For over a year I have been contemplating starting a new project. I wanted to build another 427SC Cobra, but been there and done that. I have a 1955 Chevy Step side PU, that is need of a complete build up. Iíve already started this build but the amount of time required will be several years due to the amount of body work that is required.
I need a mode of transportation that can be dependable, take me back and forth to my work place (oil field), and that would be good for camping, hunting and fishing (towing). All my friends said to get a new truck like the Avalanche or a 4 door GMC Z71. Have you seen the prices on these things!!
I enjoy hunting and a 4-wheel drive would be desired. Even some of the drilling rigs that I go to almost require a 4x4 just to get to location. After looking around I was almost convinced to purchase a Z71, but $40K is a lot of money to spend. Looking in 4x4 magazines I saw an add for the Urban Gorilla and my interest was sparked. I started doing research on the net to see if other companyís provided such kits. With everything that is out there the RMC was really the way to go, but you need a large amount of time to construct. If you want something that is so close to exact, then this was the way to go. Being that I wanted to complete the kit ASAP and have a truck to drive in less than 6 months, I would have to look else where.
I had found the web forumwww.h1forum.com from the RMC site and started asking questions, and doing searches. What I found was actually disturbing about the Hummer replica industry. Customers having to pay 100% up front to order a kit and then either not get the kit or half the parts were not included, very late delivery and bad products. Kit manufactures that I have dealt with in the past (ERA, Shell Valley) have never required 100% up front and always delivered on time exactly what they advertise.
My hopes were just about smashed. I was truly looking to purchase a REAL Humvee and convert it to gas and install a overdrive transmission. I had finally decided to purchase a Urban Gorilla after several emails back and forth from Merrick. It seems that UG has gone through several owners and I had hopes that Merrick had things under control. As a Professional Engineer by trade and education, I put high demands on products that I purchase, (I want my moneys worth and then some), customer services plays a Hugh part.
I saw an add by jhughes on the h1forum. I called and discussed the purchase. After several weeks the deal was done. Jhughes had a UG with a 79 GMC 1 ton running gear. It came with everything to finish the build except glass, paint, radio, AC/heat, carpet and a few odds and ends. It was a great deal. I traveled to California to pick the kit up. A 2003 Ford Expedition was never meant to pull anything except maybe a SMALL trailer. I got 15 mpg going and 9 mpg coming back. 3 days later I was back home with my new project. I was as happy as a pig in slop. I know have a UG body, doors (in halves and pieces), 14 bolt rear, Dana 60 front, 454 Chevy, TH400 Trans, NP205 transfer case, all 4 seat, steering column, radiator, dual electric fans, H1 hood and grill, all Humvee lights, all exterior side marker lights, new wiring harness, new wiper motors, arms and blades, power doors and windows, all latches and hinges, H1 console, dash, center console, instrument panel, new shifter, emergency brake handle, rear disk brake conversion, front and rear bumpers, 5 Alcoa 8 spoke rims, 5 almost new Ground Hog 38x15 tires. The frame came with a hydro boost braking system. The motor and trans will be used in the 55 Chevy now. I have a 383 Chevy with a 700 R4 trans that I will use.