1 Ton Wonder
A Fresh-Squeezed Heavy Hauler
The major challenge that custom truck enthusiasts are faced with every time they set out to build a new creation is building something that is radical and original. It seems that practically every level of customizing has been explored on every type and style of pickup in the market. The '88-to-'98 Chevy/GMC pickup is a prime example of a vehicle running its course in the custom arena. This body-style GM pickup was customized and modified in every way imaginable, and using these trucks for custom specimens will continue to be a trend for years to come. These days, enthusiasts are going to extreme measures, digging deeper into their pockets and their creative minds to construct vehicles that push the envelope and create new trends. In essence, enthusiasts are starting to set new and exciting trends instead of following the leader to custom truck glory. An easy way to immediately set yourself on a different customizing path is to start with a vehicle that is not typically chosen as a subject for aftermarket aesthetics and custom truck flavoring. Dave Tucci, owner and proprietor of Tucci Engineering in Marcy, New York, wanted to build something that would shock the custom truck community. We have to say that with the completion of this radical Sunset Orange pearl F-350 dualie, he has succeeded. When Dave received the stock truck from Ford two months prior to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, his brain and his crew had to work quickly to create the beauty that you see here.
Dave began traveling his road to originality by taking the F-350 to new depths with a complete Air Ride Technologies' suspension system. You may be asking what's the big deal about air ride suspension. Practically every custom truck owner out there has adjustable air suspension these days. However, few have the guts to 'bag a Blue Oval crew cab dualie sporting 19-inch rollers and a factory 7.4L Power Stroke diesel. To most people, adding an air-suspension system or even mildly lowering this beast is nothing short of ridiculous. Dave Tucci, however, is not most people. He saw tremendous custom potential in the Ford and built it in such a way that it would still be practical for daily driving, towing, and even a little racing. This 1-Ton Wonder runs quarter- mile times that should be published in the Guinness Book of World Records. Creating the in-your-face attitude while the truck is standing still is a 10-inch suspension slam handled by an Air Ride Technologies' air suspension and DJM dropped I-beams finished off with a four-link rearend setup. Firestone airbags, combined with Air Ride bracketry, air lines, and fittings, give local New Yorkers something to stare at when this extra-large orange powerhouse lays out and clears the local roads. Filling the oversized factory wheelwells are 19-1/2-inch Ford dualie wheels that are donated from a Ford F-450 and re-machined by Adirondack Machine Company to fit the dualie hubs. Goodyear P225/70R19.5 rubber enables 1-Ton Wonder to hit the road and lay rubber.
Most people would not expect such a large and heavy vehicle to pin passengers in their seats and give Mustang and Camaro owners something to cry about, but this F-350 does it without missing a beat. The factory 7.4L Power Stroke diesel underneath the hood of Tucci's cruiser was given a boost, courtesy of a Propane injection system, a custom exhaust system, and a power performance chip all from the stocked shelves of Bully Dog Technologies. When the Christmas tree blinks green and the throttle is mashed, quarter-mile runs are covered in 14.74 seconds at 103 mph. Not bad for a 7,500-pound, 1-ton pickup that is about as aerodynamic as a brick. In addition to performance and suspension upgrades, the body of Dave's dualie received a host of metal modifications covered in one unique custom color.
Smoothing the rear section is a roll pan, which takes the place of the factory bumper. The front bumper was moved in 3 inches to tighten the look and to make it appear flush with the front end. A billet grille now occupies the factory chrome grille housing, while a Streetbeat, ragtop moonroof allows bright rays to pour in on any privileged occupants. A Specialty Covers electric tonneau cover tops the bed, providing a lockable storage area for any precious cargo. The most radical modification on 1-Ton Wonder is the suicide rear doors and the elimination of the structural center post. To perform this modification and keep the truck structurally safe, Dave purchased a cab from a 2000 Ford SuperCab in order to obtain the rear door hinges, the latches, the rocker panels, and the roof section. The factory center post on the crew cab was removed for a cleaner look, and the cab was reinforced by adding material to the rocker panels. Replacing the F-350 cab corners are SuperCab corners to make the suicide door modification as close to factory as possible. Lending more character to the suicide doors are shaved rear door handles and filled roof parting seams. After the extensive structural and metal modifications were made, the truck was delivered to Terry Spillane of Herkimer, New York, to receive its House of Kolor Sunset Orange pearl paint finish. The Sunset Orange pearl is simply blinding when enhanced by the natural sunlight and helps set off the dualie's radical body characteristics.
Dave Tucci built one unique and cutting-edge Ford F-350 dualie with 1-Ton Wonder. It blends power-packed performance with current in-the-weeds sport truck styling for a look that hits a home run with all who lay eyes on it. Dave knows this firsthand when he sits in the driver seat, hits the airbag switches, slams the throttle, and watches others stare with envy at his 1-Ton Wonder heavy hauler.
The Oval Office
A customized truck built to the high caliber of 1-Ton Wonder certainly cannot be without a custom interior. Dave felt he needed to do something mild and different inside the truck without throwing miles of tweed and billet aluminum into the mix. His custom interior recipe includes dash and door panel trim pieces airbrushed in silver to simulate billet aluminum. The panels were airbrushed by Custom Kev in Holland Patent, New York. To spice up the gauge cluster, Dave installed a NR white-face gauge panel. Located in the dash next to the stereo head unit is a custom-made Air Ride Technologies' digital air-pressure gauge with four switches conveniently located for rail-dragging urges. A custom-made center console built by Q-logic houses a TV and VCR for entertainment, while tunes are heard through a Kenwood and Kicker audio system. A Kenwood head unit sends audio signals to a Kicker equalizer and Kicker amplifiers before a set of subwoofers disperses sound throughout the cabin. Jason Tennant of Syracuse, New York, handled construction of the subwoofer enclosure and the stereo wiring.