2006 hummer h1 alpha open top with duramax turbo diesel and allison transmission. 20k miles loaded, front and rear lockers, winch, Owning a custom car shop has a few benefits. For Dan Berry of Cartronics in Santa Rosa, California, one main perk is the ability to build a small fleet of customized rides that do double duty as showpieces and personal vehicles. “You get to have toys and write them off,” Dan divulges. One of his toys is this 2006 Hummer H1.
One of only 100 of this edition built, the H1 spends as much time on the road (or off-road, rather) as on display at Cartronics. With the top taken off and the entire interior accessible to the elements, the H1 has to stand up to whatever is thrown at it. Dan didn’t want to limit his choices to marine-specific audio gear, so he opted for the equipment he liked while focusing on rugged finishes and techniques.
Coated in Line-X, which is commonly used to treat truck beds, the center console is a great example of the durability of the build. The huge factory center console perplexed Dan at first, as it created a lot of dead space in the center of the truck. To spice it up, and add some video elements, the Cartronics crew created a console topper that snaps onto the original. This new top piece holds three 7-inch Vizualogic monitors that get feed from the Pioneer XDV-P6 6-disc DVD changer molded into the base of the console or from the Pioneer AVIC-Z3 head unit that replaced the original factory unit in the dash.
The H1 is huge, but despite the size, the cabin had limited spaces to install new equipment. Dan and his crew met the challenge, figuring out spots for new speakers and equipment as they went along. For front speakers, two pairs of Pioneer Premier TS-C520prs components, Dan looked to the overhead storage compartment on the H1’s roll bar.
Cartronics built the rear speakers, a matching pair of components, into the enclosure for two of the four JL Audio 10W6V2-D4 subwoofers. Between the two original rear seats, this enclosure is partially hidden by a third middle seat that Dan ordered from Hummer.
The remaining two subs fire upward from underneath the rear seats. The airspace available here dictated Dan’s choice of speakers and he tried to squeeze in as much as he could. Here on the floor of the truck, the enclosures are vulnerable to water, sand and other outside elements. To protect them, all enclosures were coated in fiberglass and then sprayed in more Line-X.
Dan found room for the amp rack in the H1’s bed. Sealed behind a window of acrylic, a Zapco Comp 6.0 feeds the highs and mids while a Zapco Comp 9.0 runs the subfoowers. Coated in resin and Line-X, the sealed enclosure ran the risk of causing amp overheating. Cartronics solved the problem by installing 5-inch scroll cage fans that force air through the rack.
The power system and other accessories required less forethought, with Optima Yellow Tops taking the space of the factory batteries. Another Stinger capacitor provides boosts of power when necessary from the amp rack. Stinger wiring passes on the signal as well as the power. Meanwhile, Dynamat Extreme (8 packs of it), damp down the interior floor and doors.
All the care the crew took into creating a rugged H1 hasn’t disappointed Dan yet. We spoke to him after a recent visit to sand dunes in Oregon and he happily reported that the H1 stood up quite well. The full Predator stage 3 performance kit, Predator 3-inch suspension lift, extended full predator undercarriage protection , GT Performance Beadlock Wheels and the 40″Pro Comp Xterrain tires help it hold up to the road. But, it’s the Line-X coated enclosures, console and rack that make the interior less precious and better able to stand up to whatever the road (or sand dune) throws at it.