Stoking the ever-volatile ½-ton new truck fire, Ford's EcoBoost-equipped F-150 is making a loud and clear statement to GM and Dodge that thinking outside the traditional V-8 box can sell trucks, and thousands of them. Looking at the sales data from 2011, surely the other major fullsize truck players are scrambling for ways to bring better technologies to market for their respective models. Thinking back when Ford announced researching a smaller diesel for the F-150, engineers must have realized the potential in power and mileage by combining a diesel's more efficient direct injection fuel delivery and quick power production from a turbo. Scrapping the costly ½-ton diesel program (for now at least), those guys look like heroes, with EcoBoost production ramping up and sales soaring.
History has well documented the success of people finding something valuable while in pursuit of something entirely different. In the custom truck world, we can take a direct parallel to the success of Ford and their engineers. Pirelli for instance built the 405/25R24 tire when custom wheel companies were scratching their heads how to widen a wheel that would fit the massive expanse of rubber. Pirelli's research told them, "If we build it, people will like it, and wheel companies will have to catch up." It worked, and today we have trucks all over the country rolling on 24x15-inch wheels that look amazing.
When starting on your own custom project, no matter the scale or budget, remember it's what you think is cool that matters. Don't fall victim to the here today, gone tomorrow trends; build something that is an extension of your personality. It's easy to be sucked into forums, or an EZ-Up at a truck show, where one dominant voice is corroborated by weak-minded people who are scared to stand out in a crowd of uniformity. Lowered, lifted, fast or slow, your truck is just that, yours. Enjoy it.
In this month's issue, we showcase a perfect example of building a truck to one's personal taste. Cover truck owner Jose Pena didn't splash on crazy graphics or feel pressured to slam his truck on the pavement, rather he added super-car power, big wheels, and kept things clean and simple. The end result is a truck you may walk right past at a truck show, but if you do stop and look, you'll shake his hand and say, "Nice job!"