When someone tackles DREAM BUILD with a limitless imagination and a budget to match, the results are usually spectacular! Such is the case with this incredible 1957 Suburban!
Built by some of the best in the industry, previously owned and driven by two mega-collectors, and ready for a loving new owner, this radical, full-custom Suburban was years in the making, and cost well over $125,000 to originally build!
This Suburban is pretty much the King of the Road in every aspect.
Built from 1999-2000 by Master Craftsman Randy Haapala, and intended initially to be his personal ride, this amazing machine soon caught the eye of one of the most prominent collectors and street rodders, and was turned into the long-haul ready masterpiece you see in the 100 photos provided.
So much has been written about the truck, and so much info is in the links below that I will not bore you with a ton of details unless you need more, so call me at 941-286-0889 if you have questions.
The truck was completed in 2000, went from Del Mar, CA to Detroit, MI on the first leg of the 2001 Hot Rod Power Tour, and then DROVE BACK to San Bernadino, CA without incident!
After the first HRPT LONG HAUL, it was sold to a new owner who brought it to Florida, and in 2003 it hit the Hot Rod Power Tour AGAIN, driving from Florida to Nashville, TN, then to Fort Worth, TX, and finally BACK to Florida!
Then in 2008 it went from Florida up to Little Rock, AR and then Topeka, KS on the POWER TOUR before the owner had to drive it back to Florida due to health issues.
Finally, in 2016, we took it from Ft Myers, FL to Austin, TX to meet the 3rd stage of the POWER TOUR before shipping it back home with three other vehicles we bought at the event.
Since then, it has served the rest of the time as a weekend show car and rolling headquarters for us when we go out to events and shows to find cars. It has amassed just over 13,800 miles since the day the build was finished, and I have put at least 3,000 of those on myself.
It has entered and won more shows, trophies, accolades and titles than you care to read about, and still continues doing so today! I have taken it out over 800 miles in the last 30 days, took PEOPLES CHOICE in MODIFIED TRUCK at one show, BEST TRUCK 1930-1960 at the other, and snapped necks doing 80mph on the freeway the whole time driving to the events!
Yes, it has a couple of mini stone chips, little scuffs, and normal use blemishes from being driven, but as you can see in the 100 EXTRA LARGE PHOTOS, it is still SHOW READY, and looks AMAZING right now! It really looks like it was probably completed a few years ago.
There is NO RUST, NO ROT, NO BONDO, AND NO B.S. ON IT.
IT IS A SOLID, PROFESSIONALLY BUILT, HIGH-DOLLAR CREATION BUILT BY A KNOWN BUILDER.
This is NOT some Gas Monkey Garage TV project whipped together in 5 hours. This was a professionally built truck that was years in the making, and has proven itself to be not only a show winner, but a reliable long-hauler as well.
It is still in show-ready condition and could be entered into a major like an NSRA or GoodGUYS show and be a contender. Most of the marks from road debris and stuff are found underneath the truck, which has not been professionally cleaned like the rest of it. I am sure a lot would pressure wash off, and that you could wipe away a lot of the dirt, but as you can see in the chassis photos, it STILL looks better than most 2 year old builds you see these days!
PPG Toner Yellow is the color, and it was sprayed on by Randy Haapala at his shop in Huntington Beach, CA, the Body Palace. The color pops in the sun, and damn near glows under the streetlights!
I thought about replacing the mirrors and headlight rings for chrome units, but decided the truck has such a cool and rich history, I wanted to preserve it just the way it was, even going so far as to ask INTRO to custom make me a new center cap for one of the wheels that had some scuffs on it!
The immaculate metalwork performed by Randy Haapala at the Body Palace in Huntington Beach is beyond compare. Three inches taken out of it, shaved door handles, custom full polished grill, rounded and shaved front fenders, and a 1955 Chevy Apache hood reworked to smoothed perfection. Once the front end looked sharp, he replaced the rear bumper with a roll pan and relocated the door hinges and gas cap inward.
A 6-figure plus build gets taken care of pretty good by all of its owners, and this rig has led a pretty cushy life, being stored in climate and humidity controlled garages since birth when not being driven around the Country.
The full custom interior that was personally done by Gabe at Gabes Upholstery is truly a sight to behold, and looks absolutely new to this day! His work is impeccable, and one look at all the details from fit and finish, banding, and trim down to the custom made full-length floor mats throughout the truck remind you why his shop has been the go-to shop for the best builders in California since early on!
