Ford Shows Off F-150 With 14 Customized Versions
By Christopher Goodwin
Pickup trucks, with their emphasis on function, can pose a challenge for customizers, but Ford Motor Co. attempted to clear that hurdle this week in Las Vegas.
Ford showed off 14 customized versions of its next-generation 2004 F-150s in its exhibition space at the 2003 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show. Situated alongside a handful of vintage autos, concept cars and soon-to-hit-the-market production vehicles, the pickups represented the heart of SEMA and demonstrated that there is practically no limit to which aftermarket auto accessories can be applied to straight-from-the-dealership automobiles to create unique, tastefully stylish high-performance niche vehicles.
Ford solicited proposals from customizers across the nation and gave an F-150 to each of those whose proposal was accepted. The 14 pickup trucks on display at SEMA were selected weeks ago as Ford Design Award Winners.
A handful of the 2004 F-150s were customized using only Ford aftermarket products, while the majority were customized with no restrictions.
Among the creations was the F-150 Scout by BFS Mobility, a Bridgestone-Firestone program whose purpose is to help mobility-challenged people drive. The rugged-looking four-wheel-drive SuperCab is equipped to assist disabled drivers and passengers access and drive the vehicle.
The Scout utilizes Bruno brand “Turneys” — swivel seats or turnout seats — in both the driver and front passenger positions, along with Bruno low-profile Turney seats. Behind the driver seat is a Bruno Cab-Sider wheelchair lift that hoists a folded wheelchair into the SuperCab’s space behind the driver seat. Wells-Engberg hand controls and a Bluetooth hands-free phone are built in.
The vehicle rides on Air Ride Technologies front- and rear-suspension systems. A Ride-Rite IntelliRide air leveling system raises and lowers the body.
With an aggressive red and black paint job and knobby 265/70R17 tires, the Scout is one of the more memorable F-150s on the Ford stand. KC Hilites Daylighter auxiliary lights mounted on a Daystar bumper bar in the front is among a bevy of other exterior features, such as custom billet trim, fender flares, side bars, skid plates, roll pan and grille. In the cargo bed was a Rhino bed liner and an Amerideck Superdeck Bed Lift — a power-operated ramp that hydraulically lifts the Bombardier ATV Traxler four-wheeler in and out of the bed.
Among other standout 4x4 F-150s was the Canyon Crawler, an even more aggressive package than the Scout. It’s taller, too, with a 7-inch suspension system and retractable steps that aid entering and exiting the cabin. Bilstein 9100 series shocks and Eibach front coil springs are part of the suspension package. The orange-and-black behemoth has Off Road Unlimited tube bumper guards, Stillen fender flares and Budnik M-6 wheels. Created by X-Treme Toys of Burbank, Calif., the Canyon Crawler has a CR Laurence power rear window, billet grille and accents, and PIAA auxiliary lighting. A Protech aluminum toolbox and two mountain bikes are mounted in the pickup bed.
The Iron Man F-150 by DeBerti Designs stood out with bright yellow paint and an intimidating stance. The interior is equally impressive, with a variety of custom pieces like the gearshift knob and abundant bright yellow trim. Exterior modifications include the fenders, tailgate, cargo bed, grille, rocker panels, skid guard and exhaust.
The American Muscle F-150 by Street Scene of Costa Mesa, Calif, has 22-inch three-piece wheels, a unique grille, a custom urethane front spoiler and rear wing, side skirts, a roll pan, signal mirrors, House of Kolor paint, a fiberglass hood and windshield-wiper cowl, and a custom steering wheel and dashboard. The hood is dressed with retro twin racing stripes. With a Whipple-supercharged Triton engine and a lowered suspension, the pickup is said to be a road racer with performance handling — show AND go.
For those who like go with their show, the Roush F-150 applied legend Jack Roush’s muscle-car performance touch to a pickup. Styled in bold black, red and yellow paint, Roush’s pickup evokes the Mustang GT-350. The bumper, roll pan and hood were reworked; the supercharged engine has nitrous-oxide injection; and the suspension is lowered. Custom wheels and tires round out the transformation.
The Jimmy Shine F-150 by So-Cal Speed Shop of Pomona, Calif., is a lowered custom noted for its brushed aluminum paint and eight chrome power stacks poking from the hood. The pickup has a custom working side exhaust, a 1934 Ford-style vertical grille, a lower-grille diffuser — a lower air dam with a half-dozen golf-ball-size holes — and a louvered tailgate.
Classic Design Concepts of West Bloomfield, Mich., built Stainless, a silver F-150 with stainless steel external trim and bedliner. The bed features high-tech storage such as pullout shelves. The interior has a Magellan Navigation system with a custom pop-up screen, and Eurovox/Rockford amplifiers and speakers. Outside are a modified fascia and body cladding as well as an air-ride suspension and Ford trailer-tow mirrors.
Utility is the word for the Super Wagon F-150 by Hulst Customs. In the custom cargo bed is a professional-grade tool chest that matches the F-150’s silver/black paint scheme. It rolls out of the bed with the aid of motorized wheels and aluminum ramps.
The Everest F-150, by Prefix, boasts luxury inside and out. Door-activated self-stowing entry steps lead the way to a leather-dressed interior that features a stand-alone wireless network. Exterior touches include a hard tonneau, rectangular custom exhaust pipes peeking from the sides, and redesigned fascia and lamps.
Air Ride Technologies of Jasper, Ind., crafted a black low-rider F-150 LSC (Low, Smooth, Cool) most notable for its remote-control full air suspension and its 5,800-watt Kicker stereo sound system. The supercharged pickup has an aero grille insert and a hydraulic bed cover that protects the air system, which is beautifully crafted of aluminum and glass and bolted into the bed.
Wings West of Newport Beach, Calif., crafted Fast and Ferocious, a black beast with custom engine, paint and details that include interior modifications and carbon-fiber scoops on the hood and the front quarter panels. Chip Foose’s F-150 appealed with understatement. Lowered a hair and fitted with reworked body styling, the Euro-inspired black beauty has all-wheel drive, a Borla exhaust, and a custom overhead rail storage system called the “Freeway” package.
Performance West Group of Bonsall, Calif., provided Big Sky, a silver supercharged 4x4 with a custom body package including front and rear fascia, fender flares, side skirts, an electric folding tonneau, billet accents and chrome tow hooks. Inside are Kenne Bell accessory gauges and leather massage seats.
The Bonspeed Banshee F-150 was crafted by Bonspeed of Anaheim, Calif., and Detroit Speed and Engineering. The Banshee has a six-speed-manual transmission and a 32-valve supercharged V-8 engine, along with a performance-tuned four-wheel independent suspension using special KONI coil-over shocks and the Lincoln Navigator rear suspension. The interior boasts heated power seats, an entertainment system and custom, matching leather luggage that fastens into the area behind the seats. The black extended-cab F-150 has a custom carbon-fiber wing at the rear and copper exterior trim and wheel inserts.
Finally, the lowered G.T. F-150 wears orange paint and white pinstripes low on the side, mimicking the look of the vintage GT Mustang. Besides the retro paint scheme, the G.T. F-150’s seven-spoke HRE 22-inch wheels with graphite centers call out for attention.
(Left Photo)Eddie Ide of Toyota takes a rest in a Ford F-150 outfitted by BFS Mobility to be accessible for those with special needs.
(Right Photo)The orange paint and white stripes of the G.T. F-150 mimick a vintage GT Mustang.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....