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2001 Ford F-350 - In Memory of a Hero

Commemorating a Brother’s Heroic Life and Tragic Death

Patrick McCarthy
Jan 1, 2013
Photographers: Dan Ward
Photo 2/10   |   1301tr 01 2001 Ford F 350 Mkw M 19 Wheels
When someone brings up the word “memorial,” most people tend to envision a gray stone pillar in a deserted cemetery. However, Steven Walker of Albany, Oregon, had something drastically different in mind to honor the memory of his brother Ryan. He decided to turn his ordinary 2001 F-350 Crew Cab into a rolling memorial to his brother's extraordinary life.
Ryan Walker was no stranger to saving lives. Originally a firefighter, he later enlisted as a field medic in the U.S. Army, earning the revered nickname “Doc” from his squad. In 2006, only three days before finishing a tour of duty in Iraq, he chose to go on a final routine mission. During the mission, a roadside IED detonated, disabling one of the vehicles in Ryan's convoy. True to form, Ryan ran in to help his fellow soldiers, but tragically, a second IED went off, killing him instantly. In this moment of bravery, he took the full force of the explosion and saved the lives of his injured comrades.
Photo 3/10   |   1301tr 04 2001 Ford F 350 Gun At Attention
Ryan and his brother Steven had always shared a passion for modified vehicles, and Ryan was planning to buy a truck of his own when he came home from Iraq. Sadly, that day never came, but Steven decided to carry out his brother's dream for him. Steven began the project by taking his F-350 to Mike Taleghan from Venice Airbrush, who layered realistic flames and murals across the truck's fire truck red paint, topping it off with Ryan's likeness on the tailgate. Other cosmetic mods to the truck include an '05–'07 front end, OEM fender flares, AMP retractable steps, and custom billet badges engraved with Ryan's name.
One of the most impressive aspects of this F-350 is its extensive array of One Up Offroad suspension upgrades. The truck features One Up's 500 Series 10– to 14-inch suspension system with Sway-A-Way triple–bypass shocks up front and double–bypass shocks in the rear. Steven also added a One Up driveline, steering stabilizer, hitch, mudflaps, and front and rear trusses. The truck rides on 22x11 MKW M–19 rims wrapped in meaty 40x15.50R22 Toyo tires.
Under the hood, the 7.3L diesel sports a Garrett GTP38R turbo upgrade, AFE intake, and Diesel Innovations up–pipes mated to an MBRP 5-inch exhaust, along with several other mods. However, Steven's minimal interior modifications speak of the truck's utilitarian nature. He has driven it over 55,000 miles since 2007 and uses it to haul construction materials on a regular basis.
Steven's custom F-350 has won several awards at local shows, but the impact this rolling memorial has on its viewers is much more important to him. Some people give compliments, some cry, and some are simply at a loss for words. Steven just uses the opportunity to remind them to reach out to their loved ones. Through the impact of this truck and its story, Steven knows that even in death, Ryan's heroic legacy lives on.

Photo 7/10   |   1301tr 05 2001 Ford F 350 Tailgate Mural
Inside the Build

Year Make Model: 2001 Ford F-350
Owner and City/State: Steven Walker • Albany, Oregon
Type: 7.3L International turbodiesel
Induction: AFE intake, GTP38R turbo
Exhaust: MBRP 5-inch stainless
Engine Management: Swamps Diesel Performance chip and tunes Output: 500 hp (estimated) Built by: Steven Walker
Transmission: Brian's Truck Shop (BTS)
Rearend: 4.30 gears, Auburn LSD
Front suspension: One Up Offroad 500 series 10–14-inch, Sway-A-Way shocks
Rear suspension: One Up Offroad 500 series 10–14-inch, Sway-A-Way shocks
Brakes: RotorPros cross-drilled & slotted
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: MKW M–19 22x11
Tires: Toyo Open Country M/T 40x15.5R22



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