Stumbling across an automotive relic from the past presents a few possible options to its discoverer—preservation and restoration or total personalization. Patrick Rapin, an ordinary, everyday minitrucker from Michigan, was lucky enough to locate and unearth a rare treasure dating back to 2002. The gem, in case you're wondering, is the gold Envoy seen here on these very pages. But for Patrick, there was never a doubt in his judgment about what he was going to do with his newfound precious hunk of metal.
"Matt Long built this truck was really nice almost 11 years ago for SEMA back when it first debuted on the scene", says Patrick of the Envoy's craftsmanship. "In between then and now, it has belonged to owners who have taken great care of it, and some not so much. For a full-custom chassis with more than a decade under its belt, it really didn't need a whole lot of work once I got it—a little maintenance was all it needed." So in went new bushings, ball joints, valves, brakes, plumbing and electrical materials, and replacement of a few dry rotted lines. The truck operated just fine when Patrick took possession of the truck, but he planned to drive the piss out of it "That whole process was to ensure drivability and reliability. I don't do trailer queens. I drive everything I own to shows—even if they're halfway across the country." This rejuvenation process took a solid 10 months to complete, but it was a necessity, especially because his fresh-from-the-womb son would soon be rollin' in the backseat.
With the obligatory and proper preservation steps well taken, Patrick longed to make the Envoy something he could call his—and something much more meaningful than his name appearing on the pink slip and insurance policy. "The paint was already 10 years old, and needed a touch up, but I decided to keep the same color in tact as a homage to the truck's history. I got together with artist Kevin Burdick and we discussed some more paint ideas I had. I didn't want skulls or biomechanical stuff, I want something that looked cool, but was unique and had sentimental value. My wife and I went to Belize for our honeymoon, and seen all these amazing Mayan ruins there and in Guatemala. I sent Kevin some of our photos from the trip, and he mocked up a few sketches and renderings of what you see today. This paint means a lot to me because it makes me think of my wife every time I look at it." With what has been the talk of the show, at any show it's been at since Patrick debuted the Envoy's latest rendition at the end of last year, and most of that is due to the hyper-realistic airbrush work. Not only does the paint capture the story of an amazing trip with his new bride, but there are logos and carvings in the rock that serve as bits of respect points for those who have come to mean a great deal to Patrick.
With what seems like a long way for this Envoy to have come since its introduction to the world an entire decade ago, its journey is anywhere but complete. "Once I rebuild the bank account after the paintwork, I plan to upgrade the engine bay, redo the interior, and bring more of the outside theme, inside. The truck only had 20K miles on it when I picked it up (it has 22K now), and I plan to put way more on the odometer. It isn't just driven to shows, I drive it around town, sh*t, I even drive it to work if it's nice out. It gets a big response when it's on the road, whether if it's a random compliment at the grocery store, or a kid in car next to me giving the thumbs up—those little things mean more to me than any trophy. Driving with my wife riding shotgun and my son in the back is worth every little bit of the extra money I'll have to spend fixing stone chips. I wouldn't trade that for the world." And according to what'd we've gathered from chatting with Patrick, those words are as good as forever carved in stone.
2002 GMC Envoy
Patrick Rapin • Saginaw, MI
Wheels: 20x8.5 Boyd Coddington Shadow street-treated and powdercoated billets (front) / 22x10.5 (rear)
Tires: 255/35/R20 Kuhmo (front) / 285/30/R22 Continental (rear)
Suspension (front): Widened Art Morrison Mustang II IFS, Slam Specialties dual-port XS-6
Suspension (rear): T-Bird Supercoupe 8.8-inch IRS with narrowed CV Axles, Slam Specialties RE-7 'bags
Control Arms: Art Morrison adjustable tubular upper arm, Michigan Metal Works flat plate lower (front) / custom fully adjustable tubular upper and lowers (modified by MMW in 2012) (rear)
Compressor(s): York engine-driven
Frame Mods: Full custom frame
Brakes: Wilwood four-piston calipers, Wilwood hubs, 12-inch drilled and slotted rotors
Misc.: All suspension candy powdercoated to match paint by Psycho Customs, has working factory heat/air conditioning
Performed By: Matt, Eric, and Derrick at KUSTOMWERKS (2002), owner, Taylor Jardas at MMW (2012)
Shaved: Door handles, gas door, rear liftgate completely shaved
Body Mods: Rear doors modified latches and strikers
Bolt-ons: '09 Envoy Denali front bumper cover, billet grille
Misc.: 1-off headlights airbrushed to match stonework in paint, Oracle Concept strip lighting and blinkers
Performed By: Matt, Eric, and Derrick at KUSTOMWERKS, Robert Davis (headlights)
Brand & Colors: PPG Corona Gold metallic/pearl mixed leaving out black toner, Matrix System paint and clear
Performed By: Psycho Custom, artwork by their in-house airbrush artist Kevin Burdick
Seats: Katzkin covers over stock seats
Dash: Misc. painted pieces, fiberglass air gauges, and cup holders shaved for switches
Misc.: Rear seat backs narrowed from 60/40 to 40/40 to make room for rear wheeltubs, grey Katzkin leather
Performed By: Matt, Eric, and Derrick Bawcum at KUSTOMWERKS
Head Unit: Pioneer AVIC-F900BT
Mids & Highs: Memphis Audio Mclass 6½-inch components w/tweeters in dash, Memphis Mclass 5¼-inch components, Memphis Mclass 4-inch components
Subwoofers: Four 10-inch Memphis Mclass
Amplifiers: Memphis Belle 16-MC1300D, Memphis Mclass 16-MC3004
Misc.: Optima Red Top mounted in bumper, Kinetik KHC2400 battery under rear seats
Performed By: Matt, Eric, and Derrick at KUSTOMWERKS, Owner
Special Thanks From Owner
"To my beautiful wife Liz and awesome little son Tyler—without them, none of this would have ever happened, big thank you to Matt Long, Eric Arrington, and Derrick Bawcum for building a LEGIT truck ten years ago, Jared Wilson and the whole crew at Psycho Customs especially airbrush artist Kevin Burdick, Robert Davis at Plain an Simple, Taylor Jardas at MMW, Steve Brondstetter at Altimate, Jake Clark, Andrew Rapin, and Andy Jestis."