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Full Time and Focused

If you’re the kind of guy who spent his childhood crashing Hot Wheels together and building big Lego dream trucks in your spare time, you’ll relate to the owner of this massive 2018 GMC Denali. Martin Artega grew up as a dreamer, but unlike most wishful thinkers with the same attraction to attention-grabbing objects, he wasn’t filled with delusions of grandeur. Martin had a drive to be different ever since he could walk, and he wasn’t letting anything derail his desires. Even from a young age he understood that hard work is the only clear path to making his dreams come true, so he set a goal and focused on the future until those dreams became reality.

Sure, you can tell his story to some outsiders who would call us all crazy for putting our life’s work into personal four-wheel fantasies, but that’s why we just laugh at the comments instead of debating with the disconnects. They just don’t get it, and we don’t have time to explain. As a full-time coating inspector in Baytown, Texas, Martin spends his work hours judging the conditions of materials designed for harsh corrosive environments. Attention to detail is a high priority in his profession, which naturally carries over to his hobbies and passions. So when he chose the shop to build the truck of his dreams, he knew it would cost a little extra to get it done right.

First and foremost, Martin knew that bigger is better, so suspension and wheels were an important decision he needed to make. After a few detailed discussions with the guys at B&C Offroad in Pasadena, Texas, 18 inches of lift over factory height would give this truck the stance it deserved. To build this big beast, the guys at B&C used a set of King Shock coilovers paired with leaf springs and lift blocks to clear the 30×16-inch wheels. Yes, you read that right, 30-inch rims! All four corners have custom-built Amani Forged Hoss wheels wrapped in 42-inch Fury Offroad tires that would make your heart skip a beat if you saw the price tag. They are impressive on paper but seeing them in person is jaw dropping to say the least. Wow!

The coating of his undercarriage was as important as every other detail on the truck, and when the sun hits the Illusion Orange powdercoated pieces, it’s safe to say he made the correct color choice. The factory White Frost metallic paint compliments the chassis color well, and adding a little extra paint to the side view mirrors and low-profile Iron Cross bumpers gave it just the right touch. The crew at iCar in Houston did a killer job with the paint which is a good thing, because this fulltime coating inspector had high expectations. To finish off the body mods, Martin had a custom two-piece Boost grille installed to give the front end a sinister look through anyone’s rear view.

All these great visual aspects would go unappreciated if the truck couldn’t perform as well as it looked, and that’s where Kike and Russell from KHP Performance & Tuning entered the picture. This gas-burning mega-sized street truck needed some real power added to the factory 5.3-liter V-8, and that came in the form of 12 ft-lbs of boost from the P1 ProCharger system with Z06 injectors and a set of Kook high-flow headers. More air in means more air out, so a new Borla 3-inch exhaust also had to be bolted underneath. Finally, to get the axle-gear ratio on the same page, Yukon Gear and Axle gears were installed with a 4:88 power ratio.

As with any full-feature we document in Street Trucks, the interior has to be as custom as the rest of the build, and this truck checks all the boxes. Roadwire two-tone leather seat covers were perfectly molded around the factory cushions by Enrique’s Custom Shop in Houston. The instrument panel was upgraded as well with AEM custom gauges and Alpine in-dash 10-inch head unit. To complete the audio upgrades, Martin had four 8-inch DS18 subwoofers installed along with some DS18 amplifiers for the subs, mids and highs.


So, there you have it. A regular kid with irregular dreams who worked hard and made it happen. If that doesn’t inspire the younger generation to maintain focus until the visions in their mind become a masterpiece in their driveway, we don’t know what will. Martin had the courage to never give up even when the pieces didn’t always fall into place. As he says, “The key is to have faith,” and his faith gave him the keys to his dreams. Now it’s your turn!