Cut It Out: 1988 Chevy Suburban


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Let’s face it: rust is the enemy and it makes all of our lives harder when it begins to encroach on sheetmetal. While we often just want to yank it out, it’s rarely that easy – rust is an invasive species, like termites or people collecting signatures for political candidates. Still, this seller of a 1988 Chevy Suburban here on eBay went a step further and cut the rust out of his already converted Suburban to make a shorty dually that would do remarkably well as a tow rig in pit lane. 


If you look at the bottom picture, you’ll see what the seller started with – which looks like it was already a hacked-up Suburban that was made into a four-door pickup (if only the original artists knew a thing like the Chevy Avalanche was coming along). Now, after dealing with rust for far too long, the seller gutted the mid-section and created a two-door dually while retaining the custom truck bed. This looks like a manly man’s version of a Geo Tracker, if you ask me.


Of course, with projects like these, there’s always fine tuning. The transmission needs a lock-out switch as you can’t cruise on the highway without it. I’m not sure that’s a real concern given I can’t imagine this is much fun to drive long-distances. While the work looks acceptable for a backyard project, I doubt the level of R&D that went into simultaneously extinguishing the rust and retaining a running, driving vehicle was very advanced. Cutting out the middle was the easy part; now, what do you do with it?


And here’s what it used to look like. Does anyone know if this, too, was a home-based build or did a conversion company offer Suburbans with a bed? That actually seems like a practical truck since it retains the full cabin. Still, kudos to this seller for keeping it on the road and not just scrapping it, though I’m not sure a two-door dually is anyone’s idea of practical. How would you use this custom conversion?

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  1. Donnie

    beds just the right size for your unicycle

    Like 0
  2. Gnrdude

    I fully Expect Barbra Bach and that Other chick to come Hopping Out of the CAB cause it looks like a Clown car From the Cannon Ball Run………….

    Like 1
  3. HoA Howard AMember

    While it looks like a nice job, actually driving this thing would be a chore. I’ve driven real short trucks, and they are all over the road, and the choppy ride will make you wonder why someone did this. Someone did a lot of work, just can’t understand why.

    Like 0
  4. boxdin

    Howard is right, really short vehicles don’t handle well at all, are constantly changing direction whether the driver wants to or not. This truck has been ruined.

    Like 0
  5. edh

    It’s still longer than my old Geo Tracker, but if it still has the old stiff suspension I bet it rides a whole lot worse.

    Like 0
  6. JW

    This would be perfect for a small business to throw a Meyers or Western plow on to keep their lot clean of snow. The short wheel base makes for perfect maneuverability around obstacles and you wouldn’t have to worry about it being street legal if you only used it on your property.

    Like 0
    • Bobsmyuncle

      Better lose the duallies for snow removal!

      Like 0
      • JW

        Bobsmyuncle before I put a plow on my 68 Bronco a farmer down the road plowed my 1/4 mile drive and the area around my 3 car garage which was the size of a convenient store parking lot with a Chevy one ton dually with no problems except it was so long he spent more time jocking it around than actual plowing snow.

        Like 0
  7. MH

    Cut it out. I thought you were referring to Joey Gladstone from Full House. Haha.

    Like 0
    • JeffAuthor

      I’d be lying if I said that’s not exactly where my head was going when I wrote the title.

      Like 0
  8. Kevin Harper

    Ok I can see having a few too many beers and bench racing and maybe breaking out the Sawzall before everyone is completely sober, but really what type of person actually follows through with this type of build.

    Like 0
    • HoA Howard AMember

      Hi Kevin, I’ll bet it looked a lot better on paper.

      Like 0
  9. Mark P

    Suburban? I never saw such a heavy duty version. It says 3500 which should be a 1 ton but the axels look more like 2 1/2 landscaping dump truck to me.

    Like 0
  10. AMCFAN

    There is a lot more work in this rig then meets the eye. Although I cannot think of a practical reason at the moment. Much like the vintage car hauler featured with the rusted 56 Chevys. No practical reason. It is just kind of cool.
    There is an ass for every seat. Personally I wouldn’t want to look like the ass driving it.

    A thumbs up to the builder for trying something different even when there seems to be no reason. Looks like a quality job. I wish him well to at least re-coop part of his investment. With the price of scrap what it was would have been too tempting to sell. Luckily the guy stayed with the project which with the amount of people we see on this site who don’t is a feat in itself.

    Like 1
  11. Bobsmyuncle

    The inclusion of quarter windows makes me laugh. At least the builder wasn’t lazy.

    It reminds me of what the following owner of my Suburban did. I’ll have to try and find some pics.

    Like 0
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

      I believe this would look far better if the small quarter windows were not there.

      Like 0
  12. MartyMember

    If I can speak out of turn here about this, I think the first conversion to “Avalanche-style” was good, and except for the clumsy execution of the roof line, looked attractive and at least somewhat functional.

    Cutting it down further, (and transferring the clumsy roof unchanged), to the new creation, was a mistake, and I don’t see much of a practical function for it like this. Other than as a roadside attention-getter!

    Like 1
  13. rangeroger

    Now I know what to do about the rust on my ’85. I like the idea of short wheel base snow plowing, but I sold my Suburban’s plow last year. Maybe I can get the one off the Rod Hall Dodge.

    Like 0
  14. Will

    I think it would make a great lot truck for an RV dealership.

    Like 0
    • Alan (Michigan )

      I was also thinking along those lines. Handy for moving trailers in tight spaces.

      Reminds me of an airport baggage train tug.

      Like 0
  15. Jim

    Here is my version I built 10 years ago and drive it almost everyday. I love my truck….or as I call it a “Subscalade”.

    Like 2
    • MartyMember

      Jim, That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

      Like 0
    • JeffAuthor

      Whoa. We need to know more. That is BAD ASS!

      Like 0
  16. stan

    almost looks as if someone took a blazer added 1 ton running gear and closed in the back of the cab

    Like 0

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