Jason Maxiell, Detroit Pistons forward
2009 Ford F-450 (Jason's rating: 10 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Favorite road trip:
Dallas to Detroit
Car he learned to drive in:
1990 Chevrolet Blazer
First car bought:
2002 GMC Denali
Enthusiasts often see their cars as an outward reflection of themselves. Detroit Pistons power forward Jason Maxiell is no different, with his burly 2009 Ford F-450 Harley-Davidson edition.
"It's big, strong; up here in Detroit, it just drives through the snow," he says of Ford's first F-450 Harley-Davidson model, which they call the Big Hog Daddy. "It reminds me of me. It's big and non-stoppable."
Of course, the brute 6.4L turbodiesel V-8 engine ain't bad, either. "The power behind it; the sound the diesels have," Maxiell adds. "I can drive 17 hours and not be uncomfortable. I can stretch my legs out all the way. For someone that's 6'7," it's very comfortable."
Maxiell, who gives his F-450 an enthusiastic perfect score of 10, comes from a family that loves their pickup trucks. When he bought the F-450 this summer, he had it delivered to a Fourth of July family gathering in Little Rock, Arkansas, to show off the new ride.
"They said I have option to ship it to Dallas or Little Rock, and my whole family was out there. We all had pickup trucks, so I decided to bring it out there with family," he says.
Favorite road trip
After Little Rock, Maxiell drove the F-450 to Dallas, where he and his wife, Brandi, had their August wedding. Two years ago he shaved his head to match hers, when she battled ovarian cancer and it was the only time he put some of his cars in storage, to focus on the task at hand. After their recent honeymoon, which included a trip to Africa with NBA Cares (the league's social responsibility initiative), they drove the F-450 back to Detroit.
"We had too many wedding gifts, so we decided to rent a trailer and just drive up," Maxiell says. "We both like the road, so it was easy for us."
They enjoyed the scenery, driving 17 hours. They took I-75 north and I-40 through Memphis, stopping overnight in Indianapolis. Maxiell feels the F-450 is a great good road trip car, especially for someone his height.
"It's just a nice, smooth ride," he says. "It's very comfortable; you can stretch your legs out pretty easily."