With so much emphasis on image here in Southern California, it's no wonder it's such a hotbed of performance automotive enthusiasts. When surrounded by Mercedes Benzes and BMWs all day, with a smattering of Ferraris and Lamborghinis intertwined between soccer moms and their SUVs, what's it going to take to stand out in a crowd? Go higher young man, go higher.
Steve Vanderhoof of Huntington Beach, California, felt that between his Lamborghini Diablo and his Corvette Z06 he just wasn't garnishing the right kind of attention. With friends in the right places, though, he was able to make a decision that would make all his desires come true. After speaking with Jim Iiams of IMZZ Industries in Brea, California, the decision was made to go big-huge actually. Steve picked up an '00 Ford Excursion, which was big, that had a V-10, so the motor was big too, but it wasn't huge. After being dropped into the faithful hands at IMZZ Industries, the boys there went crazy with the suspension. Eighteen-inch lift springs from Atlas Springs replaced the meager OE parts, and the lift made enough opening to clear 44x21-inch trXus tires and 17x12-inch Weld Dakar wheels. To support all that rolling mass, IMZZ filled the front and rear differentials with US Gear 5.13 cogs and added additional fluid capacity with CSI aluminum diff covers. OC Driveline lengthened the front and rear driveshafts to reach the new gears, and each corner is damped by dual Fox 2.0 reservoir shocks with IMZZ billet reservoir clamps. One additional Fox 2.0 shock does steering-damper duties on an IMZZ-built chrome steering bar. To keep the rearend from trying to spin on its mounts from all the torque twist, IMZZ custom-fabricated a set of traction bars, and they saw chrome before finding final rest. Bringing the beast down from speed are EBC cross-drilled rotors squeezed with EBC pads. You won't find much in the way of additional performance on this rig, but what is there is just enough to suit Steve. Air into the V-10 is smoother now thanks to an aFe cold-air intake kit, while exhaust moves through Gibson headers and a Gibson after-cat system.
With the big Blue Oval in the sky, it was time to move on to the exterior appeal. Steve Deman of the Kolor Kings laid down a smooth set of PPG blue flames over the stark white surface of the Excursion and pinstriped them to perfection. IMZZ then added a T-Rex billet grille insert to the factory chrome grille shell and a drizzle of aftermarket lighting. Up front, APC projector-beam headlights and clear corners clean up the look, while TYC clear taillights are in place out back. That massive front chrome bumper is also an IMZZ in-house part. Fabricated specifically for this truck, it was dipped in shininess, bolted in place, and supplied with Rally 4000 night-piercing lighting from Hella. An IMZZ signature skidplate was powdercoated to match the flames and slid underneath the bumper to keep import cars out of the Ford's core support. It is a daunting appearance from the front. Providing backup for the flame theme, Deak'n Built pinch-weld flames run from wheelwell to wheelwell. Making it easier to pull Steve's boat is a monster drop hitch welded up and chromed by IMZZ.