In the world of off-road racing, fullsize race trucks usually steal the show. They are the main thrust of the race team. A lower profile but equally important part of a racing effort are the support vehicles, which supply tools, spare parts, and manpower to make sure the race truck stays in the race and crosses the finish line. Without support vehicles, race trucks would be sidelined up at the end of the first tank of gas or during a mechanical breakdown.
Off-Road Unlimited's Mike Duval has been in the sport for more than 25 years and knows what's needed to make sure a racing team both finishes the race and feels comfortable prerunning courses and chasing race trucks. His latest prerunning creation is a combination of speed and cush that's sure to pamper a race crew or a cab full of weekend warriors.
Mike started his project with a clean slate. The factory-red '01 F-150 SuperCrew came home from Galpin Ford in North Hills, California. It's clean, functional, and attractive, but way off the mark for hard-core use.
The suspension was tackled first. Mike selected the best components from a host of companies to create a one-off combination that's tall and travels well. The result is 9 inches skyward in the front and 6 inches out back. The mods make room for 35-inch BFG All-Terrain T/A radials, famous for smooth highway manners and excellent floatation in desert sand, as well as the bottomless silt found on race courses and pit access roads.
Big tires and a long-travel suspension do no good if there's no room for them to cycle. As general manager of Off-Road Unlimited, Mike knew where to turn to make his SuperCrew clear the BFGs and take on a new look. Glassworks Unlimited of Huntington Beach, California, supplied the long-travel-compatible fenders, and the dual-scoop hood is courtesy of Keystone Restyling. Out back, the factory fiberglass bed sides were flared and trimmed to make way for the tires and coated with Line-X on the inside for maximum lifespan with minimal worry.
With the suspension attended to, it was time to up the ante inside the SuperCrew's cab. Long days in the desert call for interior amenities to keep the crew refreshed and at the ready. Mike used the same philosophy inside that worked so well outside. The factory seats were re-covered with Katzkin gray and silver suede outlined by red piping, and further pampering is provided by built-in heat and massage features. A pumpin' sound system from Auto Toys in Burbank, California, pummels the ears oh so pleasantly.
Mike calls his creation Chasin' Comfort, and thanks Ford Motor Company for helping make a dream prerunner into a SEMA show-stopping reality. Comfort? We think he's caught it and is holding it with an iron grip. Hey, Mike, if you need an extra hand with chasin' and prerunnin,' we're here to serve you!