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2001 Ford Super Crew

Super Smoothed: Darth Vader, Your Ride Is Ready

Wes Vreeland
Jan 1, 2003
Photographers: Wes Allison
It takes a special build of vehicle to be in the show circuit. Something that is new, innovative, well executed, and, above all, real shiny stands a clear chance of getting attention. The upper echelon of show trucks are built for many reasons, but most have one prevalent theme: to show 'em what the builder can do. Wings West, an aftermarket company in Newport Beach, California, tackled this '01 Ford Super Crew under that pretense of showing what it can do on the truck side of things.
The guys at Wings West have been souping up imports for some time and chose the Super Crew as their entrance to the truck market. With numerous trophies under his belt and a blazing reputation in the import scene, Scotty Centra propelled the idea of making truck components into a reality with this truck. The four-door whipping post started as a SEMA project vehicle and made it to last year's show with great fanfare. From the start, Scotty and Wings West went out to create a great show truck with the only purpose being to display what they can do to a hay-hauler.
First to go was the stock suspension. Wings West worked with Master Image Customs to create a suspension capable of tucking 24-inch rims. Lowering the sleek beast with a competent shop and quality parts put the Ford at just the right height.
DJM A-arms and Toxic shocks give articulation in the front, while a conglomeration of parts out back lower a total of 5 inches. MIC used Firestone 'bags all around and placed a 10-gallon air setup to support the system. With only a 3/5 drop, the suspension was tucking 24-inch Raceline rims that bare the infamous "310 Motoring" logo.
To make the rig look low, Wings West bolted up a set of recessed step bars from Go Rhino! Products. The stock nose was swapped out in favor of Wings West' own front bumper cover with integrated driving lights from Alpine Tech. The custom grille was cut to order from Trenz and features a double layer of steel. The polished front sheet of the grille displays the prominent W, while the black back layer has micro Ws set into each oval. The bold theme continues in the rear with Wings West' own mini-me wing mounted on the tailgate. A slick custom feature is the relocation of the Ford emblem to dead center on the gate. With all the accessories mounted up to fit, everything was stripped for a super-smooth paint scheme.
The truck has always been black, but the painters at Wings West decided to lay down a few more quarts. Every piece of hard plastic and metal was removed, smoothed, and sanded. Following a thorough coating of black, all pieces but the hood were reinstalled and buffed out. A unique feature to the wild paint scheme is the special treatment the hood underwent. After the side tribals were laid down, the stock aluminum hood was stripped to metal. The paint pros at Wings West traced out the tribal flame pattern on the hood's bare aluminum. They then ground the pattern into the steel and put clearcoat on the raw aluminum with a tinted blend of acrylic enamel. Following that, the tribal design was blocked out, taped up, and painted black around the pattern. The result is a brilliant hood graphic with never-ending depth, color, and a heck of a bright glint in the sun.
The full bed treatment was given as well. Line-X sprayed a thick coat of bedliner, while Pace Edward provided the sleek roll-away tonneau, complete with its own retracting motor and remote. The stock bumper was kept but enhanced with a good coating of black paint.
To finish up the exterior appearance package, Wings West fabbed up a billet aluminum gas door and slapped on a set of clear tail lenses.
Inside, Darth Vader's ride is just as impressive and equally shiny. Every piece of hard plastic was removed, smoothed, and painted black. Interior billet comes from Trenz and is mixed with a Wings West dash kit. The only tricky part was getting the replacement King Ranch seats from Lear to fit. After some massaging of brackets, the interior was handed over to Stitchcraft for the addition of alligator-print leather inserts. Electronics were upgraded to include navigation and sound goodies, all from Eurovox Limited. The full entertainment system includes a 10-disc CD changer, a model 4885 head unit, a four-channel amp, and myriad of monitors from Eurovox. Sights and sounds are emitted from a 7-inch wide-angle monitor and 6x8-inch coaxial speakers. The addition of the performance goodies called for some extra gauges from Auto Meter to monitor boost and egt's.
With the hood up, it's easy to tell this Super Crew has the business end built as well. Area 51 put together the performance package that is centered on a 5.4L Triton powerplant. A Vortech Performance supercharger package dictates many of the engine mods. Area 51 coupled the Vortech charger to JBA headers and a Magnaflow exhaust to get the meaty BFG 305/35R24 G-Force tires spinnin'. Retuning the computer and adding Vortech's fuel system upgrade lands the truck respectable times on the track and reasonable performance on the street with 285 ponies and 375 lb-ft of torque. Getting things stopped as well as they go is accomplished with a full set of Force-10 brakes from Stainless Steel Brakes Corp.
After years of fiddling with imports, Wings West has created some excitement with its work on this Ford. Starting with some clean ideas, it created a unique full-bore show truck unlike any other. This ultra-sleek truck features some of the newest products to the market that have been put together for a fine combination of style and performance.


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