The SEMA show, what started out decades ago as a small tradeshow has turned into one of the largest car shows in the world, all with brand new never before seen builds bursting out of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Manufacturer’s show off their latest products at the show and one of the quickest ways to gain attention is by showcasing their products on custom builds. For builders, the SEMA show is a way to gain exposure and showoff their capabilities. The combination of these factors led to Brandon “Zammi” Zambrano collaborating with McGaughys Suspension to debut a custom 2015 Tahoe in their booth at SEMA.
Zammi had always dreamed of having a vehicle of his own at the SEMA show and given that the Tahoe is a brand new body style and platform for Chevrolet this year, the time seemed ripe to create a high tech, luxury style custom Tahoe to showoff. The ball began rolling in the few months prior to SEMA. On the outside, the front end was stripped bare and a new color matched RBP grille was installed. Zammi then cracked open the headlights to showcase one of his specialties and color matched the light housings and installed custom LED lighting throughout. The Tahoe was given a two-tone treatment in black thanks to Method Media and Valens Collision center painted the window trim, roof rack and steps. Being that the Tahoe was to display in the McGaughys Suspension booth at SEMA, a brand new 3/5 Deluxe lowering kit featuring a drop spindle and strut up front and lowering springs and shocks in the rear was installed at Saints Motorsports. A new set of big brakes from McGaughys were installed as well and outfitted with custom LED wheel lights. Finally, 24×10 RBP Kryptonite wheels were powder coated white and black with Grimes Custom Paint striping the lips in red before being wrapped in Lexani tires.
On the inside, more high tech trickery took place with a molded in Alpine 9-inch head unit into the dash. Accent pieces were wrapped in white vinyl featuring Saints Motorsports and RBP logos to signify the RBP/Saints Motorsports Edition Tahoe. Roadwire Leather Interiors created seat covers featuring red suede and red dimension perforated black leather that were installed at 714 Motorsports. To finish things off with a little bit of added power is an exhaust system from Gibson. The end result is a clean, high tech custom Tahoe that has all the right touches and showcases the latest products and innovations of the companies involved.
Justin Carrillo, who is that you might ask? Well most know him by Pony and he knows most people as Daryl. We know him as the fun loving glass slinger out of Chad’s Auto Glass in Visalia, California. We also know him as one to come out with a few full blow custom Cadillacs and C-10 trucks at every year’s SEMA show. And we are not just talking about some late model bolt on builds, but full ground up builds featuring tons of metal work, big billets and slick paint.
Pony’s love of cars came growing up with his best friend Lee Milinich, Lee’s father Lewis owns a bodyshop and the young duo were hooked early on and still collaborate on their builds. Pony started like most with a S-10 mini truck before venturing into Cadillacs and classic trucks. For this past year’s SEMA show, Pony partnered with Choppin’ Block out of Fresno to build a radical Chevrolet Blazer in just under 4 months. Oh and a few Cadillacs were in the works during that time as well.
The Choppin’ Block had previously worked on the AVS Blazer years before and several of Pony’s Cadillacs as well so he knew it would be a perfect fit. Initially, the plan was to chop and weld in a roof making the Blazer a hardtop. But who doesn’t like cruising the streets of Pismo Beach or down the street to La Fiesta for some Mexican food in an open top roadster? Being that the Blazer is of course C-10 based, Choppin’ Block used the project to test out their new bolt-in front crossmember suspension kit. Out back, things got a little more custom with the rest being a new chassis outfitted with a Winter’s rear end, Slam Specialties air bags and AccuAir eLevel, all built to accommodate the 24×12-inch Raceline Hooligan billet wheels wrapped in Toyo tires and brought to a halt with CPP disc brakes.
Under the hood, Pony has in the past stuck with traditional Small Block and Big Block Chevrolet engines but this time looked to bring things up to a more modern era with an LS. PPC Customs in Clovis handled assembling the engine which features a Professional Products intake manifold and throttle body saddled by a pair of Billet Specialties coil covers, March Performance front drive setup, Sanderson headers leading to a full stainless steel MagnaFlow exhaust and is all cooled by Flex-A-Lite. A Ron Francis wiring kit specifically designed for LS swaps was used to ensure the LS engine was in working order.
When it came to the final look of the Blazer, styling cues were taken from one of Pony’s previous cars, the GM design award winning Cadillac dubbed ‘Cruela Deville’. The interior features a ’59 Impala dash with Dakota Digital gauges and full center console wrapped with bucket seats stitched in red by Eduardo’s Upholstery. Once again applying the final touch was Lewis Milinich Body Shop out of Hanford, California who draped the roadster in straight Axalta black. But first, a complete metal makeover was in order featuring Grant Kustoms roll pan and combo skin, a roadster chopped windshield (glass supplied by Chad’s Auto Glass naturally), capped doors and smoothed interior panels. Highlighting everything inside is a custom made wood bed floor from Bed Wood & Parts.
The Mary Jane Blazer saw the Barrett-Jackson auction block just as Cruella Deville had with great success and will fund the next series of project builds.