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2016 Ford F-150 Freedom Blues

For those who serve

Jul 12, 2017
Photographers: John Jackson
War is hell. There is no other way of sugar coating what our servicemen and women go through protecting this country in times of conflict, as well as peace. For Staff Seargent Hank Robinson, a decade of service with the 158th Infantry Battalion and 2/2 Infantry Battalion, with deployments in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo had earned him combat awards, including the Bronze Star Medal for valor, Army Commendation Medal for valor, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. But even after his retirement and collection of accolades, Hank and numerous other soldiers, found the transition to civilian life to be difficult.
Photo 2/19   |   2016 Ford F150 Freedom Blues Rear
While taking a metalworking class, Hank discovered he had a passion for engraving, and discovered the work soothed his mind. The singular interaction between man and metal gave his life an all-new purpose and provided the stability he needed. Starting out small, Hank began Hanro Studios out of his garage, first creating small engraved gifts and transitioning into full-blown custom designed pieces for clients. That led to his move from his garage to FX Autobody in Avondale, Arizona, to collaborate on other automotive projects with owner Troy Buck. After earning another slew of accolades, Hanro Studios was now commissioning pieces for celebs, pro athletes, and musicians. And finally, it led into this ’16 Ford F-150 monster of a canvas.
When Hank desired to do a tribute for all his fellow servicemen and women, he wanted to do it in a way no one else had and make use of his newfound skill with the Dremel. Commonly called scratchboard in the art world, this form of engraving takes a layer of color away from the surface to revel a contrasting color below. This time, Hank scratched away the House of Kolor Matte Blue to reveal the shiny layer of military-grade aluminum that makes up the body of the F-150.
Photo 3/19   |   2016 Ford F150 Freedom Blues McGaughys
Starting life as a stock F-150, Hank and his buddies at FX Autobody tackled the entire build. They started with a simple McGaughys 6 1/2-inch lift to draw the eye to a set of custom-engraved E-Line series brake rotors from R1 Concepts, set behind some aptly named 22x14 American Force Special Forces CODE wheels with 35x14 Nitto Trail Grappler tires. The gang then added an engraved K&N Blackhawk intake, SCT livewire, and hit the dual cat-back split Gibson exhaust with more engraving.
A set of Anzo headlights and taillights with customization done by West Coast Retrofit sit on either side of a Royalty Core RC1 grille fitted with a 24-inch Vision X lightbar, while a set of Fab Fours Vengeance bumpers with Optimus Halo pods were added front and rear. Getting in the cab was made easier by a set of Amp Research steps, which can also be used to reach the Fab Four roof rack that shares real estate with two 50-inch lightbars, and two more pods, all from Optimus. The Cargo Glide XL 1500 and BedRug are protected by a Peragon bed cover. Under the cab and all along the frame are 12 blue Vision X Pro pods that play off the body color. To make sure other divers know that Freedom Blues is coming their way, a Horn Blasters Outlaw Train Horn makes its presence known.
The body itself takes center stage with its massively intricate mural honoring soldiers from all the Armed Services, which Hank spent more than 800-plus hours on. Finally finishing at SEMA 2016, when Hank completed his magnum opus in full view of show goers at this worldwide event.
Photo 4/19   |   2016 Ford F150 Freedom Blues Interior
The interior continues the military tribute with custom airbrushed doorjambs and an American Flag headliner installed by Kinsey Kustoms in Prescott, Arizona. A hard-hitting stereo consists of three 8-inch subs, door component speakers, a 2,000-watt amp to power the subs and a 1,000-watt amp to power the doors—all by Dakota digital. It is controlled through a 9-inch tablet custom molded into the dash.
This F-150 is both a tribute to the Armed Forces and a testament to how a soldier can cope with the massive change in their lives after retirement. The way this truck was transformed from stock to this moving homage to deployed life can be summed up in one word: transition. How a soldier transitions from the rigors of deployment to the banality of civilian life is a one not all can make. Hank Robinson is showing those who are struggling how they can find something they love and still be true to their past.
Photo 5/19   |   2016 Ford F150 Freedom Blues Grille

Inside the build

Year/Make/Model: '16 Ford F-150 4x4 H150
Owner and City/State: Hank Robinson (Hanro Studios)
Chassis:
Front Suspension: McGaughys 6 1/2 Lift Kit
Rear Suspension
Brakes: Custom-engraved E-Line series brake rotors from R1 Concepts
Drivetrain:
Engine: Engraved K&N Blackhawk intake tube, SCT Livewire Tuner, Gibson cat-back engraved split dual exhaust, dual Odyssey batteries
Body: 800-plus-hours custom hand-engraved body with House of Kolor Matte Blue, Royalty Core RC1X Grille, Fab Fours Vengeance front and rear bumpers, Anzo headlights and taillights with customization done by West Coast Retrofit, Amp Research PowerSteps, Fab Four Roof Rack, Peragon bed cover, BedRug, Cargo Glide XL 1500, Fab Four roof rack, Horn Blasters Outlaw Train Horn, airbrushed H150 logos on side fenders, EGR color-match cab spoiler
Interior: Custom American flag headliner installed by Kinsey Kustoms, custom airbrushed door James by Troy Buck of FX AutoBody
Stereo: 9-inch tablet in-dash conversion, three 8-inch subs, door components, 1,000-watt amp powering the doors speakers and 2,000-watt amp powering the subs all by Digital Design, color-matched Road Wire interior,
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 22x14; American Force Special Forces CODE

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