Dating back almost three years ago, this truck's origins aren't nearly as old as some of the prehistoric figures painted onto its side, however, the story of how and why they appear on the truck is a very interesting one. It was a beautiful summer day and my cell phone rang. The name showing up on the screen was Daniel Stewart, a custom truck enthusiasts who owned a Nissan Titan I had photographed earlier in the spring. I answered his call and he told me the horrible news. A big rig driver tried to avoid a collision and in doing so, he merged too far over to the left and crushed Daniel and his Titan up against the center guard wall. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, however the Titan wasn't so fortunate. Now he was looking for some ideas for his next custom ride and after we talked, he went out and picked up an '04 F-150. And so the story begins.

Bouncing ideas back and forth, Daniel's biggest concern was doing something drastically different. Loving the lifted look, he decided to go big with a Bulletproof Suspension lift kit and 40-inch Toyo tires. An all-black truck with a lift isn't really straying from the norm, so he devised a paint scheme to really turn some heads. Months after beginning his search for a custom painter who could execute the ideas in his head, Daniel tracked down Cory St. Clair for an ultra-realistic airbrush look. Cory started the truck but never finished it and Daniel had to search once again for someone talented enough for the task. Meanwhile, Daniel learned his mom had cancer. During an extreme battle that saw his family go through the toughest of times, a custom show truck was the last thing on Daniel's mind. Blessed and cured, his mom was able to give him her blessing and Daniel jumped back on his truck and persevered. Now, after trials and tribulations, illness and health, and a couple custom painters later, his 13-year dream of being on the cover of Truckin' has come full circle. Here's how he got there...

Lifting the truck higher than most Ford F-150s is a Bulletproof Suspension that uses a drop-down bracket, Eibach coil springs, and Fox Shox bypass shocks. Detailed to the nines, the upper and lower control arms were chromed, and the subframe, spindles, sway bar drop brackets, and coil springs were all powdercoated blue. Wheels on each corner are 22x11-inch RBP 91R in black and are mounted inside Toyo Tires Open Country M/T 40x15.50R22 off-road tires. Out back, powdercoated blue Atlas leaf springs keep the bed tall, while a powdercoated axle and polished ORU diff cover keep things looking good. Halting all of this mass are big brakes from SSBC with black calipers on each corner. HOT Motorsports performed the suspension work. Power output from the 5.4L was improved with the addition of an Edge programmer, K&N intake and RBP exhaust system with black tips. The tires spin a little freer with the installation of 4.88 Genuine Gears. It takes more than just a lift kit to make it into any magazine and Daniel placed his focus on an insane paint scheme.