Envisioning something radically different for SEMA 2003, L&G Enterprises teamed up with Street Scene Equipment to build a performance truck with no holds barred. Understanding the new F-150 was going to be the talk of the town, the two elite companies converged on a project that in two months saw long hours, little sleep, and in the end, a truck unlike any other. Originally, the idea was to build a truck that looked tough and represented the potential of Ford's new bread and butter. After the first wrench was turned however, the script was thrown out and a new breed of truck was to be created.
Receiving the truck on the last day of August, The Custom Truck Shop, owned by L&G in San Dimas, California, quickly realized this was going to be one of the tightest work schedules in recent memory, if they were to meet the SEMA deadline of November 1. Tearing the FX4 SuperCab down immediately, the interior was shipped out, the suspension torn down, and the body, well, the body was still in question.
Beginning with the suspension, The Custom Truck Shop ordered a complete high-performance suspension setup worthy of any trophy truck from California Super Truck. Using a custom-fabricated drop-down bracket and crossmember, the truck received 5 inches of lift, and combined it with the 3 inches provided by the Sway-A-Way adjustable coilover shock to make the F-150 8 full inches higher. Adding custom Atlas leaf springs in the rear and using Sway-A-Way reservoir shocks extending through the bed floor, the rear was lifted to match the front.
With an increase in altitude, a quick call to Walker Evans and BFGoodrich was made to remedy the stock wheel and tire dilemma. A set of 17x9.5-inch Walker Evans wheels wrapped in 37x12.5x17-inch BFG Baja TA Radials were bolted on. Requesting two more wheels and tires, a plan was being devised on a race-style spare tire relocator for the bed. Stopping the much larger Ford are custom Stainless Steel brake discs, complete with Ford F-150 logos as the slots. Satisfied with the suspension, the talented crew at The Custom Truck Shop began the body preparations.
Removing the stock hood, front fenders, front and rear bumpers, and tailgate, The Custom Truck Shop had a blank canvas for total modification. Cutting two new steel fenders and welding them together, the team created larger, flared Pre-Runner-style fenders for both sides. Street Scene provided all-new bolt-on parts, including its new dual-scoop hood, front valance with lights, dual turn-signal mirrors, wiper cowl, and roll pan. With the bolt-ons in order, the welder was dusted off and prepped for several hours of use. Creating unique front and rear all-steel bumpers by hand, The Custom Truck Shop added toughness to the already rugged-looking F-150. With the welder still hot and ideas still in their heads, a custom rear cage was built by hand and includes a special dual-tire spare collector that adds form and function. Before the truck was taped off for painting, the rear bedsides were extended to clear the much larger tires, and the tailgate holes were shaved for elegance in the rear.
Before the truck was painted, the interior was returned to L&G, and with no time to spare, everything was put back together. Cerullo light-gray leather bucket seats with red carbon-fiber inserts were added, along with a red and black carbon-fiber dash provided by Dynasty Dash. Continuing with the rugged theme, some 1-1/2-inch steel tubing was measured, cut, welded, and grafted into the interior, providing a custom rollcage complete with a Deist Safety five-point safety restraint system. Using Ford's own interior upgrade packages, an overhead rail storage system was added for the ultimate in flexibility.
A custom interior is never complete without a kickin' audio/video system, and the Citrus Sand Scorcher is no exception. Despite time limitations, the truck was delivered to ARC Audio Innovations of Glendora, California, where they added an Audiovox head unit, equalizer, amplifiers, and built a custom speaker enclosure. Mounted underneath the rear seat, the enclosure houses four Cerwin Vega subwoofers for plenty of punch when tearing up the dunes. The Audiovox DVD player sends video signals to four monitors sprinkled throughout the cabin, and for those moments of real off-roading, a separate GPS unit keeps the truck's location to a pinpoint. One quick glimpse at the calendar, and the crew had a week to finish the truck.
Returning back to L&G, the truck entered the paint booth with one simple idea in mind - keep the truck tough-looking with a bold understatement of class. After hours of taping and prepping, the truck received several coats of House of Kolor Citrus Gold, a color created at L&G, which included three different stages to get the hue perfect. House of Kolors paint was again used to apply the bold silver stripes on the Street Scene hood designed by the team at L&G. Now the quick details were completed, with Street Scene Speed Grille material added to the hood vents, front grille, and lower skidplate. Kodiak Sidewinder steps were bolted on to make entry and egress easier, and to light up any path facing the F-150 a total of six Lightforce Blitz 9.5-inch lights were added. Because of time limitations, the stock 5.4L was left like Ford designed, with the exception of the Optima Yellow Top battery relocated to the bed and the Gibson exhaust. One crazy week later, with one day to spare, the truck was complete. It took two full months to transform this Ford F-150 into the sand scorcher that it is today. Using only quality components, the truck is ready for whatever is thrown in its direction. Aiding in the completion and build-up of the four-wheel-drive wonder are several companies, and L&G would like to thank Street Scene, California Super Trucks, Audio Innovations, BFGoodrich, Audiovox, Ford Motor Company, and The Custom Truck Shop. Now, once the team is strapped into the five-point harnesses the only question is which desert to terrorize next.