Sean Smith's DNA is made up of coil springs-not a double helix. He grew up building hot rods with his family. Influenced by designers like Chip Foose and Mike Desmond, Sean drew cars in high school for friends, as a freelancer, and even designed SEMA projects before he thought he was any good at it. After visiting the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Sean was blown away by the fact that he could make a career out of designing automobiles; he shoved his social life to the back seat and drove hard toward his goal. He earned his diploma a year early, but Art Center counselors advised him to take night classes until he grew a tad older. Two years later, he got in and "had a blast" working harder than he slept. Internships at Mazda and Hyundai set the stage for his post-graduation job designing motorcycles at Honda-but he felt out of place knowing more about cars than bikes. Eventually, he got the hang of it and found that the work disciplined him as a designer. Nevertheless, two wheels were two few to haul this man's dreams, so now he's struck out on his own, designing custom automobiles as a freelancer and hoping to land another gig with an automaker.

Sean's floating the F-100 concept on this spread to Ford's Living Legend Studio, which is responsible for some of Ford's most beloved cars, including the Thunderbird, Mustang, and 49 and GT concepts. Chiseled billet surfaces infuse the concept with a Ford-truck toughness that's tempered with modern subtleties.

Touching on a peculiar form of Japanese racing where traction and corners don't mix, Sean's Tacoma has low, bulging street-smart lines and a heart that beats with a Far-East vibe. Slippery, sleek, and ready to slide, Sean's Tacoma drifts around corners with an effortless glide.

Sean Smith