When Enrique Gonzalez of Miami, Florida, decided he wanted to build something really different to have as a daily driver, a show truck, and for use at the strip occasionally, he bought a 2006 Chevrolet Colorado. Okay, you’re probably thinking the same thing we did at first. “He bought a Colorado?” But seriously folks, that’s not where this story ends.
It just so happens that Gonzalez heads up the The Diesel Shop, Inc. (TDS), located in Miami, and he knows a thing or two about diesel engines, engine swaps, and building high-performance trucks. He was not about to build a plain vanilla, boring truck. He had already dropped two built Duramax engines into his boat a few years back, and as Gonzalez told us, “They run like nothing else.”
Gonzalez began with a bone stock Colorado, but it didn’t stay that way for very long. The exterior of the body was basically left alone, but the truck’s next two years were filled with upgrades, big modifications, and an entirely new powerplant and drivetrain. The back half of the chassis was rebuilt, and the inside of the bed was completely reconfigured to make room for the new rear axle and huge rear tires. The body received a coat of white, and the engine was powdercoated with a custom color that Gonzalez calls “Smurf Blue.”
A Ford 9-inch with a Strange center section and Strange axle shafts replaced the Colorado’s flimsy stock rearend. Mickey Thompson 315/60-15 tires wrapped around 15×14-inch Weld Racing wheels are bolted to the ends of that 9-inch, and a set of Corvette brakes are hidden by those monster meats.
No ordinary suspension mods were undertaken. This Colorado was treated to a four-link system with QA1 coilover shocks. The front end is basically stock Chevy Colorado hardware, but it’s been beefed up with a set of Corvette brakes. Twenty-inch Camaro SS wheels are mounted to the front spindles.
We already mentioned that Gonzalez dropped a Duramax turbodiesel into the engine bay, but that LBZ stock long block with an Allison transmission was augmented with a Garret GTX4202R turbocharger, and 15-over injector nozzles and an injection pump thanks to Industrial Injection. An Edge Insight CTS tuner does the control work, and Gonzalez says that Duramax Tuner set it up just right. That’s all that has been done so far, but Gonzalez has more in store for the future, and we’ll keep you updated with his progress.
The truck has been to a few shows and a couple of races so far, but it has not claimed any trophies as of yet, because so far they have all been “local” grassroots events that were not presenting awards. He is, however, soon headed up to North Carolina for some bigger events that should bring the hot rod Colorado some gold.
Gonzalez told us that his favorite thing about the truck is that, “It looks like a show truck, but runs like a race truck, and is still my daily driver.” Gonzalez calls the truck his shop truck and daily driver. We should all be so lucky. What would you do if this little honey were yours? If you want to see more of the Duramax-powered Chevy Colorado in action, check out the video below.