At age 30, Alan Sensing can trace the beginnings of his automotive enthusiasm back more than half his life to middle school, which was when he first began noticing custom rides. A modified '96 Ranger got him started in the hobby, but the desire for a head-turning magazine-quality custom truck got stronger every year. Currently as the body shop manager for Quality Collision in Forest Park, Georgia, Alan decided to make his dream a reality. And it happened in an instant!
One day, he was passed by a body-dropped and 'bagged Toyota on the interstate, which was the moment Alan decided that was the look he wanted. Soon after, he found a bone-stock '02 GMC Sonoma at the local GM dealership. He was attracted to both the body style and the drivetrain, a 4.3L V-6 with a five-speed, Positraction, and 3.22 gears.
Chassis mods were the first order of business, beginning with 2-inch Belltech dropped front spindles, a 6-inch C-notch, four-link, Panhard bar, and a wide set of tubs in the rear with relocated inner fender panels up front. 'Bags on all four corners brought the truck down, while the bed-mounted Viair 480 compressor fills the Airlift reserve tank through Airlift valves and 1/2-inch lines. Next, the gas tank was relocated upward for clearance. The front rims are 18x7-inch Incubus Paranormals, specially ordered with a full positive offset to ensure clearance, and were wrapped in Kumho 215/30-ZR18s. In the rear, 20-inch versions were shod in 255/35/ZR20 rubber.
A series of tasteful body mods began up front with an Envoy bumper, a painted grille shell, billet grille insert, and a Goodmark cowl induction hood. Next, Street Scene side mirrors and a plexiglass rear window added a custom touch. In the rear, the tubbed and bridged bed holds the air suspension components and was covered with a Gem Top tonneau cover.
The interior turns heads and perks up ears, thanks to lots of innovative touches. The original Sonoma buckets, reupholstered in black and gray leather, were cut down 10 inches to better showcase the elaborate stereo behind the seats. Crafted by Tom Reese from Metra Tsunami in Daytona Beach, Florida, the sound system defines the cab. Four JBL amps pump out 2,200 watts to the dozen JBL speakers positioned throughout the interior. Door panels were rebuilt using fiberglass to house the custom speaker enclosures. Monitors were located in the third door on the driver side, as well as in the Kenwood 6019 head unit. Tsunami wiring, fuses, and a battery electrify the system with a 200-amp alternator keeping everything fully charged.
Andy Wilson from Woodstock, Georgia, sprayed the silver and yellow BASF paint. Realistic flames and skull murals were added, courtesy of Kristian Baena, then Andy Wilson finished the job with purple pinstriping. The completed truck is not only a source of personal pride, but the numerous trophies that it's won underscore the talents of the shop staff.
Special thanks to shop owner Michael Richards, Alan's friends Andy Wilson, Lewis Pacheco, Tom Reece, Bud Gilliam, and especially to Alan's wife Cara Sensing, and their daughter Mattie.