In the epic 2000 movie Gladiator, one man is forced to fight the battle within and the battles around him to save his honor, his country, and reunite with his family. An adventure from beginning to end, the film ends with order restored and hope on the lips of everyone. Chris Hyslop, of Toms River, New Jersey, has fought a battle of his own. One of setbacks, delays, finances, and life in general, he was able to overcome all these obstacles in order to finish a goal he set forth years ago: build the truck of his dreams. Herein lies his story.

Rooting himself in the emerging truck scene in New Jersey, Chris began his journey with an '03 Ford F-150 Harley Davidson 100th Anniversary edition. A good foundation without question, however the truck wasn't battle-ready to compete with the fullsize trucks in his category. Training, in the form of truck modifications, quickly began. First on the list was body work as Chris purchased an OE Lincoln Navigator front end. To complement the appearance, a VIS Racing carbon fiber hood was bolted on, along with a DG Motorsports fiberglass roll pan, DG Motorsports Hurricane 6-piece side skirt kit, and DG Motorsports smooth bed rail caps. To really make his truck look flawless, Ron and Dave Lewert of Street Effectz in Union, New Jersey, were put in charge of molding all of those pieces to the Ford body, making them one solid piece. The look is undeniably clean. Not to be outdone with the front end, a Grant Kustoms smooth tailgate skin was applied and the door handles shaved, wipers shaved, gas door eliminated, and the taillights shaved smooth. Ron and Dave then applied the three tones of paint. Jeep rescue green splits Toyota magnetic grey and Ford deep black. The look is intimidating yet sophisticated. Finishing off the battle armor is a black-powdercoated upper and lower billet grille combo, black Navigator headlights, Eagle Eye HID kit, and 42-inch long Custom Classic LED stop light molded into the tailgate with AVS load adjuster.

The heart of a soldier is always the determining factor for success and inside these shaved doors lies an interior fit for a king. Brown distressed leather covers the seats and door panels, whereas the headliner is grey suede. Street Effectz also handled the interior. While they were working, a custom fiberglass and wood center console was made, billet accessories including the steering wheel added, and several pieces of the dash were smoothed and painted. Other tricks included building a housing for the Stewart Warner gauges, LED lighting throughout the cab, and a 15-inch flip-down monitor to watch the latest battles were also performed. In the bed, a trick fiberglass box seems to be floating above the Valley Oak wood flooring. Housed in the console are two Memphis Audio 12-inch subs powered by multiple Memphis amps also mounted in the bed, only behind LED-lit Plexiglass. Juice is supplied by two Kinetik batteries and four Stinger distribution blocks.

A soldier would be remiss to ignore physical fitness and this truck is plenty athletic thanks to the supercharged 5.4L V-8 equipped with a Spectra 6-inch intake, K&N intake elbow, JDM supercharger spacer, and Diablo tuner in addition to the RynoTune custom software. The rumble is courtesy of Flowmaster and L&S Automotive supplied the oil separator. Keeping the appearance rugged is an airbagged suspension built by Afflicted Concepts. While in their tutelage, Afflicted installed Slam Specialties RE6 'bags, adjustable shocks front and rear, and modified spindles. Out back, a two-link with Watts link brings the frame onto the ground. Twenty-four-inch Centerline Hollywood wheels received black powdercoating and 285/30R24 Toyo Proxes tires. It took determination and the heart of a champion to stay focused long enough to complete his dream. Chris is quick to thank his wife Lynn for her slp of Ron and Dave Lewert, Mike Horst, and Robbie and Bryan at KEG Media.

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