Up for auction is my custom, 1989 Chevy suburban 2500.It has been extensively modified into a one of a kind Chevy Avalanche. It has been reworked inside and out, with body and interior parts off of a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, but has the lines and lower body of that classic square body Chevy!
I started out with a clean, bone stock, 1989 Chevy Suburban 2500 with 80,000 miles. It runs and drives perfect. After spending half a year scouring eBay and auto parts yards for the random avalanche plastic shroud pieces for the back of the cab, I finally got them all. This is where all the fun started. First the back roof got cut off. Once I did that, I realized that the avalanche plastic pieces didn't line up with the new back lines of the cab. That is when I remembered that I had "mocked" the avalanche pieces on the back of a pickup cab, and that the roof line of a suburban takes a different angle to accommodate the rear seat passengers. You will notice a rise in the square body suburban roof line, right above the driver seat, that is not in the pickups of the same year. I noticed it, and solved the problem. Transplant a roof from a crew cab pickup onto the roof of the suburban. This also solved another problem, getting the back of the cab of a truck to line up with the odd roof line of the suburban. One bonus of this massive undertaking was that the doors and windshield lined up and could be reused.
With all the roof and truck cab grafting done, it was time to fashion the Avalanche plastics. It is almost unbelievable how precisely the plastics line up with the body lines of the suburban. The two big problems I ran into were trying to figure out a sub-frame for the plastic pieces, and the fact that the center plastic piece with the third brake light, was to narrow with the outside pieces mounted flush with the body. The first problem was solved by finding a wrecked Avalanche at a local junk yard, cutting off the stock sub-frame mount for the plastics, and welding it onto the cab/bed of the suburban. Unfortunately, the plastics were not on that wrecked Avalanche, so I had to start a new search online for another center plastic third brake light piece. The most expensive of all the Avalanche plastic pieces. Found one online, bought it and cut the outside three inches of each side to fill the gaps left by the first one being too narrow. With those two mods, the plastic pieces were mounted and looking great.
The next issues to tackle were the tailgate and bed side tops. Suburban tailgates have roll down back windows, making them heavy and impractical. A pickup tailgate will not fit on the stock hangers for a Suburban gate, and the length of the Suburban bed was about a foot longer than the bed of a 2002 Avalanche, and it was very noticeable. Since the theme so far had been two birds, one stone, I thought why not chop a foot off the Suburban bed, and graft the back of a pickup bed on so a pickup tailgate would hang right on there, and it would look more like a 2002 Avalanche. I got a square body long bed, just the bed, and did just that. I used the top of the bed sides from the long bed to convert the back window frames of the suburban, into pickup bed sides. Then I cut the foot off of the Suburban, and welded the entire back end of the long bed onto the suburban, tailgate and all. To clean up the look, a smooth roll pan was welded on. After some mods to the floor, the construction of a box enclosure in the bed that is open to the cab, and the fabrication of a sweet bed cover, the back end metal work was done.
Now to the interior, the 2002 Avalanche theme continues. Four front bucket seats from 2002 Chevy Trucks have been custom mounted, and two center consoles finish off the look. The amount of comfort has been increased greatly, and the cab gets the luxury feel of a king ranch ford with captain chairs all around. The stock Suburban came with non/tilt steering wheel, manual door locks, and manual window rollers. I found and bought a tilt steering column, and the donor crew cab that supplied the roof, also had power windows and locks in the doors. So now this suburban has power windows/door locks, tilt steering, four captain chairs from 2002 Chevy truck, and dual center consoles.
The entire project was a work in progress from 2005-2009, at which point the shop I was working at and working on the Avalanche, shut down. All work on the truck stopped and has been stopped since. The truck was moved immediately to another indoor storage facility, where it has been ever since. As it sits, the entire process of converting the 1989 Suburban into a custom 1989 Avalanche has been done. All the metal work and fabrication has been done. That being said, it is in rough body work form, meaning the foundation has been laid for you, the buyer, to have your own styling and finishing touches done to turn this into the custom truck of your dreams. A 75-80% complete custom truck. You decide the color, your call on the interior fabrics and finishes, your fine touch to the engine, suspension, and drive train! I have priced it to sell, because I need to clear up space, and just have not done anything to it in 5 years.
Last weekend (6/21/14) I pulled it out and got the dust blown off of it. I replaced the battery and the fuel pump, and it fired right up. It reminded me that it has a 58 inch glass pack installed, and it makes that 350 sound beastly! I also found a set of bushwhacker cutout fender flares, the most desirable grille from the 90-91 suburbans and radiator shroud, and two auto-loc hydraulic actuators to raise and lower the bed cover.
I can supply an extensive price list for all the parts, aftermarket, custom, and stock. But I will assure you that the Buy It Now price is more that fair given that the stock suburban books for $2,500, and a rough parts list I have totals over $4,000.