2016 Ford F-150 Freedom Blues By Hanro Studios
It’s Engraved! Hanro Studios Works on Its Masterpiece During SEMA
I stumbled across something remarkable Wednesday afternoon at the SEMA show. No, it wasn't a display of stealthy large cheetahs available for petting (if they felt like it)—not this time. I could never condone such a thing at SEMA, but I really think it would draw a crowd and get your name out, to say the least. Hey, did you see the cheetahs at the Bobz Gadgetz booth? Yeah, cheetahs.
Nonetheless, it was something remarkable. It wasn't quite a work truck in the traditional sense, but it was a guy working on a truck. I'm talking about a blue ’16 Ford F-150 in the American Force Wheels outdoor booth, and the guy working on it was engraving—yes, etching by hand—various military scenes into its aluminum body. The F-150’s brilliant satin blue etching canvas came courtesy of House of Kolor paint and a matte clear. I heard the zzzz zzzzz sound of the Dremel tool (imagine the sound at a dentist office) and joined the crowd to watch the artist permanently “tattoo” the truck. (Not a cheetah-sized crowd, of course.)
The artist, Hank Robinson of Hanro Studios, is a U.S. Infantry veteran. His work on Freedom Blues, as the tribute truck was aptly named, was amazing, a feat I'd have trouble believing had I not been watching it with my own eyes. You can relive it with your own eyes, too. I took some Facebook live video of it, which you can find on the 8-Lug Facebook page. Hanro specializes in custom metal, wood, glass, and plastic engravings. It claims to be one of two shops to do this. I could have spent hours watching him transform a void canvas into a detailed soldier’s face.
Hundreds and hundreds of hours would be spent on this project—about 800. That’s 20 weeks of full-time work. I overheard they had been working on it since May. I simply cannot fathom the investment of talent and time that went into Freedom Blues.
It was remarkable—almost as remarkable as a cheetah petting exhibit would be. And yes, I know how remarkable cheetahs are, because I’ve pet one before.