Sometimes things don't go as planned. When Robert Sandoval's father bought this '99 F-150 in 1998, it was supposed to be a work truck; and it was, if only for six months. Robert took the reins when he was 16 and had modest plans for the truck. He went through a few paint schemes and was enjoying the pride of owning a custom truck, but one trip home from work changed all that. A broken driveshaft left the truck sidelined, so Robert decided that if he was going to spend some time under the Ford, he might as well body-drop it.

Robert began at the firewall and worked his way back, cutting the stock frame to accept 2x4-inch rectangular tubing and leaving the floor pan practically untouched. The leaf springs weren't going to give him the look he wanted, so Robert fabricated a three-link suspension of his own design, then mounted 2600 Firestone 'bags to the Ford's axle; identical 'bags are found up front. The result: rockers on the ground and the ability to hide a sizable amount of the 22-inch Tyfun wheels and Nexen tires.

While he was perfectly capable of taking on the suspension work, Robert wasn't a seasoned painter, so he turned the bodywork over to Madera Glass & Body Shop in his hometown of Madera, California. Before the House of Kolor blue and silver were sprayed on, the windshield squirters, taillights, door handles, and tailgate were shaved. Two 10-1/2-inch LED taillights from AVS were flush-mounted near the top of what was once the tailgate to stay legal. Since a smooth roll pan was welded in, the license plate was mounted on an actuator to retract into the passenger side of the bed.

To match the flamed exterior, Robert turned to Ray's Upholstery, also in Madera, to reskin the seats and door panels in blue-simulated leather and silver carbon-fiber-embossed vinyl. The carpet also received a dose of blue, and so did the smoothed dash. Nearly everything in the interior that wasn't painted blue or silver was wrapped in it; including the giant, tweed-wrapped sub box, which was built by Sound Unlimited in Madera. Sound Unlimited installed a Clarion 935VD head unit to control the full ensemble of Lanzar audio, from the 600 amp for the separates to the 2000D for the subs. The four 15-inch subs required a lot of space, so there's no longer a back seat, but it's a small price to pay for the audio output.

Robert's F-150 has been a long time coming. Bit-by-bit, he has built a rocker-dragging fullsize that can hold its own at shows and pump out more audio power than he'll ever need. Keep this truck in mind whenever you see a work truck for sale in your local newspaper, because they all have potential.

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