Building A One-Off Luxury Prerunner From The Ground Up

Building a prerunner can be a tedious project on any level, but starting from the ground up is in a league of its own. We all drool over the luxury prerunners that roll over the pages of social media. With perfect welds, top of the line parts, and just plain gorgeous it is hard not to check them out.

J.R. Granatelli of Granatelli Motor Sports and Louis Zavas of LZE have set out to build a one-of-a-kind, ground up, luxury 2017 Chevrolet Silverado prerunner. Not being known for builds like this, Granatelli set out to break the mold and build something insane.

“We wanted to show everyone we were capable of designing and Trophy Truck/prerunner style vehicle that will rival the best,” Granatelli said. “This is a clean sheet approach from an open wheel car designers eye, not a truck builders. Plus my son, Jojo, raced Stadium Trucks and we got the bug.”

The off-road scene has boomed over the last decade. You can see this by the increase in off-road vehicles at the SEMA Show. They are eye-catching regardless if they are sitting still or flying through the desert.

Not much is left of the Silverado after Granatelli Motor Sports got a hold of it.

My favorite part will be the first time we jump it 6 to 8 feet in the air and land pillow soft. – J.R. Granatelli

“We simply wanted to build a truck like no other and something capable of mild manner street driving yet able to run 120 miles per hour over a four-foot whoop section like you were sitting on a sofa,” Granatelli continued. “While we will incorporate many high-end features one would expect from a $500,000 vehicle, it will all come with a flair that highlights the craftsmanship people have come to expect from Granatelli designed vehicles. Because this is our first effort and we know we will be judged against many of the best builders out there, no stone will be left unturned.”

Did we mention that this truck is going to be center mounted?

In addition to all the one-off work that the team will be doing, they are also teaming up with some of the biggest names in the industry. ARP, COMP Cams, Currie Enterprises, Mickey Thompson Tires and Wheels, Pertronix Performance Products, TCI Automotive, Trick Flow, and Turbonetics are all part of the build.

“This vehicle is a family built effort,” Granatelli explained. “Everyone that works at Granatelli Motor Sports has been helping because everyone wants to be a part of something new. The ultimate goal here would be to offer such vehicles to the public so that other enthusiasts have an opportunity to experience what only a few have.”

Some of the biggest names in the industry are teaming up for the build.

Powering this beast is going to be a 414 ci, 6.8-liter LSx backed to a TCI six-speed transmission. It will also have twin Turbonetics turbochargers, COMP Cams valvetrain, Manley cranks, rods and pistons, Trick Flow Specialties cylinder heads, JBA 2-inch custom built headers, Granatelli ignitions coils and 0-ohm cables, and a TCI billet torque converter.

The truck is going to be built on a custom built, two-inch chromoly tube chassis. It will include all sub floors and structural panels, King 4.5-inch shocks and quadruple bypasses, Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ 40/12.5R17 desert racing tires on 17×12 Method Racing beadlock wheels, and a Currie Trophy Truck rearend.

The team has plenty of work ahead of them, but we cannot wait to see the finished product.

“The goal is to debut the truck at SEMA and win Battle of the Builders,” Granatelli said. “If a truck were ever able to win a class that has been dominated by slammed nostalgia type street rods then we have the vehicle. The workmanship, fit and finish will speak for itself. From there it’s straight to the dirt where it belongs.”

Stay tuned as we continue to follow the build from the shop to the show and then to the dirt. Be sure to check out the gallery below with all the photos from the build.

Photo gallery

VIEW FULL GALLERY >

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About the author

Steven Olsewski

Steven Olsewski grew up with a true passion for anything with a motor. He loves his wife and kids, and during the year can be found enjoying quality time together. They are a huge part of his life and their passion for God.
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