Reaching New Heights: The Chevy Prerunner Inspired by an '80s TV Show
Perhaps one of the most iconic high-flying vehicles on your TV during the 1980s, the 1982 GMC K-2500 featured in the popular adventure show The Fall Guy wowed audiences of all ages with its death defying stunts. The show featured a Hollywood stunt man (played by Lee Majors) who had a side-gig using his skills and trusty GMC truck to find and capture fugitives of the law. Over the years, this truck has inspired many replicas built by fans of the show, but putting a new twist on this classic is something we hadn’t seen before.
That is, until we met Wyatt Pemberton. A Texas native, and no stranger to off-road racing, Wyatt decided it was finally time to build his 2013 Silverado 1500. He knew he wanted to build something that performed well in the desert, handled daily driving on the pavement with comfort and looked unique from the hordes of other Chevy prerunners out there. The end result became a build that can pick up the kids from school and handle extended abuse in the dirt.
Of course, when Wyatt started the build, the first thing to go was the stock suspension. Wyatt called up the GM suspension pros over at Mazzulla Offroad for one of their CAD-designed long travel systems, which boasts 18 inches of travel using King coilovers and secondary bypass-shocks. The benefit of a long travel IFS system, with coilovers and bypass shocks, really lies within its tunability. Being able to easily adjust ride height and shock damping is crucial when building a truck with suspension performance in mind.
Mazzulla’s kits have been race-proven for years and subjected to some of the harshest terrain in the West, which is why Wyatt also looked to them for a rear suspension system that performed well but kept the full use of the Chevy’s bed. Mazzulla’s rear cantilever suspension mounts the coilovers laterally, using pivots from the rear axle to gain as much wheel travel as possible, all the while staying tucked up under the bed and out of the way.
But Wyatt didn’t end his shopping spree with Mazzulla at the suspension. He went ahead and ordered their front and rear bumpers, finishing the overall prerunner look of this Chevy. In addition to improving the aesthetics on the truck, Mazzulla’s bumpers increase the approach and departure angles, and increase ground clearance.
No build is complete without a set of big tires, and the Fall Guy tribute prerunner is no exception. Where most half-ton Chevy prerunners roll on 35s or 37s, Wyatt took his build a few steps further. Wyatt outfitted his truck with a set of massive 40x13.50R17 Nitto Trail Grapplers, a task that took him over a month to accomplish. The Nitto Trail Grapplers provided the ultimate off-road performance Wyatt needed for this truck and at the same time expanded his half-ton prerunner into Ultra4 size tire territory. The amount of work it takes to tastefully clearance 40-inch tires on this truck is enormous, but Wyatt was determined. The end result, wrapped around Walker Evans 17-inch beadlocks, really set this truck apart from the rest.
Once the hard parts of the build were finished, Wyatt knew he wanted to wrap the truck. The two-tone “Fall Guy truck” theme wasn’t Wyatt’s idea at first, but with some convincing, he finally agreed to it and tasked Underground Graphics of Houston with the job. In addition to the vinyl wrap, Wyatt installed some KC HiLites LEDs and a Bak Industries RollBAK tonneau cover to tie the details together. The final product came out better than Wyatt could have imagined, and we think so too! Wyatt also has Dave Gutwillig from Brave Motorsports in Houston to thank for his dedication to completing this build.
Although a modern departure from the original Fall Guy Truck, Wyatt’s Silverado remains one of those builds we couldn’t just walk past. The well-executed details, stout suspension performance and unique aesthetics make it a show-worthy build in its own right. And while you probably won’t see Wyatt’s truck jumping 50 yards over a school bus and into a swamp, you might see it flying across the open desert, soaking up every bit of the Wild West terrain.