Steven’s Super Sweet Sierra Classic
Steven Bunker’s family has deep roots in the West Coast drag racing scene. His grandfather, Bob Bunker Sr., began racing in the ’60s with a 1955 Chevy called Folsom Flash. And his father, Bob Bunker Jr., has been building drag race cars at his Bunker Race Cars shop since the late 1980s. After graduating high school in 2006, Steven went right into the family business building race cars alongside his dad at his shop. He joined the school of hard knocks to learn MIG and TIG welding, bending and fitting tubular metal, and even how to run a mill and lathe. Learning by doing is the only way he knew how, and by the looks of his builds, it’s a great way to learn.
“I really enjoy the fact it has always been a running vehicle,” Steven says. “It’s nice to make small improvements when money and time allow and keep it on the road. It’s a lot easier and still enjoyable to improve an already running truck rather than build from the ground up.”
During a random weekend of drag racing, Steven met Marc Meadors, Goodguys president, who was also with the Goodguys editor at the time, John Drummond. After some back-and-forth truck talk, Steven mentioned he was taking photos of the event—something that attracts the attention of any editor. John asked if he could use the photos for Goodguys coverage, which of course Steven was excited about. Fast forward a few months, and in January 2015 a position opened within Goodguys for a photographer and associate editor. After toughing it out through the interview process, he was hired just before the 2015 truck show season, which is a perfect test for any new content collector.
With a job secured in a field of passion, the next most important thing to do was build a cool truck, right? Steven agrees, which is why he found himself driving home this slightly modified 1987 GMC Suburban Sierra Classic from an event in Arizona. The incorrectly lowered suspension rode like a rock, which made it clear that updates needed to happen right away. First on the list was to replace the cut and torched front springs with Ridetech’s Street Grip front suspension. Steven designed and fabricated a new flip kit that utilizes an added lowering block. He also recently added a set of 22-inch rear wheels to replace the old-school 20-inch wheels both front and back. All the worn-out trim pieces were replaced, and some basic engine improvements such as spark plugs, wires, filters and sensors are all this truck needed to stay running strong, even with 240,000 kilometers on the dash. Yes, you read that right.
On the inside, notice that the gauge units are in the metric system as the truck was originally sold in Canada. A new dash pad was recently installed. Steven added a new Pioneer Bluetooth audio system with new speakers. All new power windows and door locks update the add-ons and the factory installed A/C system still blows cold. The truck has two rows of original blue seating, not three rows as you typically see in the Suburban, and the factory cruise control still works great!
“I just keep updating small things along the way which is nice…it’s never been ‘down’ to where I couldn’t take it to a show,” Steven says. “We like this idea of buying a running vehicle and making improvements as you enjoy it. It’s a lot more fun, satisfying, and easier on the wallet than a full custom build.”
Throughout the year you can see this killer full size at events like Goodguys Pleasanton events, C10 Intervention, Street Trucks “Show Off Series” and the local Folsom Cars & Coffee on most Saturday mornings. Future goals for Steven are to make the engine more reliable with a new alternator, fuel system and ignition system, which will keep it California Smog compliant. The end goal for Steven is to either LS-swap or swap a 12-valve Cummins diesel into the Suburban and redo the suspension one final time. We can’t wait to see it complete!
Steven & Lindsay Bunker
- Digital editor for Goodguys Rod & Custom Association and FuelCurve.com
- 1987 GMC Suburban Sierra Classic Blue/White
- C10 Club Sacramento
- Original repop Goodmark N/A Fender trim added from LMC Truck
- Tucked front and rear bumpers
- One repaint as far as I can tell
- Red pinstripe line separating blue and white paint
- 1987 Chevrolet 350ci / 5.7L TBI V8
- Custom 3-inch Y-pipe and 3-inch exhaust
- New Magnaflow Catalytic converter
- Flowmaster Super Flow 50 muffler
- Spectre Performance air filter
- Spectre Performance throttle body spacer
- Rebuilt the throttle body with new injectors when I added the spacer
- 700R4 Transmission
- Driveshaft from Driveline Services of Sacramento
- Stock control arms with new Ridetech Delrin bushings
- Ridetech front and rear springs
- Rear leaf spring flip kit and lowering block with a C-notch and Belltech shocks
- SloshTubz Mild Tubs
- Borgeson Steering Box
- Front Drive Axle: Original 10-bolt 3.73 posi
WHEELS AND TIRES
- Wheels: 20-inch front / 22-inch rear U.S. MAGS Rambler
- Tires: 285/40/22 rear 245/40/20 front