2006 SEMA Show by TCC Team (10/30/2006)
All our coverage from the Las Vegas aftermarket extravaganza.
Infused with the trendsetting, custom styling cues popularized by the bike-building Teutul family, the Chevy Orange County Choppers (OCC) Silverado is the ultimate shop hauler. It is designed to transport motorcycle engines and other components necessary to create one-of-a-kind custom choppers – and does so with the same eye-popping design as OCC’s own bikes.
A 7.0-liter LS7 V-8 backs up the OCC Silverado’s Sturgis-ready good looks and the interior carries the contemporary chopper theme, with plenty of black leather, chrome and billet trim. A raft of chromed chopper engines is tied down in the customized cargo bed.
“The OCC Silverado is a tribute to a family that has made an enormous impact on design and the new Silverado is the perfect canvas to illustrate it,” said John Cafaro, chief designer for full-size trucks. “Ironically, the OCC Silverado represents the reverse of OCC’s typical themed creations; rather than designing a bike to fit a particular theme, we’ve built a truck to reflect the Teutuls’ contribution to the chopper, and the focus they’ve brought to the industry.”
The custom, chopper-inspired exterior design elements include a blend of billet aluminum and chrome accents – including CNC-carved flame designs in the grille and tailgate – chrome side pipes and a specially tailored “bigs-and-littles” wheel/tire combination. These elements combine with authentic Chevrolet styling cues, including custom fascias, smoothed bodywork and a raised power dome hood, to create an inspired, totally unique truck.
“The GM design team spent time at Orange County Choppers to understand their philosophy of design,” said Cafaro. “The Teutuls are agile and quick when it comes to implementing their design idea for a chopper and we approached this Silverado project with that same sense of acting upon inspiration.”
Lead designer Jeff Puppos, a muscle car owner and enthusiast, brought a unique approach to the project. Placing himself in the role of an OCC designer, he collaborated closely with OCC design chief Jason Pohl to capture many aspects of OCC’s design capability.
Design elements include:
- Polished billet grille with CNC-cut flames and bow tie center emblem
- Custom, open headlamp housing with motorcycle-style “tri-bar” lenses and HID lamps
- Custom lower fascia with billet trim and motorcycle-style auxiliary lighting
- Raised power dome hood
- Shaved exterior door handles with ITW Active Touch door release system
- Custom, low-profile outside mirrors
- Dual chrome side exhausts
- Smoothed inner cargo box (to accommodate chopper engine transport)
- Removable tailgate with billet flame design and side supports inspired by chopper front suspension forks
- Custom “roll pan” rear fascia with stamped louvers
- Custom tail lamp housing with motorcycle-inspired lamps, including “blue dots”
- Fuel filler relocated to top of cargo box, with polished aluminum flames trim
- Twenty-two-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear wheels enhance “bigs-and-littles” wheel/tire profile
- Wheels inspired by spoke-type motorcycle rims, including sprocket-type detail
- Air Ride Technologies front and rear suspensions
- Black paint with red-tinted windows
Like the custom choppers designed by the Teutuls, the design elements of the OCC Silverado work harmoniously to create a knockout appearance that conveys the integration of a totally visualized concept. The wheel/tire combination, for example, was carefully sized to create the classic “big and little” look, while the chrome side pipes deliver a dramatic look yet are integrated within the contours of the Silverado’s bodywork.
“The OCC Silverado captures the fantastic level of detail exemplified in OCC’s bikes,” said Cafaro. “It is a total design project that was crafted to evoke specific emotions while maintaining the essence of the Silverado itself – it’s the same philosophy the Teutuls use for many of the theme bikes they design and build.”
That philosophy of integration carries over to the truck’s interior, where the OCC Silverado also reflects a chopper-inspired theme. Custom-tailored “Triple Black” leather seats, motorcycle-inspired gauges and chrome trim immediately convey the spirit of a custom bike. And as with the exterior, polished billet aluminum and chrome is found throughout the cabin. The front and rear seats feature embroidered “OCC” logos; the front seats feature heating/cooling comfort.
The Orange County Chopper Silverado is powered by a GM Powertrain’s 7.0-liter LS7 V-8. Rated at 505 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, it’s the same engine that powers the Corvette Z06, and it also available as a “crate engine” package from GM Performance Parts. The engine features several racetrack-proven lightweight components and a dry-sump oiling system. A remote oil tank is mounted under the OCC Silverado’s hood to feed the engine. GMPP also supplies the valve covers.
Torque from the LS7 engine is channeled through an automatic transmission and out to GM’s beefy 8.8-inch rear axle. It features an automatic-locking differential and 3.73 gears, which combine to efficiently put the power to the pavement and deliver an exhilarating rush of performance.
Performance takes place a little closer to the pavement, too, as the Silverado OCC Bike Truck is “slammed” to produce the requisite low-slung stance. The ground-hugging ride height also helps the wheels and tires fill out the fenders, for a more integrated appearance.