Chevy Runs Deep: Jerry Barker's 1971 Bagged Suburban
The idea that we as car enthusiasts can be so committed to one brand might seem odd to most of the general public. Generally, as consumers, we consider a product, weigh the benefits and drawbacks of a particular offering versus its competitor, and then make our decision. One person might own several different brands of shoes, or various brands of electronics, without it causing any personal conflict. Cars have a habit of reaching deeper into our psyche, however. For Jerry Barker, the favorite has always been Chevrolet.
Love at First Drive
Jerry's love for Chevy trucks started with his family's furniture store, which used the vehicles to make deliveries to customers. His first car, a '56 Bel-Air hardtop, got him started in brand ownership, and he soon joined his brother racing Chevys at the local track. Eventually, he opened up his own Chevrolet dealership in 1999, fully immersing himself in GM's most popular marque.
Much of Jerry's collection is centered around the golden era of Chevrolet trucks, with a special affinity for the sixth generation of GM's full size offerings. The three door Suburban model is well-loved for it's long, smooth, wagon-like profile built around a capable, simple, utilitarian chassis. "Over the years, they were not restored like more of the popular body styles, so you can't find them in nice shape anymore. I also like trucks that are different, and most people don't even know what it is when they see it," he says. He has given the '71 a subtle two-tone exterior, using a VW metallic silver over Chevrolet's own Cotillion White.
Lowered on Nitto NT555 G2s
Getting the Suburban to sit right was important. "In today's classic car market, the 'stance' of a vehicle, along with the right tires and wheels, is what gets the attention," he contends. The stance of this big-bodied SUV owes itself to a Accuair air-ride system that frames the 20-inch US Mags wheels nicely. A set of 245/20 and 295/40 Nitto NT555 G2s ensure that the ride remains smooth and the power effectively makes it down to the asphalt.
Engine and Transmission
The Suburban is powered by a Chevrolet 406 C.I. small block that sends its power through a 700R4 overdrive transmission. Fuel delivery is handled by an Edelbrock Pro-Flo XT unit.
Modern, Custom Interior
Jerry didn't want this build to be a garage queen, so modernizing the interior was as important as making it look right and go fast. All of the seats have been covered in custom upholstery, and the addition of a modern Chevrolet center console provides some extra storage space for long trips. A Vintage Air and Heat unit keeps everyone comfortable in whatever weather the Georgia climate throws out.
Jerry admits that he's having a great time with this Suburban. "I drive [it] on long trips. It is not only a show car, but a 'driver' as well. I drive all my cars and trucks. If I can't drive them because they are too nice, then I don't want them," he says. That attitude is evidence of a man that doesn't own cars for any other reason than a passion for automobiles, at least ones with a bowtie up front.
Flip through the gallery below for more images of Jerry Barker's incredible Suburban!