Warning, this is not your average grocery-getter! It could be used to get groceries but why would you want to leave a beautiful machine like this sitting outside a grocery store with everyone else's daily driven cars, vans, and SUV's? That would be a waste of a clean 1972 GMC Suburban that has a comfortable interior, custom painted exterior and a beast under the hood. This GMC belongs to Gordon Douglas from Torrance, California and it has been a long time project for him. After working on it for a while in his home garage with the goal of having a cool hauler for his wife Shari Lee to drive, Gordon decided he needed some help from a few shops to get it to the way it looks, rides, and sounds today.
The first stop in upgrading some of what Gordon was doing in his garage was at IMZZ Industries in La Habra, California for a full suspension change and more. Jim and his crew work on every type of vehicle imaginable so this '72 was in good hands. The GMC received a custom 4-wheel independent air ride suspension. This allows Gordon to adjust the height for cruising or lay it down further for shows. The rear end was replaced with a Curry 9-inch Ford version with a 31-spline axle. Along with the rear end change, a set of Wilwood 14-inch drilled and slotted rotors with 4 piston calipers were installed on one-off brackets. The wheels are a set of Bonspeed Clutch Billet wheels with 22x8 on the front and 22x10 on the rear. Two 285/45 Toyo tires wrap the big billets in front and two 275/45 reside in the rear.
When it came time to do the body and paint, the GMC was taken to Jeff Mohrfeld at Foreign Auto Body in Gardena, California. In the time it took to build this project, Jeff has become like family to Gordon, Shari Lee, and their son Connor. Jeff started by shaving the bumper bolts and side markers, as well as fabricating the custom billet grille insert. Further modifications to the body of this GMC may surprise you. Starting with a set of 1996 Honda Accord door handles, the list only gets more interesting from there. The taillights were replaced by 2001 Hummer H2 lights and they look completely at home in their new location on this beast. Rounding out the creative changes to this Suburban is a gas door from a 1995 Ford Aerostar and mirrors from a 1999 Lexus 470. Since the GMC didn't come from the factory with one piece windows, Gordon had to pick up some from Brothers truck parts in Corona, California. Jeff then laid down the Mitsubishi Patriot Red base coat and House of Kolor Kandy Brandywine for the ghost flames. The Flames can also be found in the engine bay covering the front wheel wells.
The interior needed to be comfortable, cool, and have some modern touches to make it into the vehicle Gordon wanted to build for his wife. They took it to Gabe Lopez of Gabe’s Interiors in Bloomington, California. They used many parts from a 1996 Suburban interior. Gordon had spoken to Gabe at a show 4 years before and got into talking about the project. Gabe said whenever it was ready, they would get it styled with both of their design ideas and colors in mind. The dashboard and glove compartment door were built using 2-inch aluminum plate. The gauges and glove compartment door were based on stock specifications to keep a somewhat factory style intact. The gauges were custom built by Classic Instruments to match the grey interior. All switches were relocated to the ceiling console. Additional modifications include new air conditioning vents, removal of the ashtray, and repositioning of the stereo unit to the center console. The one-of-a-kind console was developed by modifying the stock 1996 console and adding an aluminum cover to the front for the Eclipse ANV2454 head unit to sit in. Gordon also added the switches for the electric windows into the top of the console. The Suburban also has two 600-watt amplifiers, two 10-inch subwoofers, 12 speakers, and a Rosen 11-inch monitor for the rear seat.
Finally, here comes the part where Gordon's GMC becomes a beast. Under the hood is a 468 big block with mild cam, ported/polished cast iron heads, roller rockers and 9.5 -1 compression. That is just the start. It also received Accell Ram Air Induction, Hooker Pro Comp Headers, and 3-inch tubing going to the Flowmaster RV muffler. The exhaust exit through custom holes in the quarter panels allowing the 4-inch oblong tips to fit flush with the body in front of the rear tires. The transmission is a 4L80E overdrive using an HMS controller, The controller allows Gordon to adjust the shift points, harden or soften the shifting, adjust for tire size, as well as rate horsepower and torque on the fly.
Gordon and Shari Lee would like to thank everyone that helped them with this project and a special thanks to Jeff Mohrfeld for making their dream project a reality. They truly could not have done this without you and your crew.