Taking the “dare to be different” mantra and running with it, an In-N-Out Burger employee builds a turbocharged street machine out of a hand-me-down GMC Canyon he inherited from his grandfather. Now you can argue that he simply took a theme lent to the world by the old GMC Syclone of 1991, but this story has a twist to it; it packs an inline-5 and only two driving wheels. Still interested? So are we…
Dating back a couple of years, we were instantly reminded of this /Tuned video thanks to a recent film complied by Jay Leno’s Garage, featuring a ’41 Willys hot rod owned Lynsi Snyder, (CEO of In-N-Out Burger). Although this truck isn’t owned by Lynsi or anyone in her family, it is owned by one of her employees, Matt Ochoa.
Equipped with the 242 hp 3.7L I-5 backed by a 4-speed automatic as the starting point, Ochoa has modified the truck to the tune of 335 hp and 340 lb-ft to the rear tires. How did he get there? Simple. Matt has bolted on a STS rear-mount turbo kit, fabricated the lines, plumbing and some of the hardware to work with his unusual application – and it operates reliably on 12-psi of boost.
Running the Canyon at the El Toro dragtrip on street tires, Ochoa managed a best time of 12.6 in the quarter-mile, which, as /Drive’s Matt Farrah points out, isn’t exactly the fastest or best-prepped track out there. With more traction and some practice, a low-12 second pass shouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. It also stops quite well, thanks to a front set of Wilwood binders.
While Farrah mocks the slushbox as a let down, it actually makes all of the sense in the world for a turbocharged street/strip vehicle to be laid out in such a way, as most of you know. Partly because it helps with more consistent times in bracket racing, and partly because it builds and maintains boost throughout the power band. Now whether or not Ochoa’s truck has a modified transmission is another question, but based on the apparent lag as mentioned by Farrah, it more than likely has an unmatched converter and/or a stock gearbox overall.
With trucks like this GMC Canyon becoming more and more popular with today’s enthusiasts, we welcome the “think different” mindset that helps our hobby move forward. Because without them, we would be relegated to life of just Camaros and Corvettes dominating the game, and what fun would that be?
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.