2002 Ford F-150 - Black Tie Affair

An F-150 Worthy Of The Red Carpet

Dan WardMar 1, 2004
Photo 2/2   |   Got low? How does 16-1/4 inches lower than stock sound?
With flashbulbs blazing, security pushing back fans, and even celebrity jaw's dropping, it arrives fashionably late and worthy of attention. Spinning double-deuces, body-dropped over 5 inches, and Lincoln-clipped, this stunner amazes all, as the earth shakes from its six 12-inch subwoofers. No, it's not a dream, and no, it's not a movie star or famed athlete pulling up to the Oscars, it is an unbelievable custom truck owned and built by Jim Hanson of Louisville, Kentucky.
Exiting the truck, the fans look for someone of world acclaim, but no, out of the truck exits Jim - a calm, humble truck enthusiast who loves to turn heads. Then, as if planned before leaving home, more jaws drop as the spinners keep spinning and the truck lays completely flat on the tarmac, courtesy of the airbag suspension and body drop. The onslaught of fans does not dissipate once the doors are opened, exposing an interior filled with painted and smoothed everything, including a complete Kenwood system worthy of any SPL contest. When does it stop? Well, you see with Jim's '02 F-150, it doesn't stop, and that is why we pulled out the red carpet for his truck.
Looking to create something unique and totally trick, Jim began his truck's transformation with the suspension. In order to make it up and down the steps at prestigious events in style, Jim decided to give the stock F-150 a complete air suspension courtesy of Firestone 2600 airbags up front and Firestone 2500 airbags in the rear. To drop the frontend even lower, custom 1-1/2-inch shortened upper and lower control arms were fabricated, and the lower ball joints were stepped up 2 inches. Out back, the frame was cut and boxed for integrity, while an 8-inch step notch allows the rear axle plenty of clearance, and a DJM Panhard bar gives the rear stability. The entire system is plumbed through 1/2-inch lines using SMC valves, and the air is supplied thanks to a 5-gallon tank.
The F-150 neatly tucked the 16-inch stock wheels, but it lacked the bling-bling associated with black tie affairs. Jim soon added the necessary jewelry to his truck in the form of 22x9.5-inch Rozzi Deep wheels complete with Spinweel 22-inch V spinners. Thanks to P285/30ZR22 Dunlop Sport 9000 tires, Jim's rig has matching shoes for the classy F-150. Low was the only way to describe the work in process, but Jim wanted a truck that was truly laid out. To accommodate his request, the truck was dropped off at Cool Cars, in Louisville, where the plasma cutter was scheduled for a date with the interior of the truck. Making room for the body drop, the firewall was tubbed, the cowl received a 7-inch trim, and the crossmembers were notched to clear the driveshaft. Five and a quarter inches later, the truck's body was on the red carpet in a sport-truck owner's dream fantasy, layin' rockers. Now the 22-inch Rozzis seemed to disappear under the fenders of the F-150, but that was only the beginning.
To properly drop jaws at high-society functions, one's wardrobe must be above and beyond all others, and expectations and money cannot be an option. Pulling out the checkbook, Jim again put the truck in the capable hands of truck fashion gurus - this time in the form of body specialist Frank Dewboys, and paint specialists Danny Taylor and Jason Wiseman. Frank grafted the '02 Navigator front clip, fenders, and bumper to the F-150, while adding a TRENZ billet grille insert. The truck was shaved and smoothed by removing the emblems, tailgate handle, door handles, gas door, rear bumper, and bedrails. After completing the backside transformation, Frank added Lightning taillights, a smoothed roll pan, and a color-matched Rhino liner, then raised the bed floor 4 inches. With the body in great shape, free of blemishes, and more than 16 inches lower, the proper three-piece suit was chosen for the F-150. Wanting simple as well as crazy, Jim had Jason Wiseman of Louisville, lay down several coats of PPG Silver Metallic followed by House of Kolor graphics painted by Danny Taylor. After picking up his own jaw from seeing the classy, crazy Ford, Jim knew he had a winner and moved to the interior to finish off the hat trick.
Every piece of interior trim was removed, including the dash, console, seats, and door panels. After a complete custom fitting and measurements taken by Robert's Mobile Audio in Louisville, the blueprints were created for a stand-alone Best of Show interior. The factory Ford seats were recovered in Katzkin Slate Gray leather with suede inserts, and the headliner was replaced with gray suede. The rear seat was removed with the intent on shedding extra baggage and making room for a complete custom Kenwood audio/video system. While at Robert's, the truck received a new Kenwood DVD head unit, a 10-disc changer, and three monitors, including one frenched into the overhead console and one in the steering wheel. Providing plenty of ear-deafening bass for the show-stunner are six 12-inch Kenwood subs in a custom fiberglass paint-matched enclosure which begins in the floorboard, crawls up the back wall, and wraps up to the overhead console. The wall of subs feature free-floating arms designed by Steve Coogle, and the door panels received the custom treatment in the form of custom-built speaker enclosures with bent steel rods housing the tweeters. Removed for space and beauty, the center console was replaced with a flow-through enclosure which houses the changer, amps, and an Xbox. No longer stock, the dash was modified to fit the body-drop, completely smoothed, and painted silver metallic, and includes a molded air gauge for the suspension. After several double-takes, Jim was satisfied with his show-stopping creation.
Prepared for even the toughest of critics, Jim went on a mission to capture all the paparazzi he could, and with our cameras flashing away at his prized possession, a grateful smirk came over Jim's face because he finally won the award he always wanted - a place in the famed pages of Truckin'. As with any black tie affair and award ceremony, Jim had his speech prepared and would like to thank his wife Sharon, daughter Madeline, and all of his great friends who helped him build his gorgeous truck. Proof positive that his Blue Oval is worthy of the red carpet.

2015 Ford F-150 Specifications

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Fair Market Price $25,309
MSRP $25,800
Editors' Overall Rating
Mileage 18 City / 25 Highway
Engine 3.5L V6
Horse Power 283 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 255 ft lb of torque @ 4,000 rpm
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2015 Ford F 150

Fair Market Price
$25,309
Editors' Overall Rating
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MSRP: $25,800
Mileage: 18 / 25
Engine: 3.5L V6
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