Ford Explorers don't get a lot of love from custom-truck builders, so when Truckin' Senior Tech Editor Bob Ryder found out about the CGS Motorsports SEMA project, he was all over it. We showed readers the build process in several past tech articles, so you should know all about the suspension and custom bodywork (you did read those articles, right?). But, for you slackers, we'll rehash the big stuff and let the photos tell the rest of the story.
A Precision billet grille fills the new fiberglass fascia.
Casey Scranton, the owner of CGS, took on the buildup on behalf of his company and Ford Motor Co. Casey and his dad, Ron, came up with a long list of things to do to the truck, the Explorer's first stop was Elahn Industries in Corona, California, where a custom front fascia was built from fiberglass after a mold was made using the factory fascia. The new piece is taller and seamless, which quickly made the truck look cleaner and lower, especially after the addition of the new custom rocker moldings and rear roll pan. The crew at Elahn also recreated smooth versions of the factory bedrails in fiberglass. The truck was getting closer to Casey's vision, but it lacked the full-on custom look he desired.
Clean and simple, the right amount of painted trim transformed the otherwise-stock dash.
Moving on to the bodywork, Casey took on the duties of shaving the antenna, door handles, tailgate handle, roof rack, and the most glaring and unnecessary addition to the Ford's body: its bedside cleats. From there, Andy Meech took over as the truck was rolled into his spray booth for several coats of BASF Radiant Copper, followed by clearcoat, while the hood received Gunmetal Gray with matte clear. Several interior trim pieces also received the Radiant Copper treatments, including the door handles, arm rests, gauge bezel, center stack, and steering wheel inserts. The interior was reassembled with its freshly-painted trim, along with copper-stitched, black and white upholstery from Roadwire, and a suede headliner by Keystone Brothers. Advantage Audio in Brea, California, added a navigation head unit from Clarion and the interior was complete.