The Ford Raptor came to us for the ’09 model year and quickly earned a reputation as the go-to truck for high speed off-road use. But with their healthy power and look-at-me styling, these trucks have also become a substitute for the midlife crisis muscle cars. Of course, not every Raptor is living a life of luxury cruising the dunes on weekends or hauling golf clubs with the guys. We have a buddy who runs a “facility” in the desert and he has a first-year Raptor that sees work and abuse like a farm truck. He has smashed more than a few bumpers and skidplates, shredded some tires, and left a fair bit of desert pinstriping down the sides of the once glossy black paint.
The Raptor wasn’t home a day before it was back doing work
Since it was time for a refresh, we took the truck for a week and transformed it into an even better work truck. The goal wasn’t to change how it works, so the drivetrain and suspension were left alone. Instead, we wanted to protect the truck while improving what it could do. Plus, we figured our buddy wouldn’t mind a new look so his Raptor wouldn’t disappear into the Raptor crowd, while at the same time allowing it to more easily disappear into the dunes should he need to evaporate in the desert landscape.