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Cool and Custom

Front Side View
Craig Perronne
| Brand Manager, Dirt Sports & Off Road
Posted March 1, 2001
Photographers: Michael Rudd

Bet You Haven't Seen Some of These Before!

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  • The Fire Ant: This trick Wrangler from Currie Enterprises is built for rockcrawling competitions, and it contains features such as a narrowed body and a 4.7L V-8. Other cool stuff includes 37-inch Goodyear MTRs on bead-locked Centerline wheels and Currie axles stuffed with Detroit lockers. Suspension flex comes through the use of Johnny Joints and Sway-A-Way coilover shocks. A full cage along with Beard seats and S-line seat belts provide safety for occupants.

  • TJ-8: Built by American Expedition Vehicles and on display in the Jeep booth was this stretched TJ. Its wheelbase had been lengthened to 112 inches to provide plenty of room for cargo and back seat passengers. Other mods include a 4-inch suspension lift along with Old Man Emu long-travel shock absorbers. The lift provides enough room for 35-inch Swamper SSRs on 16x8 AEV wheels. Both axles received ARB Air Lockers along with 4.11 gears. Further goodies from ARB include a front bull bar that mounts a Warn XD 9000i winch.

  • Rough Rider: We found this Rough Rider F-150 parked outside the show. Its bedsides and front fenders specially cut to enlarge the wheel openings and allow for larger tires were especially interesting. Stuffed inside the wells were 37-inch BFG Baja T/As on OZ Racing wheels controlled by Bilstein shocks. Other cool features included the hand-fabbed front bumper with two Hella HID lights and a custom air dam with two more Hella HIDs. Out back more fabrication is present with a rollbar that houses a fullsize spare tire.

  • Souped-Up Suburban: The crew at Off Road Unlimited in Burbank, California, had their Suburban on display. First to get ditched on the Suburban was the IFS setup, which was replaced with one of ORU’s live-axle conversions using a Dana 60 stuffed with an ARB Air Locker and 4.88 gears from Superior. Use of National Springs allowed fitment of 37-inch BFGoodrich All Terrain T/As on 17x8 Weld Racing wheels. Providing more horsepower are a K&N air filter, Hypertech chip, and Doug Thorley headers and exhaust. An ORU rear disc brake conversion slows down the big ’Burb in a hurry.

  • Big Boy: Attracting attention in the Bushwacker booth was this Ford Super Duty. It helped to showcase Bushwacker’s new Super Duty flares, which allow for a bigger tire to fit with less lift. Superlift provided enough lift to run 44-inch Swampers on Weld Racing wheels. A custom front bumper was built to house a winch from Superwinch and provide mounting points for the plethora of PIAA lights. Smittybilt nerf bars along with Kodiak electric steps were installed to make it possible to get into and out of the beast without a ladder.

  • Super Super Crew: The Ford F-150 Super Crew was popular for SEMA buildups this year. This one was built by Stillen and features such upgrades as their front Big Brake kit complete with six-piston calipers. Further performance enhancements come in the form of a Stillen exhaust and a Magnuson supercharger. Lift comes in the form of a 6-inch RCD kit complete with Bilstein shocks. Tires are 35x12.50 BFG Baja T/As on 17-inch Neeper wheels. Exterior treatment comes in the form of Stillen brush guards and fender flares.

  • On Safari: Safari Gard, known for its range of Land Rover products, had on display its Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4. Built to be a tow rig and a daily driver, the big Ford sports a conservative 6-inch Superlift. Eight-way adjustable Fox Shocks control the Michelin XL 11.00R16 tires on KMC wheels. Exterior modifications include a massive Safari Gard front bumper with a Ramsey RE 12000 winch and Hella 4000 lights. The V-10 powerplant received a boost with an Air Force One intake system, a Borla Exhaust, and a Superchip.

  • Rock Truggy: The boys at our sister magazine, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, had on display their Rock Truggy project. All Pro Off Road started with an ’85 Toyota pickup and fabricated a trick suspension using Doetsch Tech coilovers for plenty of flex. Tacoma fiberglass bedsides and fenders from Fabtech make room for 37-inch Swamper SSRs from National Tire and Wheel mounted on 15x10 American Racing wheels equipped with Champion bead locks. A dual transfer case setup from Marlin Crawler allows the Toyota to creep along while Detroit Lockers front and rear supply traction.

  • Flying F-150: Rob Machren’s Pro-4 CORR truck was on display fresh from winning the CORR championship. With so much trick stuff on the hand-built truck it is hard know where to start. Power is provided by a 825hp 455ci V-8 that produces 690 lb-ft of torque flowing through a C6 trans, modified Borg Warner 1354 TOD transfer case. Up front, a Ford 9-inch center section sends power through Porsche 934 CVs to a double A-arm suspension with 17 inches of wheel travel. In the rear, a Chrisman-built rear housing sporting 23/4-inch-diameter axleshafts is suspended by a four-link suspension that provides 19 inches of wheel travel.

Every year the aftermarket industry makes its annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas to put its newest products on display for the world to see. Hours can be spent wandering the many display booths of the SEMA show checking out the latest and greatest widgets. While the new products draw plenty of attention, one can’t help but notice the multitude of cool trucks that are usually surrounded by large numbers of onlookers. What follows are the trucks that piqued our interest and made us whip out our cameras.