There are a few associations you should make when you hear the name Mickey Thompson. You probably think drag racing, off-road racing, and tires for both of the aforementioned situations. The late Mickey Thompson founded SCORE, the sanctioning body for the grueling Baja 1000 and several race series throughout the Nevada desert and his legacy of desert racing also lives on in this '09 F-150. The brand-new Ford was hurried to completion for the 2008 SEMA show in Las Vegas, not far from the starting line for the SCORE Las Vegas PRIMM 300.
X-treme Toyz, in Simi Valley, California, was summoned to handle the build, as they're the go-to company for several SEMA projects each year. With only three weeks to build the project, you can bet that things had to be done right the first time. The first aspect of the build was a suspension worthy of an off-road missile -a Fabtech 6-inch lift with Dirt Tech coilovers and rear shocks. The suspension isn't as wild as one you'd find in a Baja prerunner, but it's more than adequate for high-speed runs on dirt roads and it doesn't sacrifice ride quality for a daily driver. The rolling stock is of course from Mickey Thompson, with 17x9-inch Sidebiter wheels encased in 35x12.5-inch Baja Radial MTZ tires that are built for sand and gravel, but hold up well on the asphalt too. With the new ride height, a set of Amp Research retractable running boards and bed step were installed to keep passengers from needing a running start to get inside. You can barely notice the steps when they're tucked up near the rockers.
To restore performance, the crew at X-Treme Toyz upgraded the Ford's 5.4L V-8 with an AFE Stage II air intake and an AFE Mach Force stainless steel after-cat exhaust. The rear axle received a new set of gears to match the increased tire diameter and was capped with a Mag-Hytec differential cover to keep fluid temperatures in check. Inside the vehicle, the Ford received Roadwire leather upholstery but otherwise was left alone. The real eye-grabbing aspect of the Ford is its exterior. MM Auto Arts in Sun Valley, California, sprayed the F-150 in flat black and gray in a mottled, camouflage pattern over every exterior panel as well as the EGR fender flares. One of our favorite details of the truck is on the taillights: the areas that don't light up that are normally clear were sprayed black. It's one of the few areas of '09 F-150s that we don't like, as it draws too much attention to the taillight. MM Auto Arts fixed it with a few waves of a spray gun.
With the paint cured and the truck out of the paint booth, PIAA lights were installed in the bumper and a black Precision billet grille insert was bolted into place. EGR window vent guards were also added to quiet the wind with the windows down. It's amazing how much the understated paintjob and the few, tasteful additions to the body really make the truck stand out and give it an aggressive appearance.