With the name Lifted Ambitions, it’s obvious that Daniel Marks, Sr., dreams big. And when he starts a project, you know it’s going to turn out way better than expected. That’s certainly the case with his 2018 GMC Denali.
Marks has been self-employed for the past 10 years with his small business as a fire protection contractor. Being a graduate of the school of hard knocks, Marks says he’s climbed from the bottom up to build a business and to teach his two sons that if you work hard, you can do about anything in life. Marks’ family consists of his wife Kay, daughter Kayla and two sons, Daniel and Kodee.
Marks has been driving a diesel truck for the past 15 years. Prior to his current truck, he owned a 2005 Ford F250 6.0 Powerstroke. Along with his Denali, he also owns a 2007 Ford F350 Powerstroke custom work truck.
He’s uses his Denali as a daily driver, running his kids to school or around town. On weekends he tows his ‘62/‘65 Impala lowrider to car shows. He puts both his Impala and his Denali in the shows.
He belongs to the Impalas car club, which has 36 chapters for its ’58-’68 Impala owners. When not at car shows, he also tows his Jet Skis to the lake during summer months.
Modifying vehicles is a passion he has and credits this opportunity because he lives in the greatest country in the world which offers freedom and opportunities to do such things. He refuses to be “rolling stock.” He explains, “It just don't feel right if it ain’t modified … even my work truck is souped up.”
His Denali features Amp Steps, Full Throttle System 10-inch lift kit, powder-coated in Jolly Rancher Red with 24k gold flake, chrome bolts and brake calipers, a polished drive shaft, chrome FTS 2.0 Shocks on the rear and FTS chrome Double Shocks on the front, Horn”Blaster Conductor Train Horn, Performance Diesel DEF relocation kit, Specialty Forged 26x14 SF007 wheels and Country Hunter 37x13.50 tires.
The engine is stock. “I may like modifying my trucks but I do like keep my warranty,” he explained.
When he first started work on his Denali, he took the truck apart and sent everything to either be chromed or powder-coated. That’s also when he ordered his tires and wheels. Then came the reassembly of rear axle and front suspension. All hard lines were chromed and installed; then the wheels and tires were added.
He picked his truck up on a Friday night from TCS Customs. It was late so he didn’t even get a chance to run it over to the alignment shop. The next day he entered it in a car show and finished first out of 20 trucks. He’s been driving it since … and even without the alignment, it’s been working great.
Marks figures he’s got about $115,200 invested in the Denali with the cost of the vehicle and parts. But it’s exactly how he wants it now. He’s also been impressed with the quality of work done by TCS Customs. “Marcio, owner of TCS Suspension [Modesto, CA], did the build and all the powder coating and chrome work,” Marks said. “They have built all my trucks—my Ford F350 work truck and the Ford F250 that I sold.”
According to Marks, the Denali rides smoother and handles better now than when it was stock. “After my warranty expires I would like to do EGR and DEF delete with down pipe and a lift pump,” he said.