One of the most popular lowriding body styles for the street rider has been the GM “G-body,” more commonly identified as the ’79-’88 Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass, and Chevrolet Malibu, El Camino and the various Monte Carlo body styles. From a hydraulics standpoint, these G-bodies have proven themselves on the streets, at the sticks, and more infamously in the car dance arena.From a sound system standpoint, however, G-bodies have proven to be a challenge. The OEM placement of the speakers was optimum back in the day. Their small size and minimal power was overcome by a placement very near the glass. As time progressed, we found ways to get those 6x9s humming in the rear of the car and eventually added EQ boosters and, not too long after, amplifiers. As years passed, the evolution of the car as a soundstage became a dominant factor and, with the exception of a few full-custom competition sound system cars, the G-body was left out of the major competition circuit due to OE speaker obstacles.
Fast forward to the present day and you’ll see custom panels becoming the norm. With much advancement in the materials, use and instruction, these custom panels are much quicker work. For the most part, you’ll see a lot of kick panels and occasionally a full-custom door panel. So what to do in a G-body where these types of panels are a necessity for a clean-sounding soundstage?You’d probably be quick to answer “kick panels,” since a full-custom door panel isn’t in your budget or within your final car building goals. Unfortunately, GM was cruel in their quest to save space and put a computer in the passenger kick panel, making a clean-looking space friendly kick panel virtually impossible. So how can you create some space in a vehicle with a door panel that’s far from speaker friendly? Build it out, of course.
A door build-out can be as simple as a plastic ring that you can buy at your local stereo shop or as complicated as a molded insert to a door panel pocket opening. In the case of a G-body, a simple shaped build-out with slight contours will more than suffice. This is a quick and easy project that you can complete at home with a simple set of tools such as a jig saw, tape measure and drill. Do you got that stuff? If so, follow along and let’s bring the music to the front of your G-body.