Tonight’s entry is a little bit of a hybrid post: part project update, part meet coverage. With the Thunderbird temporarily off the road for some work my mother decided to bring the Suburban out of hiding to not only enjoy it, but also get around to the final touches of its mini-turned-full exterior restoration. When it was picked up from the body shop earlier this year it immediately went into hiding to wait for the roads to clear, so neither of us really had a proper chance to even take in what the team at Speedy had done with the old workhorse anyway.
All I can say is: wow. Make no mistake, the Silvia’s paintjob is phenomenal. They did an unbelievable job on that car and I am nothing but happy with regards to how it turned out – but this paint job is even better still. Somehow.
For those curious the truck only received an exterior repaint, not one extending into the jambs or insides of the panels. If you know what to look for there are the subtle signs that some new paint has been applied, but since this wasn’t a colour change and all of the jambs were still in fantastic shape it wasn’t necessary to go to that level.
And with all of the PPF in the vulnerable areas now, this will hopefully be the only paintjob the truck needs for another couple or few decades. To be completely honest, from about 10 feet away most of the panels look nearly the same now as they did before (just considerably shinier), but closer examinations no longer reveal rock chips, scuffs, or door dings.
I had noted in the last update that the truck would likely also be seeing a new grille to replace the original (and now flaking) piece, and that will indeed be happening soon. Along with it a few other items will also be replaced to bring it that much closer to looking as it did the day it was first collected from the dealership. My mother certainly ended up going a bit further than originally planned with this one but she couldn’t be happier with the results thus far. Not only is it no longer looking like a slightly tired old truck, but instead is getting a lot of thumbs up and nods of approval from other drivers and has also received plenty of attention at the couple of small gatherings it has been out to by now; which leads us nicely into the rest of the photos I have today.
With the weather cooperating a few of us decided to head over to Donny’s A&W last weekend to show him some support and catch up for a little bit. I had nothing to take aside from little Arabis so we decided to carpool in the Suburban and show it off as a few of our friends were curious to see it with its new paint. Geoff turned up shortly after in his ’97 Yukon, which none of us even knew he had – imagine our surprise when he shared that he’s owned it since about 2003!
Being a ’97 model – a facelift – it featured the revised interior as the most notable difference but the body also had a few tweaks as compared to the ’93 model year Suburban.
Being a Yukon it was also naturally a shorter version of KIDNDOG; Geoff made sure to line the noses of the trucks up when parking for the photos, so you can see the full difference in length here.
Along with the two GMC family haulers there was a small selection of other older (and in this case much older) metal on display, from both familiar faces and new.
I know I had alluded to it before but I’m pretty sure that I haven’t yet shared a photo of Ian and Janice’s new T-Bird on the site. This cute little Baby Bird (AKA first generation) joined their fleet last summer to sit alongside the blue ’62. This one specifically is a ’57 model, given away by the lack of the see-through speedometer cowl fitted to the ’55/’56 cars.
Jeff – not to be confused with Viper Jeff or T-Birds and Yukon Geoff – brought out his always-immaculate Dart.
And to close out tonight’s post is easily the most attention-getting car of the evening. Make no mistake, this Bel Air had some work into it to say the least but it was all wrapped up in the still untouched exterior with its heavy patina. The passenger fender even had a bullet hole! This car had some stories to tell, I’m sure.
All in, it was a brilliant night with a few friends and a great first outing for the almost-complete truck. There isn’t an ETA just yet for the final exterior pieces but I’ll be sure to put together another update for the site once they come in and I (or Speedy, still to be determined) get them fitted. Then, it’s photoshoot time with some other local trucks!