2002 Ford Excursion - Hi Roller Raider
A Commitment to Excellence
Pete Gutierrez from Fontana, California, has been a dedicated Raiders football fan since he was a little kid. Currently, he is a member of the internationally well-known "Raider Nation" lifestyle. The Raiders team is notorious for its intimidating character, both on and off the field, since 1960 when the Raiders organization was founded as a member of the old American Football League (AFL). When the Oakland Raiders took the field in 1963, under head coach and general manager Al Davis, he was pro football's youngest head coach at 33 years old. Al Davis is known for his catch phrases, such as "commitment to excellence."
Pete's other passion has been custom cars and trucks for the past 18 years. His attraction toward trucks and SUVs came after attending some of the local shows and witnessing all of the possible creative potential of self expression into the custom builds. After purchasing his '02 Ford Excursion 4x4, his custom theme was going to express his "commitment to excellence" with the creation of his Hi Roller Raider. To make the massive Excursion bigger than life, Pete hooked up with Mark Cubba at Cubba Racing in Fontana to set up a suspension game plan. The factory front straight-axle differential was left untouched. Due to the high lift and massive wheels and tires, Mark installed a crossover steering system that improved the steering stability by decreasing the tie-rod angularity and improving geometry. Steering dampers were also installed to improve the steering response and drivability. The increased 12-inch lift called for increased arched Atlas leaf springs, which also deliver greater strength and ride quality. To decelerate the larger wheels and tires rotating mass, AP Brake six-piston calipers and 14-inch slotted rotors were installed up front. A pair of reservoir Fox Racing Shox chromed shock absorbers were mounted to each of the two chromed dual shock hoops mounted to each framerail.
Pete's Hi Roller Raider spins on a set of Mazzi Hulk 22x12-inch chrome wheels wrapped in a set of Toyo Open Country M/T40/15.5R22 tires. To recalibrate the gear ratio, due to the increased tire circumference, the factory rear differential was then disassembled and rebuilt with new axle bearings and a new Richmond 4.88:1 ring-and-pinion gear set, which brought the engine's rpms back to a normal range. A pair of rear Atlas leaf springs with increased arcs create greater strength and ride height. A set of massive custom-built front and rear chromed ladder bars stabilize both front and rear suspensions.
Under the hood lies the massive 6.8L Triton V-10 gas-powered engine. To increase the mileage, torque, and horsepower, a Hypertech chip was installed. To allow the engine to inhale and exhale easier, a Volant air-intake system and a RBP after-cat 4-inch exhaust system with a 6-inch tip were installed. Dual alternators and five Optima YellowTop batteries help power the massive audio sound system. The Excursion's leading edge was enhanced with the addition of a polished billet grille shell and insert, flanked by a pair of Crystalline HID headlights. The taillights were painted in a transparent smoke. A set of flamed billet chrome door handles and a chrome gas-filler door highlight the white side body panels.
Danny Serna of DSG Graphics in Azusa, California, transformed this plain white Excursion into a "Raider Nation" rolling billboard. His artistic, airbrush talent was expressed with every stroke of his Iwata HPCS airbrush as he laid down the BSF Jet Black paint. There are more freehand skulls and images on the Excursion skin and doorjambs than you can imagine. The longer you gaze at it, the more things appear. After the murals were detailed and finished in base, the entire paint was buried in multiple clearcoats. Danny worked long hours everyday and late into the evenings for 3 weeks before his masterpiece was completed.
When the doors are opened, you are exposed to the gray-leather seats with an incredible two-tone of light gray and dark gray suede door panels and headliner. The Raiders thunder was created by the crew at Stereo One Warehouse in Rancho Cucamonga, California. A Pioneer head unit with a six-DVD changer and the Clarion equalizer orchestrate the Raiders rockin' vibes. The ground-pounding power comes from four JL 300-4 and three JL 1000-1 amplifiers to power the three subs. An impressive subwoofer enclosure replicates a trophy case and was designed and constructed by Erik Torres, at Stereo One Warehouse. It houses three 13-inch W7 JL subwoofers in the rear. The visual entertainment is comprised of 17 TV monitors throughout the entire Raiders-themed rig, including four 17-inch, nine 7-inch, two 14-inch, and two 10-inch monitors. Then, Eric installed a Game Cube video-game system for Pete's kids.
Another of Al Davis's sayings has been, "Just win, baby!" Well, that's what Pete's Hi Roller Raider has been doing. At every show Pete has displayed his Raiders Excursion it has won a first-place trophy. Check it out: March '07 Forbidden Fantasies, March '07 Dub Show, May '07 Truck Jam, and June '07 Lowrider San Diego. Pete will debut his Raiders ride at the Raiders' opening home game, against the Arizona Cardinals, at Oakland's McAfee Coliseum, August 11.
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