Coming across well-customized Ford Explorers to feature is akin to the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack. Whereas we might actually be harmed while digging for the miniscule pointy piece, the search for a cool and sleek Explorer has led us to this one you see here. This ride is owned by Jesus Esteves, who resides in Texas. We were taken aback by the Blue Oval's sleek lines and clean modifications. It took two years to bring the SUV to its current glory, and we have to admit, this is one Explorer we would be proud to call our own.

Riding on a low-hung chassis fit with four-wheel independent suspension, the newer Explorer poses a large task in modification with no off-the-shelf suspension choices. Jesus had visions of a stance closer to terra firma, and there just didn't exist anything on the market to facilitate that choice. Luckily, the solution was located nearby in the form of Ekstensive Metalworks. The crew at Ekstensive managed to slip Firestone airbags in place of the factory coils. At the press of a button, the body slides southerly towards the 22-inch Boyd Coddington Slayer wheels. All four wheels are shod in Nitto 420s tires sized 265/35R22. Twin nitrogen reserve tanks feed the adjustable air system through a 1/2-inch airline and eight valves.

Of notable points is the interior and exterior makeover given to the mid-sized SUV. Outwardly, a few touches really set this people hauler apart from the rest. Jesus set his ride up at Chaotic Customs for the metalwork involved in shaving the taillights and door handles. With the taillights no longer existing, the choice was made to cut slits into the rear tailgate and fill them with HiTech LED lights. Adding just a touch to the flat rear expanse is the license-plate box that was canted to one side. Polo and Fabian did the finish work on the slicked up metal before Jesus, himself, spread the color. The Ford was top-halved in PPG White Diamond Pearl with the bottom receiving a dose of PPG's Mineral Gray. Separating the two colors is a split streak of orange screaming from stem to stern. Bringing the exterior paint to completion is pinstriping by Mike Steves, while a Trenz multi-bar billet grille adds a bit of sheen to the nose of the Explorer.

Popping one of the electric door poppers allows access to the well-created interior expanse. The Ford's inner confines are a fitting example for the term, "a little goes a long way." Jesus slathered most of the plastics in Mineral Gray, while the stitchwork was handled at Coleman Upholstery in Houston, Texas. There, the crafters recovered the stock seats in leather somewhat matching the famed King Ranch colors. Setting the seat centers off is a swath of color-complementing ostrich hide. For the roof, the factory headliner was removed in favor of a super-white cloth that mimics the exterior color. Jesus partnered with his friend, Alex, and together the duo created the mole-hill-styled subwoofer enclosure in the rear of the SUV. The days of hauling anything are long gone for this vehicle. A Pioneer flip-face head unit was mounted in the dash and it handles the control of a Rockford Fosgate Punch 500 amplifier. Two JL Audio 12-inch W-3 subwoofers fill the twin peaks in the subwoofer box.

Being a hands-on guy, Jesus really put the Explorer together as his vision saw fit. It's not often we see a man with the enthusiasm he emits. Jesus' wife Yuri gets a lot of credit, as does the rest of his family. Friends Fabian and Arturo spent many long sweaty days and nights unpaid to help see this project through to completion and the finished vehicle has allowed Jesus to bask in the glow of those who said he was throwing his money away. We think everyone can relate to the latter.

  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • View Full Article