2009 Ford F150 & 2009 Ford F350 - Striker
Hot Haulers With Pony Car Style
When you think of Ford vehicles, even truck guys conjure up an image in their mind of a Mustang, it's just engrained with the history of Ford. When Performance Group West in Bonsall, California, and Hulst Customs in Merlin, Oregon, wanted to design a pair of trucks for the 2008 SEMA show, they decided to use a little Mustang Cobra inspiration. It's a lot harder than it sounds, especially when you're working with the SEMA gala as your deadline.
With only five months to work, Jason Hulst began his design ideas on paper before moving his body kit concepts to full-scale clay models on the truck. When changing so much of the style of a vehicle there's no room for error, and what looks perfect in 2-D on paper doesn't always translate into 3-D, so a few tweaks were made in clay until everything looked just right before molds were made for a new grille shell, front splitter, bumper cover, fender scoops, and rocker trim. Dubbed "Striker", the body upgrades evoke Mustang styling while keeping the bold lines of the truck intact.
Hulst customs painted both trucks in Sherwin-Williams Striker Silver before giving them Dearborn Blue race stripes accented with Sharpline pinstriping. The graphics begin on the front fascia and, in Ford style, continue over the roof, across the Gaylord's tonneau, and onto the tailgate.
Both trucks ride on DJM suspensions and use SSBC brakes and Pirelli Scorpion P-Zero Asimmetrico tires. The similarities end there. The '09 F-150's 305/40ZR22 Pirellis are mounted to a racy set of 22x9-inch Rodtana wheels, while the '09 F-350 mounts Pirelli 295/40ZR24s on huge American Force Caliber wheels.
Inside the trucks you'll find factory bucket seats upgraded with Katzkin Everglades leather. Typical of Katzkin upholstery, the "Striker" stitched logo matched the Hulst-created logo perfectly, but with the leather took the quality and luxury of the material up a few notches. Both trucks also utilize Quiet Ride Solutions AcoustiShield sound dampening to keep the Sony audio systems from competing with engine and road noise.
It's not easy to take a good-looking truck and completely change what is essentially its face and have the result be both instantly recognizable and perfectly proportioned. Our hats are off to the crews at Performance West and Hulst Customs. We can't help but notice that there's one thing missing: a trailer loaded with a GT500 bound for the track. Oh, and the keys in our hand.