Long, Low & Ready for Show
MIKKI VOWELL OF MESA, ARIZONA, HAS BEEN AROUND THE TRUCK SCENE FOR FEW YEARS NOW. Well, kind of. The truth is, she watched her husband Brian play with his trucks at home, and she’d often find that he was nowhere to be found when there was a show nearby. Mikki eventually got tired of Brian being the one having all the fun, so she decided that she wanted a custom truck of her own. As you can see, she didn’t pull any punches with her first official foray into the scene.
She set her sights on a ’68 Chevy Suburban that had already been a project and laid out a plan to outdo her husband’s rides. OK, so maybe her plan wasn’t as malicious as we’re making it seem, but let’s just say that there may have been some friendly competition involved.
Since Mikki already knew about all the cool shops in the area, it didn’t take long for her to arrange to drop off the Suburban with Jeremy Rice at Tre 5 Customs in Peoria, Arizona. As most everyone in the truck world knows, the dude can boogie when it comes to building quality custom stuff. Jeremy and the team at Tre 5 quickly took the helm. They began by tearing the old SUV apart in preparation for an onslaught of custom bits that would completely transform the Sub from stock to Mikki’s dream ride in the course of a year.
The ground level stance comes by way of Porterbuilt Extreme front and rear chassis/ suspension kits, which allow the 22×9 and 24×10 American Racing wheels to tuck way up into the fenders, almost hiding the CPP big brakes at each corner. Dual Accuair CVT tanks are controlled by an E-level system, which supplies air to the Slam Specialties airbags, giving the truck plenty of lift whenever a speed bump presents itself.
After the chassis was all powdercoated and assembled, Tre 5 Customs took turns working on the Suburban with Frank Rechlin and his team at Ikandy Paintworks, who were in charge of straightening out the body. Ikandy finished up the previously started Kindig It door handles, smoothed out the rest of the truck with hundreds of hours of body work, and then applied the PPG satin blue and satin gray paint. The paintwork even extends to the 2017 GM LS3 and the Tremec T-56 tranny. Yup, this big ol’ beast has a manual transmission mated to the 525-horsepower mill, which makes for some fun stoplight-tostoplight runs.
Once Mikki’s Suburban was a bit further along, Steve at Elevated Design got involved and began working his magic on the interior, using Snowden Custom Seats buckets up front and a Snowden bench for the rear as bases to build upon. Steve used two shades of matching gray vinyl to wrap the various custom panels that he built for the rest of the interior, which also sports Dakota Digital HDXgauges, a Billet Specialties steering wheel, and dual Restomod Air Haymaker A/C/heater units to keep things comfortable.
One thing you definitely can’t miss while checking out Mikki’s truck is the gigantic 42×102-inch Legacy sliding rag top, which takes up the entire roof area. Rag tops are kind of a custom tradition in Arizona, so it’s nice to see that they still get plenty of love.
The Suburban was built in just under a year’s time, with each shop involved making sure every aspect of it was perfect with lots of fitting and adjustments before final assembly. It’s this attention to detail that makes Mikki’s Sub one of the finest trucks in Arizona. When asked what she learned from the experience of building the truck, Mikki shared, “Now I see why my husband loves these trucks so much—they are addicting!” Welcome to the club, Mikki.