A 1-Ton Diesel Rally Racer?

When you’re a young entrepreneur with a marketing company and part-time gigs as a spokesman for the likes of Xbox and T-Mobile, you can hardly drive around in a stock rig. You certainly need something that will pop and stand out in a crowd from the Las Vegas strip to the glitz of Rodeo Drive. 

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That is the situation that Caleb Garrett, who goes by the nom de plume of “AKA Stuntman,” finds himself in, and one of his rides is this clean 2009 2WD crew cab Chevrolet 3500 HD. From time to time, he needs to tow or haul stuff, and doesn’t want to do it in a stock truck. He also has a blast just cruising in the truck, knowing that it’s a big, bad machine.

Despite living in the land of lifted trucks in Southern California, Caleb chose to go in the other direction and have his Chevy lowered, making it reminiscent of the lowered street truck days of the late ’90s in SoCal. He turned the truck over to his friends at Rolling Big Power in Corona, California, to manage the build project, which included getting it ready to be featured at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, where it really takes a special truck to stand out in the crowd of other custom rigs.

To get the low-slung stance without messing up the ride quality and towing ability, the truck is fitted with a DJM 6/8 lowing kit with new upper and lower control arms, and shocks up front.

The front end of the truck is dominated by the RBP grilles, painted bumper and Anzo HID headlights, which give the truck an intimidation factor of 10!

Peeking under the rear of the truck, you can see the black RBP exhaust system as well as the axle flip kit and the air bags to help with any extremely heavy loads.

The large 5-inch diameter RBP exhaust tip pokes out from under the body in the factory location behind the rear wheel.

The huge 22-inch 10-lug American Force wheels were treated to gloss black paint with a red pinstripe before they were wrapped in low profile Toyo Proxes S/T rubber to fill the wheel wells perfectly.

Living in California, it’s a good thing to have a stock-appearing Duramax under the hood, even if it’s tuned and slightly modified.

In typical street truck style, the mirrors, hood vents, bumpers, door handles and tailgate handle were all treated to body-matching bright red paint. To provide a great red vs. black theme, all the windows were limo tinted. And to make the front of the truck pop against the painted bumper, they installed a gloss black RBP grille with chrome accents and RBP star logo. Another RBP grille section covers the lower opening in the bumper with matching gloss black trim and chrome accents. The black is carried over into the aftermarket Anzo projector HID headlights that flank the new grille.

Lifting the hood reveals a stock-appearing LMM Duramax, which is a good thing living in California. The LMM has been treated to a DPF-back RBP exhaust system finished in black to go with the rest of the truck. The large RBP exhaust tip exits the chassis behind the passenger side rear wheels in the stock location. They also warmed over the engine with an RBP tuner to improve performance and economy.

A DJM 6/8 kit was installed to lower the truck six inches up front and eight inches in the rear. Up front are a set of new DJM upper and lower control arms, and shorter Calmax Super Shox. The setup retains the factory torsion bars for good ride quality.
In the rear, an axle flip kit was installed that moves the rear axle above the leaf springs instead of below in the stock configuration. Calmax Super Shox shocks were installed to control the rear axle over bumps. Despite the lowered ride height, towing capability wasn’t compromised since the truck still retains 1-ton torsion bars up front and leaf springs in the rear. An air bag system was also installed in the rear to help support very heavy loads when needed.

Even the hood vents were painted red to match the rest of the truck.

The mirrors and door handles were color matched and painted to give the truck a cleaner look.

In the rear, the steel parts of the bumper and the tailgate handle were painted to match the truck and give it a clean look.

Moving inside the cab you’ll find the brushed US Speedo gauge cluster that replaces the factory one and goes well with the plush leather factory interior.

A sub enclosure is located below the rear seat to house a pair of 10-inch JL Audio 10W7 subs to give the truck some boom in the bottom end of the frequency range

While the big red Chevy doesn’t lay frame, it sports a good-looking stance and is still capable of towing or hauling anything since the factory springs and torsion bars are retained.

Ferraris and Lamborghinis had to get used to seeing this view as Caleb won his class in the 2010 Gold Rush Rally with his Duramax-powered truck.

Of course, wheels and tires can make or break any truck and Caleb wanted to be unique so the crew at RBP gave a set of 22-inch 10-lug American Force wheels the RBP treatment by painting them black with a red pinstripe accent. The massive wheels are wrapped in high-performance Toyo Proxes S/T 305/45R22 tires that grip the road and help make the big truck handle like a sports car when combined with the performance suspension and lowered center of gravity.

To make the cabin more accommodating on long road trips, the factory audio system was upgraded with new speakers in the doors and by adding a custom sub enclosure with a pair of JL Audio 10W7 10-inch subs under the rear bench seat. With the seat folded down in the normal seated position, only the edges of the sub enclosure are noticeable, until you crank up the volume, that is. A JL Audio amplifier mounted behind the seat and away from prying eyes powers the subs. A video monitor is also mounted to the headliner to entertain rear seat passengers on road trips. A US Speedo gauge face kit was installed to give the gauges a unique look while retaining full factory functionality.

In 2010, Caleb entered the truck in the Gold Rush Rally that started in Seattle and then raced south through San Francisco, Los Angeles and finished in Las Vegas. He raced against supercars by Ferrari, Lamborghini and others with his big Duramax truck and came out on top in his class, largely due to the great fuel mileage he gets compared to the supercars that had to stop for fuel more often. DW