truck are Amp Research power retractable steps, which are key on a truck rolling on 37s.

With paint and bodywork by Fiberwerx, paint polish and ceramic coating by Bob Moses Ceramic Coating Mesa, and ceramic window tint and clear bra from Dynamic Tint AZ this truck were ready for SEMA and the desert.

ARE Fusion Folding Bed Cover, Inyati Spray in Bedliner, Undercover Swing Case Tool Storage, Box Direct Tool Bag Tool Kit, Pro Eagle 1.5-Ton Off-Road Jack

Show Truck Used Daily

Off-road adventures started for this truck with our photoshoot the day after SEMA. The next day it was again out in the desert at Bush’s family’s favorite shooting spot near Florence, AZ.

Since then he has been on daily driver duty for Bush. On the weekends it either hauls mountain bikes or tows a 23-foot boat to the lake or a 20-foot enclosed motorcycle trailer to the race track.

The LM2 Duramax diesel has proven economical, sporty, and just powerful enough for Bush’s towing needs. Bush says that “going diesel was a no-brainer, not only does it pull better than my previous 6.2L gas trucks, but gets upwards of 20 mpg unloaded.” His wife loves this truck so much that she bought a twin, which Bush says is stock, and gets 27 mpg with her less heavy right foot.

You can follow Brian Bush and his builds on Instagram @denaliprerunner.

KMC Wheels 17×9 Tank Anthracite Beadlocks wrapped in 37/12.50R17 Toyo Open Country M/T Tires

Baja Designs Lights Throughout

2021 GMC 1500 SLT Sierra 3.0L Duramax

Suspension: Dirtking Fabrication Long Travel 4WD Suspension and Bed Cage, ADS Racing Shocks w/ Custom Anthracite Ceramic Coating, Deaver Suspension R81 12-Leaf Progressive Rate Spring Packs

Wheels & Tires: KMC Wheels 17×9 Tank Anthracite Beadlocks wrapped in 37/12.50R17 Toyo Open Country M/T Tires

Performance: S&B Cold Air Intake, Banks Pedal Monster, Banks

Exterior: Fiberwerx Carbon Fiber Fenders and Bedsides, GMC AT4: Grille/Fog Light Bezels/Fender Badges, Baja Designs: 4x LP4/1x 30” S8/2x S2 Pro/2x S2 Amber/2x S1/8x White Rock Lights, Amp Research Power Steps, Dirtking Fabrication Rear Bumper and Hidden Hitch, Bob Moses Ceramic Coating Mesa: Paint Polish and Ceramic Coating, Dynamic Tint AZ: Ceramic Window Tint and Clear Bra

Interior: Katzkin Leather Sandstone ‘TekStich’ w/Mahogany Contrast Stitching w/Degreez Heating and Cooling, Switch Pros RCR Force 12, Banks Power Data Monster, Husky Liners All Weather Floor Mats

Truck Bed: ARE Fusion Folding Bed Cover, Inyati Spray in Bedliner, Undercover Swing Case Tool Storage, Boxo Direct Tool Bag Tool Kit, Pro Eagle 1.5-Ton Off-Road Jack

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