Rare Rides: The 2004 Joe Gibbs Racing Tahoe Is Fast and Confused

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
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rare rides the 2004 joe gibbs racing tahoe is fast and confused

Customized and limited edition SUVs are nothing new to regular readers of Rare Rides. The striking Funkmaster Flex Expedition clouded eyes with tears of joy. Neiman Marcus once modified a Lincoln Blackwood, showing just how easily versatility and usefulness can be stripped from a Ford truck.

After those Ford and Lincoln examples, I think it’s time we took a look at a General Motors offering — perhaps a Tahoe. A supercharged, racing Tahoe.

Our subject today is a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe, dressed with Joe Gibbs Limited Edition special sauce. The first thing to say is how well it would sit in a garage next to a GMT360 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS. Their exterior treatments are remarkably similar. According to the listing (no longer active), Mr. Gibbs is a Super Bowl-winning football coach who also ran a successful team in NASCAR.

Your author doesn’t follow either of those sports, so someone in the B&B can fill us in on the accuracy of those statements.

As mentioned above, there are some SS-style changes with the front bumper.

Nobody will doubt you’re driving a Joe Gibbs Performance Tahoe, as the badges festooning the car are massive.

Special side skirts are also here, replacing the running boards you’d commonly find on almost all GMT800 vehicles.

Note the rear bumper, which has been taken from a Yukon Denali model of similar vintage. The D-pillar panels were taken from an Escalade.

The door handles bother me, so let’s talk about those briefly. Only base or LS models were available with matte black door handles. LT and LTZ trims had color-matched gloss handles. Modifying a vehicle to make it sporting and luxurious would make more sense if you used one of the versions which already contained luxury features.

Some sporty five-spoke deep-dish rims help the overall look here.

Under the hood, Mr. Gibbs has added a supercharger to the 5.3-liter LS V8, adding 100 extra horsepower (according to the ad copy). With 395 horsepower and fat tires, it should be decently quick.

You’ll find some interior modifications once you open the front door. The front seats have additional bolstering (these seem legitimately custom-made) and have suede inserts in the center portion. That’s for when you’re hammering this beast around the track! The modified seats require manual back adjustment, limited lower cushion adjustments, and there’s no power lumbar. No heated seats, either.

The middle seats get the same suede treatment, but do not have the embroidery like the front.

It’s not clear whether this third-row seat is a replacement or the original, but the ruching indicates it’s from a truck made between 2000 and 2002. For 2003, GMT800 models switched to a smooth-style seat with defined panels rather than ruching. There’s also a subwoofer that’ll be bouncing around back here, for reasons unknown.

You also get some white gauges, replacing the standard black ones.

In the dash, there’s an aftermarket Sony GPS unit, as well as a signed placard where there would normally be a small cubby. Below, there’s some hookup for an ancient cellular telephone from The Matrix II or something.

The Tahoe has covered almost 135,000 miles and seems well maintained. The eBay listing ended early, claiming the item was “no longer available.” So, expect to see it back online shortly.

What do you think this truck is worth?

[Images via eBay]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Writing things for TTAC since late 2016 from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find me on Twitter @CoreyLewis86, and I also contribute at Forbes Wheels.

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3 of 22 comments
  • APaGttH APaGttH on Jun 05, 2017

    I'm guessing this had chrome door handles and someone along the way replaced them with the matte black materials. It is very easy to swap the handles out. Dude, I murdered out my ride. The little bit I could see in the interior with electronic climate control, center console, and steering wheel controls, this doesn't look like GMT800 LS level trim. If it is, it was equipped stupidly a the LT version would have likely been cheaper versus checking off the boxes to equip it this way. GM had some serious stupidity on the GMT800 seats they provided customizers. I remember the North Face Edition Avalanche didn't have heated seats, power tilt, or power lumbar. The reason was they used a lower level seat frame for the customized trim, that negated these options. I'm sure some bean counter thought this was a very good idea. The Vortec 5.3L V8 takes to forced induction very well -- the stock 4-speed automatic if it isn't the HD model can take the HP, my question is what is the torque number. Bad things start to happen if you approach 450-475 pound feet. IIRC this was around 340 pound feet of torque out of the box NA.

    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jun 05, 2017

      I agree it's stupidly optioned. But you'd have a hard time finding an LT with monotone door panels, and no heated memory seats, but with a sunroof. I think they used a base.

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Jun 06, 2017

    I think it worth around $225K but I would only pay $18K for it now!

  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh Batteries work differently when not in a lab ... news at 11!
  • TheMrFreeze This new 500e is selling really well in Europe, but here in the US the demographic that would be interested in a car like this is definitely in the minority. At $33K for this upscale model is a tough sell but hopefully incentives will come into play to make this a much more appealing option for those looking for a funky daily driver or a practical second car for the family
  • ToolGuy "EVs tend to be less efficient at higher speeds on highways than commuting around town. It’s also important to note that where you live and how you drive can have an outsized impact on range, as people with lead feet or those living in colder climates may find a significant drop in range."• Let's not forget elevation changes!Signed, Captain Obvious 🙂
  • Ajla "People shouldn't rely on the EPA figures but there is also no value to independent EV range testing.😏"The incredulous attitude from some of you guys is stupid. Many, many people that don't spend their free time on car websites buy vehicles. Knowing your real world efficiency is useful information for those consumers.
  • Probert The EPA estimate is just that. Of course weather and driving habits affect the range. This is not news. The EPA tests on a combined cycle, so just running at 70 is not what the EPA numbers reflect. That said, my EV - a humble KIA Niro, freequently exceeds estimates, even on long highway runs. If most of your driving is local and stop and go, you can expect a range around 20% above estimates. The important thing is that the range estimation that the car gives you, is accurate, as it reflects your actual driver habits. Also, even with winter drops, or high speed runs, an EV is about 400% more efficient than an ICE.