Tucked in the middle of a crowd of pickups and SUVs at Slamfest 2005 lay Chris Crabtree's 2004 Scion XB, all squared off and two-toned like a custom computer cursor. Chris calls his Scion the Blue Tides...fitting when you consider that we've already seen some Scions customized by aftermarket companies as showcars for SEMA and such, in addition to those built by enthusiasts like Chris. In fact, Chris is part of a national club called Scion Evolution, which is based in SoCal. So you could almost say that while this model of SUV isn't taking the scene by a storm, it certainly is making waves.
Chris is a 24-year-old student who likes working with his hands, which must be why he also works in construction-and why he built his Scion (with the help of some friends). Granted, he says he hasn't finished this project, and we suspect he never will since he is already looking around for something new. But it was finished enough to catch our eye.
Blue Tides is awash with import tuner style. Check out the scooped carbon-fiber hood, and the carbon-fiber JDM grille. An AAS Octane body kit lowers the Scion's profile and emboldens its demeanor. JDM Angel Eyes headlights trumped the stock ones, and JDM clear helix taillights express with clarity Chris's desire to stop. Dupont blue and silver two-tone gives credibility to this Scion's name. All the body mods and paint were handled by the folks at Mike Shad Ford in Jacksonville, Florida.
Chris installed Air Lift SS 'bags to lower the Scion nose-to-nose with the gravel. The Scion rolls on 19-inch Ford Racing Parts wheels wrapped in 215/35ZR19 Nitto rubber. Under the hood, Chris installed a couple of performance mods-an AEM cold-air intake and a Borla dual exhaust system-that help the engine produce 110hp. Hey, it looks cool, OK?
Inside Chris' Scion booms an audio display that takes up much of the Scion's limited storage capacity behind the passenger seats. Two 12-inch Audiotek Super Sport subwoofers flank an Audiotek Street Machine amplifier in a rear-firing configuration set in a fiberglass enclosure that matches the silver of the exterior paint. Mid- and high-range speakers from Rockford Fosgate in the front doors and dash, and Pioneer drivers in the rear doors drive the audio aspect of the entertainment. An Eclipse AVN5435 ESN E5 AM/FM/CD/DVD multi-source receiver with navigation and a 6-1/2-inch touchscreen heads up the entire sound and video system. Speaking of video, there is a lot of it. Try seven Icon TV monitors scattered about the Scion's interior, including a 13-1/2-inch dropdown and six 7-inch models in the headrests and doors. An Xbox and PS2 feed the video system and light up the passenger's life during roadtrips and long days at show-and-shines.
The rest of the Scion's interior is quite the tuner treehouse, a street racer paradise where only owners of dice-shaped utes are allowed. JDM air conditioning vents bling up the dash a bit, while rope lights, gauges, and pods bring it all home. A blue TRD four-point racing harness gives at least the appearance of holding passengers. The seats are colored black-leather with tan suede inserts. Black cloaks the ceiling and floor, too. 904 Motorsport in Jacksonville worked on the interior.
Blue Tides has washed ashore at a bunch of shows: NOPI, Hot Import Nights, and some local events, and took away a couple of awards (1st Place Four-Door Mild at the Derrik Kesh Show and Best Scion at Battle of the Imports). We thank him for hanging out in the rain while we tried to snap features in a downpour in Tampa. Yeah, we got a little wet, but customs like Chris's are what make the job worthwhile.