Some genius human being in Washington has crafted an excellent sleeper truck out of a 1998 Chevrolet LT and the same 6.2-liter supercharged LS9 V8 found in a Chevy Corvette ZR1. This rig looks like a normal Hard Like A Rock-era Tahoe, except it’s much, much more.
Up for auction right now on Bring A Trailer is a bit of madness that may look like just a normal bro-truck from the ’90s, but it’s anything but.
According to the description on BaT, this Tahoe’s owner bought the SUV in 2012 when it only had 33,000 miles on the odometer. For some strange but also brilliant reason, shortly thereafter, the owner had a Chevy dealer in Washington tear out the original Vortec V8, toss in an LS9 crate motor, install a heavily-built four-speed automatic, bolt on better brakes, lower the truck, throw a Detroit locker in a Dana 60 rear axle, modify the cooling system, and hook up some traction bars.
What’s remarkable is just how normal the truck looks. The steering wheel, dashboard, cassette player, seats—Pretty much everything on the inside appears to be bone-stock.
Heck, even on the outside, nothing looks particularly different than a regular Tahoe, except for the larger wheels installed to accommodate the bigger brakes. This thing really is the ultimate sleeper:
Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into putting a powerful motor into a vehicle not designed for it. The listing says the cooling system’s been upgraded to an “oversized Be Cool system,” there are now two fuel pumps, plus there are custom headers and a new exhaust pipe, a Lingenfelter pulley and ECU kit, and much more.
The drivetrain’s been beefed up tremendously, with the Tahoe’s stock 4L60E being swapped for a 4L80—an already beefy transmission as it is, being derived from the legendary TH400 “Turbo 400"—but with “a Billet input shaft, performance shift kit, TCI Maximizer torque converter, TCI forged flexplate, and oversized transmission cooler.”
The front and rear axles have 3.73 gears, with the front being a “GM performance axle” with strengthened halfshafts, and the rear being a “custom Dana 60" with 35-spline axle shafts and a locker-equipped differential apparently rated for over 1,000 horsepower.
There’s less than a day left to bid, and the price is at $24,000—or about three grand more than what an LS9 crate engine costs. Someone really needs to buy this, and by “someone,” I really mean “everyone.”
Update: This story has been updated to indicate that the 4L80E was not the stock transmission in the 1998 Chevy Tahoe.
All photos via Bring A Trailer