Big Dog | 2001 Ford F-450
This Truck Is Showbound—Again
We often don’t get the backstory of former show trucks. Troy Hoover’s ’01 Ford F-450 had a prolific three-year stint at SEMA from 2001 to 2003. He kept the truck as one of his toys, but over time he decided it needed some enhancements. A decade ago, the Ford had a 20-inch lift and 44-inch tires. Being a practical man, Troy decided to elevate this former flatbed work truck by 10 more inches, as 10 is a nice, round number. Careful, simple math at work here. Yep, 30 inches of suspension lift! The saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is at work here, too. You see, Troy contracted artisans and craftsmen from Arizona, California, and New Mexico to help breathe new life into this show truck.
To recap, this behemoth started life as a Plain Jane Ford F-450 fleet service flatbed dualie. A 6½-foot bed and 1-ton rear axle were repurposed from a Ford F-350 to help transform the rig into its current form. The rear bumper was removed and a smooth roll pan was installed, and up front a custom grille and trim were in order. From there, it went to Steve Van Deman in Orange County, California, for the custom blue flame paintjob. Knowing this truck’s primary tour of duty is the show scene, Troy left the 7.3L Power Stroke stock, but Shawn Gibson did manage to install a custom Gibson exhaust on it before it hit the SEMA event and various show circuits.
Years passed, and Troy decided it was time to rebuild his favorite toy. Valley Spring Service in Phoenix, Arizona, engineered and built the 30-inch lift for Troy. The “kit” was sent to Danny Bally’s Custom Paint in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, for powdercoating. Because this was a rebirth, the guys at the paint shop had to match the decade-old powdercoating—and they nailed it with a perfect match. To maintain the flame theme, the 2.5-inch remote-reservoir shocks from F-O-A Shocks are vinyl wrapped in blue and white flames courtesy of Deluxe Engraving in Rio Rancho. Next up was A-One Equipment in Albuquerque, which was responsible for installing the 30-inch lift and devising a way to keep this monster between the lines while driving down the road. A-One Equipment engineered a very unique fulcrum beam steering system to be manipulated by an Off Road Unlimited hydraulic ram steering assist. This combination ensures the truck drives straight as an arrow and can easily turn the massive 53-inch Goodyear tires while stopped.
Despite being slated for the show scene, only modest upgrades were made to the interior. Nu Image installed a white with blue flame instrument cluster and added billet blue flame knobs to adorn the temperature controls. The stock radio was replaced by a Kenwood DVD accompanied by a couple of Rockford Fosgate amps and speakers. To round out the package, two 12-inch overhead DVD players handle any cinematic chores for the passengers. Continuing the exterior paint scheme inside, Troy added blue suede accent pieces to the seats, door panels, and billet flame doorsills.
Troy explained that the motivation behind building this rig was to create a streetable show truck that grabs your attention. He also philosophizes that life is too short, so you should live it to the fullest extent possible, indulge yourself whenever possible, and if that makes people stop and smile—even better. Troy recently lost his best friend of 30 years, Ron Queen (8/23/1967 to 3/24/2012), and has dedicated this build to him.