2004 Cadillac Escalade - Northern Lights
A Shining Star From The Frozen Tundra
With so many hot custom trucks on the road and show circuit these days, it is getting increasingly difficult to come up with new designs and fresh ideas. You can still have a hot truck with some smoking modifications, but sometimes that just isn't enough. Well, instead of trying to come up with a hot new truck, how about an insane place to live and still have a raging ride? Johnny Ellsworth is one such enthusiast. Johnny has a banging, smooth '04 Cadillac Escalade that might seem not so exciting at first, but our boy Johnny here is a resident of Alaska. For those of you not in the know, Alaska is way up north where sometimes light is scarce, as well as the road quality, and don't even mention the temperature drop.
With no one to turn to locally, Johnny set his sights far south of his frozen homeland to the balmy sands of Arizona, and the home of Rick Dore Kustoms. Johnny was looking to have a smooth exterior with some tire-ripping horsepower and an interior to be proud of. With plan in hand, Rick Dore Kustoms set its sights on creating this one-of-a-kind Caddy. Beginning with the power section of the equation, a Paxton Novi centrifugal supercharger with polished everything was bolted to the factory 6.0L engine. To ensure smooth operation of the newly acquired horsepower, a Paxton intercooler was mounted inline with the intake charge of the huffer set to enhance peak performance levels. Moving the exhaust to the rear of this all-wheel-drive menace is the responsibility of a completely polished, stainless after-cat exhaust from Billy Boat. Finishing the underhood detailing are polished billet accessory covers. All 475 ponies were ready to gallop, but this Escalade sat like a 4x4.
The crew at Rick Dore Kustoms knew they couldn't let the Cadillac sit so high in the air, so they called up the suspension pros at DJM in Gardena, California. DJM sent one of its all-wheel-drive lowering kits, and once installed by Rick Dore's crew, it brought the nose-bleed height down a respectable 3 inches in front and 4 inches in the rear. Since the suspension was being disassembled for the drop, it made for easy work of installing a complete Baer brake system. Buttoning up the chassis work is a four-play of 22-inch Cezanne wheels by Ilan encased by SUV-rated tires from Toyo measuring P305/40R22. With a healthy stance and gobs of power, it was finally time to tend to the smooth exterior Johnny was salivating to have.
Beginning with the doors, Rick Dore's group of truck modifiers made patch panels and filled the holes where they removed the factory handles. Making the doors open and close is a remote system from Uncle Al. A one-off set of side skirts was then bolted into place, giving the SUV a longer, lower look. The factory rear bumper and tow hitch system got the axe and in their place went another one-off from Rick Dore - a roll pan featuring a frenched license box. Satisfied that they had attained the smoothness required by the customer, the fellas layered the high-end hauler with pigments from House of Kolor featuring a Black roof with an Orange lower body separated with a Purple strip outlined in Lime Green. The cherry on the cake is a beautiful billet vertical grille from Trenz. Looking good and running hard meant it was time for creature comforts in the interior.
A Cadillac Escalade has a huge and wide rear floor area that works great for a sub enclosure if you plan on never hauling anything. Johnny had no reason to leave that space open, so Rick's boys had no reason not to fill it up. Erin Ruddy laid out a hard-core subwoofer box that would be the envy of any kid in the neighborhood. A wood and fiberglass enclosure completely fills the void inside the rear hatch, and an arsenal of electronics made a home there. Xtant was the component of choice for filling the cabin with lower frequencies. The 12-inch hexagonal subs are a standout for sure, but it's hard to beat the visual cue center stage in the enclosure - an Icon TV calls that section home. As a matter of fact, there are eight total Icon screens placed in the vehicle. Credit Cardenal Electronics with the installation of the screens that reside everywhere from the sunvisors to the dash, and from the headrests to the rear sub box. Filling in the music between the doors are MTX mids and highs placed nobly in the stock locations. A Clarion head unit orchestrates the aural symphony. What to do with all those TVs? How about a reverse camera mounted in the license plate frame? When watching what's going on behind him loses its luster, Johnny can entertain the troops with a PlayStation 2.
Rick Dore Kustoms managed to put together one heck of a fine SUV for Johnny. Johnny and his parents purchased the vehicle in Arizona to make it easier on Rick to get his fabulous work done. Upon completion of the truck, Johnny and his parents flew by private jet from Alaska to Rick Dore's headquarters, where the Cadillac was unveiled before their eyes. Satisfied that the deal had been completed beyond his imagination, Johnny was handed the keys. Funny thing though, the day the Escalade was completed for delivery to Johnny, it also happened to be his birthday, and this birthday boy has great taste. We hope to see many more customs from the mind of Johnny Ellsworth. To keep tabs on what's going on over at Rick Dore Kustoms, check out its website at www.rickdorekustoms.com.
2015 Cadillac Escalade SpecificationsVIEW ALL
|Fair Market Price||$68,938|
|Editors' Overall Rating|
|Mileage||15 City / 21 Highway|
|Horse Power||420 hp @ 5,600 rpm|
|Torque||460 ft lb of torque @ 4,100 rpm|