2001 Ford Excursion - Blown Income! - Truckin's Water Toys Section
One Detailed And Cool Combination
It's early on a Saturday morning and the temperature of the crisp morning air in the city of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, begins to climb. Birds chirp morning tunes to awaken a new day, and suddenly all of this peace and harmony is interrupted by the unmistakable sound of an ear-piercing blower motor reaching deep in its bottom end to emit sounds of raw horsepower and pure performance muscle.The object responsible for this smooth-yet-loud idling performance appears in the Havasu waters, and it is none other than Bob Stanfield's blown 21-foot Schiada V-drive River Cruiser. Bob smiles like a kid in a candy store behind the billet steering wheel, and with a nudge of the foot pedal and gentle rising of the boat's polished cavitation plate, the hull is out of the water and Bob is on his way to cheek-rippling and eye-watering speeds in the neighborhood of 95 mph.
Schiada Boats has a strong following in the performance marine industry, having been regarded by many as the custom boat to own, if you can get your hands on one, that is. Most Schiada owners either do not want to let go of their crafts or few can scrape together the greenbacks to hook one on to the back of their truck. The Schiada 21-foot V-drive River Cruiser is one of the most respected boats on the water today, even 30-plus years after its introduction.
A few years back, Bob Stanfield of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, began looking for a suitable 21-foot V-drive River Cruiser to fulfill his performance boating dreams. He put out the vibe to Lee Spindler, owner and operator of Schiada Boats, to help locate one. After a bit of searching, Lee found a 21-foot back East, less motor, that he felt would be perfect for Bob's performance boating goals.
After seeing pictures and talking numbers, Bob agreed to purchase the boat sight unseen and had it shipped to Schiada's factory in Torrance, California. While the boat was in transit, Bob received a call from his good friend and Havasu local, Keith Sayre, who told him of another boat for sale he had to look at. Having not yet purchased the other Schiada, Bob drove down to Huntington Beach, California, where the boat was located, and with one look, it was sold. After exchanging cash and speaking with the seller, Bob and Keith found out that this boat was in fact Lee Spindler's old race boat. Once Bob got the boat home, he placed a call to Schiada to let Lee know he would be unable to purchase the other boat and that he had acquired his old race boat. Lee's reply was, "That boat is awesome, but it eats up motors." Naturally, Bob asked why, and Lee replied, "It takes a set of chop so well, you will never want to lift your right foot off of the throttle".
Bob purchased the boat less the engine, but it still had the Menkins V-drive unit, three-speed Turbo 400 transmission, and full interior, along with full custom instrumentation and rigging. It sat on a customized triple-axle trailer with custom billet wheels, low-profile tires, and polished stainless steel fenders. Now that Bob's dream boat was sitting in his garage, he began thinking about what power to place between the stringers to get this sucker moving.
Desiring the harmonious sound and pin-you-in-your-seat qualities of a blown motor, Bob located Lance Oster of Lake Havasu City and commissioned him to build a huffer-topped big-block Chevy Rat motor with all of the best internal gear. This motor not only had to perform, but it also had to be able to hold together under the intense full-throttle sessions Bob had planned for it. Starting with a 454ci Chevrolet block, Lance bored the cylinder walls 0.060 inches over and stuffed the bottom end with an Eagle Specialty Products steel crank and connecting rods. The 468ci Rat received JE 8.5 pistons, a Crane hydraulic roller camshaft, Competition Cams stainless roller rockers with stud gertils, Manley Extreme Duty intake valves, and Incanel exhaust valves. Induction is handled by a polished 8-71 huffer from The Blower Shop combined with a Super Chiller intercooler, topped by a duet of Holley 750 double-pumper carburetors specially tuned for this wicked and blown beast. A pair of Chevy Bow Tie aluminum ported and polished cylinder heads allow the throaty big-block to breathe, while polished stainless Stellings headers and custom through-transom exhaust tips deliver spent gases to the Havasu air.
Just as important as the power in a boat application is the running gear, and this 21-foot RC features the best underwater gear around. Propelling this missile through the glass and choppy waters is a Menkins V-drive unit spinning an 11.5x15-inch Menkins two-blade prop. The V-drive unit holds number 29 gears that allow the boat to leap out of the water with a quick stab of the peddle and climb to 90-mph-plus speeds with ease. With the foot throttle all the way down and the cavitation plate pulled up, the roaring big-block pulls to 6,000 rpm and punishes the water with just a tad over 800 horses. Make no mistake, this 21-foot beauty can shred through any aquatic playground and leave most boats in its wake.
