Let's face it, most people don't use their trucks for anything other than commuting, tinkering, pulling boats, and hauling the occasional couch. For much of the time, truck beds lie fallow, a repository of unfulfilled potential. But, what if someone decided to transform the truck bed into something better suited to a specific task, such as tailgating? Tailgating is often a simple affair - you pull up to a parking lot, flip down the tailgate, and use it as an improvised table as you eat from buckets of lukewarm fried chicken. Or you might drive to a city park, unload your coolers full of fixings, and eat there. But that's not a tailgate party, that's a picnic. No, for true tailgating, you need a vehicle that reflects all the culinary and mechanical genius that the human race has to muster. You need the '03 Ford Super Duty built by Bully Dog Technologies.
When we first spotted this truck, we immediately reached for some spareribs, not that there were any to be had, but that didn't change our desire to drop what we were doing and fire up the pickup's barbecue. Yes, you read it right, this truck's bed is fully equipped with a Force 10 detachable propane barbecue grill, Norcold cooler, and a TailGatorz chair. In addition, the bed is covered with leather and topped with a Leer tonneau that can be raised by electric lifters to shelter anyone inside the bed. This awning concept was designed by Mayer Racing. Also, two 17-inch flat-screen monitors mounted behind the truck's Electric Life rolling rear window and MTX speakers attached to the underside of the tonneau provide entertainment for the cook and revelers alike. The monitors are actually on the backside of a subwoofer box, which takes up the rear of the cab. Accompanying the monitors are two 10-inch Thunder6000 subs.
But how, you might ask, do you cram all this stuff, food and drinks, and a cook into the truck bed? Stack them like plywood? No, think outside the bed box for a moment. As any Zen master or football coach may have told you, life is what you make of it. If the truck bed is too small for cooking, make it bigger. If it is then too large for driving, make it smaller. Along those lines, the sides of the bed fold down and up hydraulically and lock with electric latches when in the closed position. Unfortunately, the tailgate simply swings open and closed by hand, but hey, you can't have everything. Trailer leveling jacks from Bigfoot stabilize the truck, and any cargo that can't be loaded onto the truck bed can be towed by the B&W Custom Truck Bed's hitch.
But let's back up a bit and discuss the owner of the truck. Bully Dog Technologies is based in Aberdeen, Idaho, and manufactures performance upgrades for gas and diesel powertrains. The company wanted to build some brand recognition and tapped the Alton Company in Pigeon, Michigan, to build the truck that you see laid out on these pages. They call it Bulled Elegance - imagine Mike Ditka hosting his own cooking show on cable TV, and you'll get the idea.
The truck's got a custom chassis with a stretched six-door cab and a proud 4- to 6-inch lift. The body started life as an extended cab, that is until Alton got its paws on it. Alton handled all of the bodywork on this truck, as well as the cool bed flip-downs and tonneau assembly. For the cab, Alton added crew cab doors in front of the extended cab doors and stretched the cab behind that extended cab door another 12 inches. Then, the company installed Dual Webasto moonroofs and dressed the front end with a fiberglass APM Automotive Ram Air Hood, a Trenz billet grille with 14-inch Ford logo, Sylvania Silverstar HID headlamps, Bushwacker fender flares, and Power Vision side mirrors. Ford Red and Ford Black paint from DuPont coats the truck. Kris Horton designed a paint scheme for the truck, and John Blackman took care of the airbrushing. JAX window tinting and Stripe Tech window graphics complement the black and red color scheme.
The truck stands on four Weld Dakar F1 20x12-inch wheels shod in P355/60R20 Nitto Terra Grapplers, supported by nitrogen-charged Bilstein Remote Reservoir 7100 shocks. When it's jacked up and ready to go, you can spot the chromed suspension components. And while it has a tall stance, it's not too proud to kneel down to let you load it up for a party, thanks to four Firestone 'bags. A digital display from Dakota Digital monitors the air ride system, and all of the suspension mods were performed by the boys at Kelderman Air Ride in Oskaloosa, Louisiana.
The inside looks more like a command center for party central. A black headliner and carpet from Auto Custom Carpet and Headliner frame three rows of seating. Captain's chairs comprise the first two rows, and the third is a bench seat. All the seats are colored like the outside of the truck and clad in leather - black, red, and gray from SB Foot Cool Leather - and were installed by Vern Ecker. All the plastic trim is painted black. Two Vector thermo-electric travel coolers located between the front two seats keep refreshments at the ready, and just in case you forget who's hosting the party, billet Bully Dog emblems tag the seats. Loadeys Customs installed the entertainment system. Dynamat sound-damping muffles road noise and the sizzle of steaks coming from the back of the truck.
At the heart of this husky hound beats an '03 6.0L Power Stroke V-8 enhanced by a Bully Dog Adjustable Power Hound power module. It's adjustable through a digital gauge inside the cab, which displays exhaust gas temperature and turbo-boost pressure. Better yet, the module has three power-boost levels: stock, 65 hp, and 115 hp. A Bully Dog RFI cold-air intake breathes in the good air, and a Bully Dog 4-inch 304T stainless steel exhaust with a 5-inch tip blows out the bad. When it needs some pep, a Bully Dog Adjustable Propane kit injects propane into the engine after the air filter for an 80hp gain. And let's not forget about the Bully Dog Dual-Stage Nitrous. All in all, the truck has a horsepower range of 433-499, a max torque of 686-913 lb-ft, and, with a curb weight of 9,500 pounds, it charges down the quarter-mile in 14.349 seconds at 93.02 mph, by Bully Dog's reckoning.
Bulled Elegance caught the attention of the Ford Motor Company, which handed the Outstanding Achievement in Design Award to Bully Dog for a job well done. If you want to get a closer look at the truck, you might spot it at Havasu Happenings, Thunder in Muncie, May Madness, Dog Days of Summer, or anywhere raw meat and chew toys are sold.