Mickey Thompson’s Wild SEMA Super Duty

October 26th, 2011

Text and Photos by Kevin Wilson

When you’re a high-visibility and legendary company in the automotive industry, it stands to reason that you need a high-visibility vehicle to stand out at the largest gathering of custom vehicles and automotive parts in the country—the SEMA Show, which is held the first week of November in Las Vegas.

Any old-school hot rodder knows Mickey Thompson tires, whose lineup of ET Drag slicks and ET Drag Radials are the bracket racers’ choice for the strip. More recently, Mickey Thompson has expanded its tire lineup to offer truck and SUV rubber, including a wide selection of D- and E-rated tires for diesels. To showcase the company’s latest and greatest products, the folks at MT picked up an ’03 Ford F-350 Super Duty, complete with the 6.0L Power Stroke, and went to town prepping it for SEMA.

To really make the Ford stand out, the truck was fitted with a huge RCD suspension system, along with polished RCD ladder bars. Bilstein 5150 shocks keep the wheels and tires planted.

Speaking of wheels and tires, the centerpiece of the truck is a set of 20×10-inch Mickey Thompson Classic II wheels wrapped with a set of the manufacturer’s 38-inch, 15.50×20 Baja MTZ radials. Underneath, a pair of Molten Image Designs’ skull-themed diff covers adds some bling to the front and rear axles.

Since the truck is so tall you can’t see the engine without a ladder anyway, the Power Stroke was left fairly stock, with the exception of a K&N air intake and Magnaflow turbo-back exhaust system. An Edge programmer adds fuel and timing, while an MSD digital propane injection system extends mileage (since this truck is a daily driver for company reps). And pulling air out of the fuel is a FASS 150 fuel system mounted on the frame rail.

There’s no doubt that a huge, red-and-black two-tone Super Duty with bright-yellow flames is going to get noticed. Before the truck was rolled into the paint booth for its color magic, some body mods had to come first.

The folks at Stull made up this cool billet grille for the Mickey Thompson-owned truck.

Stull made a custom billet grille that has the Mickey Thompson logo dead center, while a Sir Michaels steel rolled pan out back deletes the bumper. For a more rugged look (and to help vent heat out from under the hood), a Reflexxion Automotive steel cowl hood was bolted on.

When it came time to add color to the Ford, the folks at Mickey Thompson turned to one of Southern California’s premier custom painters, Doug Starbuck, in Riverside, California. Doug has a whole host of magazine-quality customs to his credit over the years, and the MT Ford gave him a chance to shine. A custom-blended red paint covers the top of the rig, while some bright-yellow flames make a bold statement. Finishing touches on the Ford include Amp Research Power Steps, APC taillights and a Gaylords tonneau to cover the bed.

While the truck was in Southern California for paint, it was rolled over to House of Sound, in Temecula, for a complete sound system. A Pioneer head unit delivers the signal to MTX amps and speakers. Another Southern California company, Roll-A-Long, of Placentia, pitched in to transform the interior from stock to stunning. This company installed red-and-black leather seating and one of its trick center consoles. Wrapping up the build was carbon-fiber trim for the dash and the doors.

You would think that a truck of this caliber would go from show to show and not get beaten up with daily driving. In fact, the truck is used in the Midwest to visit Mickey Thompson dealers and to hit motorsports events, including the NADM Buckeye Blast, where we caught up with the Ford. In our book, this is one high-visibility daily driver that makes a statement wherever it goes.

This is in the November 2011 issue.

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