Remove the full size floor mats that fit the whole interior, and the original carpeting is like brand new, and shows beautifully too!
Kick panels, side panels, and the headliner are in in exceptional condition, and work together perfectly to create one of the nicest interiors you could ask for.
Dash is custom made by Randy as well, and it smoothed and shaped to be extra clean looking with hidden switchgear and controls located under the dash out of line of sight for the lights, wipers, and dual air conditioning controls.
A custom fabricated billet surround holds the Dakota Digital complete gauge system, and that is about the only thing you can see on the dash.
Glovebox was replaced by the roomy center console located between the front buckets, and the front houses the audio system head unit and power window switches, which helps to keep the doors clean.
I changed out the original door poppers to modern units with a new remote and motors, and they spring the doors open with ease via remote, or the hidden button used in case of emergency. It comes with two remotes and 4 ignition keys.
All of the glass is in exceptional condition, with only a small star to be found on the top of the windshield. It has not grown in size over the past year I have been driving the truck, and I do not believe it will get worse. It is out of line of sight too, which is why I never worried about it.
The other glass is clean and fault free, and the side windows have a legal grade tint, while the rear got a super black tint which looks amazing.
All of the rubber, weather stripping, and seals is in excellent condition, soft, pliable and weather tight.
Street & Performance did the build on the 1995 Corvette LT1 Fuel-injected V8 and mated it to a rebuilt 4L60E Automatic Overdrive transmission. It has a hi-flow fuel pump to feed the go-juice, and is ready to roll wherever you are.
Wiring under the hood is show quality, and most people marvel at how ultra-sano the engine bay looks with the smooth firewall, hidden wiring, and billet and chrome goodies from Zoops, March, and others. Exhaust sounds fantastic through the custom made Mark Weiss headers feeding the true dual piping and mufflers.
The 4L60E transmission carries a mild shift kit, and was set for long-haul driving from the get-go. It shifts smooth and clean in all gears, and has ample kick down for passing on the road.
Fully loaded, with 4 passengers, luggage, a show tent and chairs with cooler, this truck hustles like a new machine down the highway.
Cradling the engine is a 1994 half ton pickup front frame section using DJM upper and lower control arms, 2-inch dropped spindles from Bel-Tech, Bilstein shocks, 11-inch Camaro disc brakes. Out back is a 1998 Chevy half ton frame connected to a Dutchman 3.73-geared 9-inch rear end and Early Classics dropped coils, Bilstein shocks, and adjustable panhard bar.
The entire frame was detabbed, smoothed, and painted in Sterling Silver PPG finish before being matched to the body again.
Intro made the wheels for this truck, and they still glisten and gleam like new to this day! The truck was on the cover of a Intro catalog, and is also found on the company website.
They are wrapped in recent rubber which has at least 70% of the USEABLE tread remaining, and should get you from here to California without issue!
The truck was a GoodGuys Del Mar multiple award winner in 2000, when the original owner took it.
It has been on the Brothers Truck Parts Catalog Cover, has been featured in SuperChevy, Classic Trucks, and many other magazines, and has built kind of a cult following for its rarity and provenance.
You cannot go to a show without 50 people coming up to ask you 100 questions while you try to keep 20 other folk from getting inside to take selfies with it!
It starts, runs, drives, stops, and performs wonderfully. It is literally like driving a late model Tahoe or something. You can do 80 on the freeway with ease, and still scoot around in town with the A/C on high and not have any trouble either.
Driving it from Ft Myers, FL to Old Town Kissimmee for the cruise nights is like nothing, and the truck eats up miles like a fat kid eats cake. 80mph is a sweet spot, and I have taken it much higher with no change in handling or stability.
It has the full frame and chassis set up from a late model truck, as well as a late model powertrain, so it is super easy to access maintenance parts and repair items at any local ADVANCED, PEP BOYS, or NAPA.
It tracks straight and true, and anyone can drive it since it feels like a much more modern set-up.
I think that is about it for what I can tell you on the truck after speaking to the builder at length, speaking to the 1st owner about his experience with it, meeting directly with the 2nd owner and covering his time with the truck, and owning and enjoying it myself for a little over a year and a half and 3,000 odd miles of seat time.
Call me at (941)286-0889 with any other questions or concerns, and thanks for looking!