The Lacy family loves cars and trucks. Leonard Sr. and his wife Gayle had his '37 Chevy two-door sedan and her '48 Jaguar Saloon 3.2L four-door appear in our sister mag Street Rod 16 years ago, making Leonard Jr. a legacy, of sorts, who pledged hard to get into Truckin'. It wasn't a stretch for us to acquiesce to Leonard Jr.'s request that we run his '04 Super Duty-the guy loves his truck, and it shows. And since this was Leonard's first foray into our magazine, his mom, dad, friends, and even passersby looked on as we photographed the truck in the evening sun.
Driving the Boss through a residential neighborhood is like shooting fireworks into a garden party. That big 6.0L diesel is augmented by RBP (Rolling Big Power) upgrades, such as a Stage 2 chip, a 6.0 juice module with a digital monitor, an air intake system, and a 4-inch exhaust with 5-inch tip. The result? About 400 hp to the rear wheels, 825 lb-ft to the ground, and an artillery barrage of noise. JE Reel in Pomona, California, lengthened the driveshafts 1-1/2 inches, re-pitched the angle of the rear shaft, and moved the slide spline to the rear end.
The raison d'etre for this truck is, of course, the neon-colored skeletal structure of that immensely lifted suspension, allowing room-and lots of it-for the Weld 16/12x14-inch wheels swallowed by 19.5/46-16.5LT Mickey Thompson Baja Claws. Color-coordinated ladder bars, spring perches, shock hoop mounts, and Rock Proctors rocker support bars, and a transfer case crossmember all glow like a welded-steel horizon beneath the truck. Atlas leaf springs in the rear curve authoritatively like newly forged ballistas, while King 2.5 dual shocks wrestle bumps and chasms into submission. Colored to match the suspension are the dual hydraulic ram steering and the driveshafts. Thank Darren Shokey for the underbody paintjob.
Stepping back and looking up gives you a view of the truck's body. Those flames searing the stock white paint are a blend of House of Kolor hues and called OrangeUrplePearl FlamendousNoendus by its creator and applicator Mike Schartel of Schartel's Paint Shop in Hesperia, California. Beneath and beside that flare of fire are 5-inch front and 9-inch rear fiberglass fenders with inner fender covers, a fiberglass front bumper that now accommodates APC headlights, and a dual-wall Ram Air Good Hood. 'Glass covers obscure the stock headlight locations. Amber lights were moved to the rear fenders. Leonard rolled up his sleeves and took care of the non-paint bodywork himself.
Stepping inside Leonard's Super Duty would be a chore but for the Sidewinder 12-inch retractable steps, and even then, you need a good tug on a handgrip to slide onto the custom seats. Eddy & Sons, of Bellflower, California, laid copper-orange suede, flame inserts and embroidery upon the truck's buckets, and trimmed the floor mats with orange that matches the seats.
We admit that we shot this story about a year ago, proof that the trucks we shoot don't really disappear into the circular file if we don't run them right away. Of course, Leonard hasn't been idle in that time and continues to make changes to his pickup. Leonard says that the one thing that stood out about the project was "the look on my mom's face when I started taking apart my brand-new truck. She couldn't believe what she saw." Neither could we.