Not only is Bob's white, blue, and yellow-hued Schiada impressive in the performance department, it kicks some serious tail in the looks department as well. Moving into the interior, the driver and privileged passengers are greeted with a plush, white interior housing two hip-hugging bucket seats and a rear bench seat for lounging. Instrumentation consists of a host of white-face Gaffrig and Auto Meter Pro Comp gauges that allow Bob to keep a watchful eye on engine vitals while he is clinching onto the three-spoke Budnik billet aluminum steering wheel attached to a billet aluminum race-style column. In front of the driver's seat rests a dual pedal assembly for both the boat's cavitation plate and throttle, which has also been treated to the satin-finished aluminum look. Covering the stringers and floor is 40-ounce blue marine-grade carpeting, while billet grab handles trim the rest of the elegant interior.
The boat's exterior is quite pleasing to the eye as well. In addition to the blue and yellow combination over the white base, Schiada's patented non-skid-surfaced deck and catwalk make it easy to walk around the boat without injury. A fully polished cavitation plate assembly with stainless turnbuckles and custom billet mounts add to the enormous amount of eye candy present on this craft.
While eyes are certainly drawn to this beauty when it sits in the water, one cannot help but be impressed by its looks out of the water on the custom trailer. Bob transports his aquatic hot rod in style on a blue triple-axle Hoss custom trailer that is every bit as clean and meticulously detailed as the boat. Sitting pretty underneath each custom polished stainless steel fender is a trio of 17-inch Budnik Tiller 5 billet wheels encased by Falken Ziex rubber measuring P225/50R17. The fenders were lowered down over the top of the tires for a slammed appearance, and close followers are warned of sudden stops by frenched-in custom taillights located in the trailer's rear bracing. Custom running lights adorn each of the four billet aluminum-topped trailer steps.
Just as important as the appearance of a custom boat and trailer is the truck that gets it to the ramp. Our buddy Bob had not yet had a chance to modify his brand-new Dodge Ram 2500 at the time of this photo shoot, so we solicited the use of another Havasu local's custom vehicle. Todd Taylor, owner of Joker's Wild Promotions, was kind enough to lend Bob his lifted '01 Ford Excursion to complement the Schiada. Todd's company, Joker's Wild Promotions, handles the promotion and hosting of the major custom boat regattas held in Lake Havasu throughout the busy summer boating season.
Having to pull off smash-hit events weekend after weekend, Todd needed a dependable ride with a certain amount of flash and flare to tow his toys and company trailer. Enter this '01 Ford Excursion with minimal miles on the clock and a Triton V-10 under the hood. At the time Todd acquired the pink slip, the previous owner had already installed the 8-inch Pro Comp suspension lift equipped with a dual-shock hoop setup in the front and sporting dual Explorer Pro Comp shocks. This ultra-cool Ford sport utility rides on Nitto LT P355/65R18 Terra Grappler all-terrain tires mounted on polished 18x10-inch American Racing Mohave custom wheels. The rims and rubber were picked up for a song at Discount Tire in Lake Havasu City.
Having to put this Excursion through its towing paces week after week, Todd turned to the pros at Gibson Performance Exhaust in Corona, California, for one of the company's after-cat systems for the popular Triton V-10. After the performance professionals at Gibson helped ventilate the factory powerplant, Todd dropped in a K&N air filter and called it a day with regards to performance.
In order to tow and haul heavy toys around Lake Havasu, Todd relies on a custom billet aluminum adjustable hitch made by Rapid Hitch, supplied by Mohave Hitch & Welding in Lake Havasu City. Increasing the ease of launching and retrieving boats are both forward and rearward motion driving cameras from Pro Vision. Cruising entertainment is provided by XM satellite radio.
Together, Bob Stanfield's blown 21-foot Schiada River Cruiser and Todd Taylor's lifted Ford Excursion make one attractive pair and are sure to turn heads at any popular boating paradise. The next time you are on the ramp, look out for this smash-hit combination. It is sure to stop any custom truck and performance boating enthusiast dead in their tracks.