2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac - Danger Ranger

    Like Father, Like Daughter

    Jordan MayPhotographer, Writer

    Amanda Hough has been tearing up the dirt and doing it faster than enthusiasts twice her age since she was 10 years old. Growing up with a father who has had two Trophy Trucks featured in the pages of Off-Road magazine, she is no stranger to off-roading. Her father is Gary Hough, owner of the bright-red Trophy Truck called "That's Right!" that we recently featured in our Sept. '06 issue. When we were out visiting with Gary and Amanda shooting the Trophy Truck, we caught a glimpse of her '01 Ford Sport Trac and knew a great deal of our readers would love to read all about it.

    Amanda has been riding dirt bikes since the tender age of 4 and spent time bracket racing as she approached age 10. The Houghs have a property located in Ocotillo Wells, California, which means they frequent the Glamis sand dunes where Amanda has been racing the sand drags for a number of years. Knowing how confident his daughter is behind the wheel, Gary often loans her the keys to his truck for the occasional weekend of fun. Now how many of you dream about driving a Trophy Truck? We sure do.

    Before purchasing this '01 Ford Sport Trac, Amanda was whooping her way through the desert behind the wheel of a custom-built Baja Bug. Now at the age of 20, she's grown out of the Bug, so Gary felt that she needed a new toy that would be an all-around performer in the dirt, sand, and on the street. Shortly after the truck was brought home, they delivered it to Curry Fabrication in Mexicali, Mexico. Curry Fabrication's handiwork is showing up on an increasing number of race vehicles due in large part to the shop's quality fabrication and reasonable prices. Curry had the Sport Trac for roughly seven months, eventually turning it into what you see today.

    The first thing that needed to be done was properly cage the entire truck from front to back. Chrome-moly 1-1/2-inch and 1-3/4-inch tubing is found throughout the truck, tying in both the front and rear suspensions. The entire frame was also boxed in with chrome-moly plating.

    Like many of us, Amanda loves to go fast in the desert, and in order to make that happen the vehicle needed to achieve big travel numbers. The front suspension pushes 18 inches of travel through a custom-built set of center-mounted A-arms also fabricated by Curry. Fourteen-inch King coilovers are found up front to aid in damping abilities. The tie rod, pitman arm, and drag link are all products of H&M Motorsports.

    Moving on to the rear of the truck, we found a Curry-built four-link suspension system. Although leaf spring suspensions are more popular on vehicles like this, more and more enthusiasts are turning to linked suspensions because of their versatility and strength. Sixteen-inch Fox coilovers sit in the rear, keeping the truck firmly planted on the ground. The rearend is the same stock 8.8-inch that came with the truck; however, Curry stuffed it with 4.58 gears and a Detroit Locker, and also gave it much needed gusseting for strength and a stout differential cover for protection.

    The overall appearance of the truck really stands out with the Trailer Products front and rear fiberglass fenders. If you're in the desert as much as this truck is, you need help seeing at night. You never know when you may come over a dune or hill at the same time as another vehicle. A total of seven Hella off-road lights are mounted for night-driving safety. Climbing inside the cabin revealed a pair of PRP race seats and Deist five-point racing harnesses. A MOMO steering wheel has also been installed along with an Art Carr race shifter.