Bill Dermond of Road Surfer Customs in Sacramento, California, is known in the industry as a mover and thinker. So when he was reading a recent article in the SEMA News about the “Dub Culture” and how its affect on the car industry is ever expanding, he knew that he needed to make a statement. At the end of the article it was mentioned that the ultimate “dub” ride would be either a Cadillac Escalade or the H2 Hummer SUV. The gears began turning and the pulse began to quicken in Bill’s creative shell. Why not build a vehicle that would encompass a bad-ass SUV with the best of both worlds?
So “Big Bill” started going through books. “I was looking through all of these advertisements with these SUVs with Photoshopped wheels and I started cutting them up and pasting things together over the course of the weekend.” He must’ve thought:, “Yikes! It just may work!” So Bill looked to the East, in this case Michigan, for such a ride; Hummers were going for big bucks out on the “Left Coast.” Once he nabbed one it was into the shop where the crew jumped into the deep end with barely a gulp of air in their lungs.
The big push would concentrate on the nose of the distinctive H2; it had to go and be made to look like an Escalade nose. But the “nose” had to look right or else it would “stink.” The outer structure of the H2 hood was to be removed and mocked up with the grille and fenders of an Escalade. Tons of measurements along with plenty of welds and sheet metal work went into the fabrication of the hybrid hood and fender treatment.
Since there was no real template for the structure, it was more of a challenge to get the hood and fender combo right, but then there was the deal with the headlight assemblies. This was solved by mounting them to the radiator support, but so many compound curves and plans to deal with, well, let’s just say that it had to work or the 400-some hours of time spent in the nose would be for naught. The front bumper had to be altered to accommodate the new geometry, so it was widened and deepened for the right effect. As for the rest of the H2, the body line along the doors was removed and the rear bumper was altered and smoothed to perfection.
As for that crazy idea of Bill’s cut and paste session, well, that little mock-up is still on the board at work right along plans of selling H2/Caddy front ends and bumper treatments. Not bad considering that such an animal didn’t exist in our world of Edge-quality rides. Way to go, Big Bill; really big! Where does the line form for these awesome kits, man?
Owner: Bill Dermond
Vehicle: 2003 H2 Hummer
City/State: Sacramento, California
Club: Negative Camber C.C.
Paint & Body Mods:
The Road Surfer crew had their hands full of Hummer and Cadillac curves, sides and angles that had to fit together seamlessly; Cadillac Escalade fenders and a Hummer hood had to work together in unison without making it look cheesy. The lower body line in the doors was also removed and the bumper in front was widened and deepened as well. The rear bumper assembly was altered by smoothing it out by creating a rear roll pan, fabricating a license plate box and integrating Caddy taillight assemblies. Mark Marilao and Dylan Kern get kudos at Finish Line Auto Body in Sacramento for the beautiful PPG black finish. Some 1,200 hours went into the body and paint in this sucker.
Rims & Rubber:
Oasis 26-inch (driver’s side) and 26-inch “Big Baller” (passenger side) wheels were mated with P305/30-ZR26 Kumho radial tires.
Bill did the killer job of installing the air system using fabricated airbag brackets, trailing arm mounts modified to extend the wheelbase 1 1/2 inches and Firestone 26C air bladders in front and 255C units in the rear for the cushion. An engine-driven air compressor feeds air to the “sidebars,” which are in fact chrome-plated external air tanks, while Air Ride Technologies “Big Red” valves help render the H2 into different stances as well as C-notch the rear of the frame.
The bitchin’ stitchin’ was done by Acme Tops & Tunes of Sacramento, where they used black leather inserts along the doors and in the seating area with painted and plated handles done by the dudes at Road Surfer. A custom center console houses both air pressure gauges and switches, while more “plastic chrome” on the dash from Road Surfer adds “bling” to the humongous Hummer.
Acme Tops & Tunes did up the audio using Pioneer gear for the head unit, tweeters and mids, while JL Audio goods handle the amplification and subwoofer duties.
Stock 6.0-liter V-8 powerplant with an MBRP custom exhaust system.