We love your single cab Chevrolet Silverado Z71, Vik. It looks like it could climb Everest! How long have you had this truck?
I got it in 2014 and up until then, I was a Jeep guy and owned many. I still have one, it’s a 2014 Grand Cherokee with a 5.7-litre V8, but I decided to try a different platform — one that would be faster on dirt tracks, and the Silverado came across as a suitable choice.
It had tons of ways to be modified too and get the adrenalin going when heading off the beaten track, which is what I wanted.
Trucks from GM are widely accepted as being some of the best for off-roading due to their simplicity, durability and excellent ability.
Yours has a serious-looking suspension on it; tell us about that and all the modifications it has had done…
It’s a long travel suspension set-up with boxed lower and upper control arms, boxed spindles, tie rods, Chromoly Heim joints, Chromoly uni-ball joints, Delrin lower control arm bushing, extended Chromoly axles with 930cv joints, and limiting straps front and back. It also has a dual shock set-up in the front with 14in travel, 2.5 remote reservoir coilovers with 3.0 King bypass 3 tube, and Deaver u182 spring packs in the rear with 3.0 King bypass shocks with hydraulic bump stops, along with a custom bed cage delivering 16.5in suspension travel.
All four corners have the rubber mounted on method Beadlock race wheels. This build is serious, and done professionally — unlike my first car...
Sounds like you’re about to tell us a funny story...
Oh, it is. I had a Fiat 1100 back in the day when there were hardly any aftermarket kits for cars, and so I lowered the suspension myself by cutting the springs. When I hit a road bump, the shocks came off! It was a scary moment but it makes me laugh when I think about it now. My Silverado doesn’t suffer such ignominy. It’s a real tough nut and I call it the Vikid Pre-runner.
That’s a great name! Just how well has all of this benefited performance?
The main benefit is the lower centre of gravity. Going fast in the desert with a high centre of gravity is a recipe for disaster. Such Pre-runners sit fairly low and still have room for much bigger tyres. So, double the suspension travel, smoother ride, and the lower centre of gravity all translate to being safer at higher speeds.
That’s awesome, and we see you’ve dressed the exterior up a little bit too; tell us more...
The aim was to keep it simple and at the same time have very practical items installed, which would be of help in various conditions and situations in the desert. So, I added a set of additional lights in the front and rear, and storage space in the bed for tools and necessary recovery gear with a special off-road jack.
What about the engine? Have you made any modifications to the 5.3-litre V8?
No, it is stock; the motor delivers a very healthy 355 horsepower and that is more than enough to make this one fun ride! I love the way it performs in the desert — and on the road, too, where it turns a lot of heads. It’s great to own this truck as not too many are like it here.
It’s so much fun to drive in fact that it can be a little distracting at times, too, right?
You can say that again! I remember when a friend of mine got stuck in the desert all alone and he called me for help. While I was trying to locate his position with another pal of mine — who also brought his truck — we caught sight of an area that was very tempting to drive on. So, we both took our pick-ups on it and had lots of fun kicking up sand and climbing dunes, and totally forgot about my buddy who was waiting. We got him out — eventually!
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