So it was well under a year ago, and we were down at Gaylord's Kustom Trucks in good ol' Long Beach, California, discussing future truck projects with store manager Steve Cadena. Among other things, he told us how he had devised a plan for a rebuild of his '94 Chevy standard cab, which at that moment was sporting an 11-inch lift (we say "at that moment" because Steve's truck has gone through no less than five incarnations of mega lifts and slam jobs since he has owned it). He told us how he always wanted to cut off the roof, chop the windshield, cap the doors and lean the cab wall back. He also told us of detailed plans to rebuild much of the interior with sheetmetal, 'bag the truck so that it lies flat on the ground with big wheels, and the extra mile he wanted to go with the body mods. We know from past projects that Steve does quality work, so we told him to go for it and that he might just have a cover truck on his hands when he's done.

A couple months went by and we hadn't heard much from the Gaylord's camp when we got a call from Steve. He told us that he had a rendering that he wanted us to look at. A couple days later we stopped by to check it out. We told him it was awesome but it looked a lot more like a red Ford roadster than a blue Chevy roadster. Apparently, shortly after the conversation with us, Steve discussed his plans with Bill Gaylord, Jr. and soon Bill decided that this project deserved a donor vehicle more worthy than Steve's driver. A red Ford F-150 Flareside with the 5.4L engine was ordered up from Ford, and once it arrived, Steve would be given full creative license to cut, bend, weld, or mold wherever he saw fit. Oh yeah, there was one stipulation: It had to be completed in time for SEMA.

No problem. Plenty of time before SEMA, right? After all, it was only mid-May. Two months later, the F-150 was delivered, giving Steve exactly 14 weeks to turn his concept into a reality and have it en route to Las Vegas. Parts were already starting to arrive from quality companies like Street Scene, Intro, Toyo, and Kenne Bell, but Steve and the Gaylord's crew had many weeks of metal- and glasswork ahead of them before it was time to bolt on any of the fun stuff.

The most important aspect of building a true "Speedztuur" is making it a full-time open-air vehicle. Steve wasted no time slicing through the roof and discarding it, but that was the easy part. The next week or so was spent building new A-pillars from scratch so that the stock windshield would lie back more than 3 inches from its stock location. Next, the cab back was capped and smoothed, followed by the doors, which were cut down about 1-1/2 inches so they would flow better with the soon-to-be reworked front end. Steve also shaved the door handles and molded in steel mounts to the doors so that a set of standard-issue Street Scene Cal-Vu signal mirrors would bolt up. Finally, Steve built a totally smooth new cowl to fit the contour of the laid-back windshield. The front end of the F-150 was also severely reworked. The stock fenders were pie-cut 2-1/2 inches and the grille shell was cut down accordingly. The hood was dropped down and the edges were flared out where they meet the headlights. Steve handmade the hood cowl to resemble Gaylord's patented new Speed Bumps and molded it to the hood. A Street Scene bumper cover was reworked and steel trim inserts were fabricated for the scoops. Another pair of inserts was made for the grille shell, and the center was fit for a Trenz billet insert.

Steve's metalwork continued into the cockpit as well. The stock interior was stripped bare and an all-steel dash was built from scratch. An all-steel panel waterfalls down to become the center console. A two-piece steel door panel was built so that half could be painted and the other half upholstered.