2006 SEMA Show by TCC Team (10/30/2006)
All our coverage from the Las Vegas aftermarket extravaganza.
While he’s normally associated with the Chevy Monte Carlo SS racecar he drives on Sundays, Dale Earnhardt Jr. also is an enthusiastic truck aficionado – especially those trucks that perform best off the road. GM teamed up with Earnhardt to design and build the ultimate Silverado off-roader, dubbing it the Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Big Red” Silverado.
The Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Big Red” Silverado is based on the all-new, 2007 Chevy Silverado crew cab and features custom exterior appointments, an off-road-ready suspension, one-off custom 20-inch wheels at Dale Jr.’s request, a custom interior and more. This one-of-a-kind Silverado builds on Earnhardt’s personal notion of off-road enjoyment, which was previously conveyed in his personal truck – a previous-generation Silverado named “Big Red.”
“The ‘Big Red’ Silverado is the ultimate expression of off-road trucks,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “It is inspired by Dale Jr.’s personal and modified Silverado, but takes his concept to an entirely new and exciting level.”
Earnhardt collaborated with GM designers on the truck, visiting the GM Design
“This truck has Dale Jr.’s personality woven all through it,” said Peper. “It even has a locomotive horn that was his idea; when it blows, you know for miles around who’s coming up the trail.”
The Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Big Red” Silverado is powered by GM Powertrain’s 6.2L Gen IV V-8 engine, a high-output, all-aluminum engine with variable valve timing that produces 380 horsepower and 417 lb.-ft. of torque. It transfers its power to all four wheels via a Hydra-Matic four-speed electronically controlled transmission. The front and rear axles are equipped with 3.73 gears and Eaton ELocker electronic locking differentials, which help the truck deliver exhilarating performance with tall off-road tires. Stopping power is enhanced with a set of Baer disc brakes, including six-piston calipers and 15-inch cross-drilled rotors in the front and twin-piston floating calipers with 13-inch cross-drilled rotors in the rear.
The commanding stance and flared bodywork of the “Big Red” Silverado combine for a menacing presence. All of the front end sheet metal, including the bumper, fenders, hood and grille are unique to the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Silverado, as are the rear fenders and rear bumper.
The front end design evokes the look of Baja racers, with a high-mounted, brush guard-type wraparound bumper, which conceals an integraed 6,000-pound Warn Winch. The brush guard bumper is fully integrated into the design and contours of the Silverado, extending out toward the flared front fenders. The large fender opening and box-type flares accommodate both the large off-road tires and the vertical travel of the front suspension. The hood also is custom and features a front-opening air intake scoop, which further adds to the truck’s powerful appearance.