The spring and summer months are perfect for embarking on new adventures. Sure, you could jam pack a Prius or some other fuel-sipping small car and get the most miles for your buck, or you could explore the open roads in comfort and unmatched style like Shannon Yeast of Harrodsburg, Kentucky. If our vote counts for anything, we’d follow his lead 100% of the time.
He was after was a cool looking, classic passenger/cargo hauling vehicle that he could cruise around town, to a show, or to the lake, beach or whatever exciting location that happened to be calling his name on any given day.
You just don’t see too many old Suburbans out on the road these days, especially one that looks as good as Shannon’s. He was after was a cool looking, classic passenger/cargo hauling vehicle that he could cruise around town, to a show, or to the lake, beach or whatever exciting location that happened to be calling his name on any given day.
“I can’t ever recall seeing another ’56 Suburban cruising anywhere local to me that didn’t happen to be at a truck show,” Shannon says. “That’s what really inspired to own one for myself.”
Originally built by Jeff Quiggle, a fellow Harrodsburg resident and Shannon’s own personal friend, Shannon was able to take a good look at the finished Suburban without having to venture too far from his own doorstep.
“Jeff had built this ’56 because he had a friend who owned a similar model Suburban in the past,” Shannon says. “This was his version based on his friend’s truck, and it came out just as I would have done it myself for the most part.”
To get the Suburban sitting much lower to the ground, Jeff utilized the skill of Kevin Erisman of Hacker’s Paradise to modify the existing factory frame with a front Mustang II front end and rear 4-link setup. Firestone ‘bags, Bilstein shocks, and modestly sized 15-inch vintage Appliance wheels complete with a generous tire selection were all used to promote a cushy ride quality while en route to Shannon’s destination of choice.
“This thing skates comfortably on the road a half inch off the ground,” Shannon adds. “I drive the wheels off this truck, and take it out any chance I get.”
Powering the Suburban is a more modern GM engine. A ’97 Tahoe 5.7L mill has been planted underneath the hood, but not before it was outfitted with some simple performance additions in the way of a Pro Comp intake manifold, Edelbrock carb, and an aluminum radiator with electric fans to keep things cool while on the road. To complement the late ’90s Chevy powerplant is a rebuilt ’95 Chevy 700r4 automatic transmission to make both long and short cruises much more of a breeze.
While the naturally aged exterior was too good to mess with, Jeff let it be, as has Shannon. The “dirty yellow” paint, as Shannon refers to it, is just too familiar and welcoming to change at this present moment, although he does hint at a possible refresh sometime down the line—maybe.
Comfort and Style
The interior, on the other hand, has been overhauled just enough to add comfort and some personal styling within the cab. The Chevy bench seat was wrapped in a mixture of blue, silver, and tan colored metal-flaked vinyl for a classic, throwback appearance.
Since this Suburban was built for real world use, a full audio system featuring Pioneer and Kicker hi-fi products were wired up to serve up a rockin’ good time on the highway. Fresh carpeting and an upholstered dash pad also dress up the interior space, as does strategically positioned pinstripe details by Kirby Stafford.
While this ’56 Suburban hasn’t been decked out to the extreme, it stands as a fine example of a reliable, practical cruiser that is being used exactly as intended.
“This was a relatively simple build, and that’s what was so appealing to me,” Shannon admits. “The truck looks great as-is, it runs and drives like a dream, and there is a lot of room left to add my own touches along the way.”
Take the Scenic Route
A Suburban this old and in this custom condition just isn’t seen too often out in the wild, and Shannon considers himself very lucky to own his. If he commits to roll out to a show, Shannon plans on driving this thing—no exceptions.
A Suburban this old and in this custom condition just isn’t seen too often out in the wild, and Shannon considers himself very lucky to own his.
“It’s such an absolute blast to drive,” he says. “Leaving it at home or towing it just isn’t an option for me.”
If there’s an out-of-the-way scenic route that pops up on the GPS, there’s a good chance that Shannon will be taking it. Who wouldn’t?! With a ride like this, every road’s worth cruising.
- Harrodsburg, KY
- 1956 Chevy Suburban
- Negative Camber
- 1997 Chevy Tahoe 5.7L V-8
- Motor mounts used to fit the Mustang II front end
- Pro Comp intake manifold
- Edelbrock 750 carburetor
- Stainless headers
- 2.5-inch dual exhaust system
- HEI ignition
- Aluminum radiator w/ electric fans
- New wiring harness
- Rebuilt 1995 Chevy 700r4 transmission
- Lokar shifter
- Shop: Kevin Erisman / Hacker’s Paradise
- Factory 1956 frame
- Mustang II front
- Rear 4-link
- C-notched rear frame
- Firestone 2500 and 2600 ‘bags
- Bilstein shocks
- 1998 Chevy S10 4×4 rear drive axle
- Mustang fuel tank
Wheels, Tires & Brakes
- 15×7 and 15×8 Appliance dish-style mag wheels
- 215/70/15 and 235/75/15 Suretrac Power Touring tires
- Disc/drum brakes
- Frame-mount booster and master cylinder
- Dirty yellow paint
- Factory grille and bumpers
- Pinstriping by Kirby Stafford, Danville, KY
- Shop: Auto Kustoms, Harrodsburg, KY
- Chevy bench seat
- Blue, silver and tan vinyl w/ zodiac upholstery
- Factory instruments
- Speedway silver flake steering wheel
- Pioneer and Kicker audio components
- Wheel tubs