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Tuesday, 22 December 2015 21:59


Written by Deanne Deluna Photos: Rob Villetto

When you want a custom truck, you find the best customization shop in town or ask a buddy for referrals.

You don’t walk into a dealership, buy a truck and ask them to lift it right then and there…unless you buy it from Sarasota Ford, Sarasota, FL. The dealership not only sells some of the most coveted trucks around, but will also lift it for you! “We have been lifting trucks with BDS lift kits for about three years now,” mentions Kevin Wisneski, Aftermarket Manager of Sarasota Ford and their 707 Performance division. “We became one of the first dealerships in Florida to offer lifted trucks with factory warranties.”

And they’ve recently expanded their aftermarket offerings to include a number of services, ranging from the simple painting of emblems and taillights, color-matching wheels to complete builds with motor and suspension work . “We provide things to give customers that custom truck look that’s ready for the road right after they buy it. We’re all about the ‘less is more’ look, and work with companies that manufacture quality products and stick behind them with warranties.”

Last year, they maxed their their customizing skills, creating fully built 2014 Ford Raptors - adding modifications like wraps, bumpers, superchargers, lifts and the whole nine yards - creating $100k Raptors that were all sold within a few months. Continuing to push the envelope on their customizing repertoire, they teamed up with BDS Suspension for their latest project which was to build a daily driver that could easily moonlight as a show truck on the weekends.

“We wanted to make a statement to show that we could build a rig this massive and awesome and still have a warranty-friendly truck that a customer could bring to the dealership for normal repairs or maintenance. Our dealership - and 707 Performance (which is myself and my partner Amanda Reeves and our general manager Ian Parisi) can turn out custom trucks that rival some of the big name shops and this was the truck that would let the world know that.”

In order to make the statement, they decided to go big and chose a Ford F-250 over a Raptor or F-150. BDS Suspension supplied them with a dual shock hoop, Fox Shocks 8” lift that was stretched to 10” for added height. But now that it’s going to be displayed at this year’s SEMA Show, the suspension is being upgraded to the coil over kit BDS will debut at the show. FIBERWERX wide front fenders were chosen for extra clearance and a more aggressive look, while their bedside allowed the team at Sarasota Ford to fit Raptor taillights in. “We realized that we were now building a Raptor-esque F-250 that would look really bold and have a solid suspension to go with it,” Wisneski says.

plainANsimple custom headlights with Rigid Industries Dually LED cubes, Addictive Desert Designs Honey Badger front and rear bumpers, and a Royalty Core grille add to its muscular exterior, while SRQ Customs, came on board with Sony to do a custom stereo system install. Adding to the truck’s performance are an AIRAID intake and MBRP Inc. exhaust system with black 8” Turndown Exhaust Tip. Setting off its towering stance is a set of 22x12 American Force Ambush Wheels custom painted tuxedo black and copper paired with 40x15.50R22 Toyo Open Country M/T tires.

Every part added to the truck was either painted tuxedo black or copper, even the windshield cowl. “The attention we did was second to none and I’m really proud of that,” he confesses. “Having gone to SEMA, I’ve seen some crazy trucks and how far people really go to build. This one is built just right without getting too wild.” When the truck was done, Carter Reed (BDS Suspensions’ media relations) actually flew out to Sarasota to check out the finished product. After a quick impromptu photo shoot and a few postings on social media, Wisneski and his crew at the dealership had an influx of people coming out just to see the truck and get more info on the builders behind the clean build.

The public really got to feast their eyes on the truck at the dealership’s massive grand re-opening that also featured a new, modernized dealership equipped with movie theater massage chairs, a café and other luxury amenities for its clients. It’s also been down to the Spring Break Nationals in Daytona Beach for Sony’s Sound Competition, where Wisneski says it drew a huge crowd and could be heard from a mile away. And it’ll soon be shown off at this year’s 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV before it’s put up for sale and Wisneski starts brainstorming his next big project.

“We lived in a comfort zone of just doing lifts, wheels and tires; maybe some minor paint work. So this was a huge thing and definitely a learning experience. We learned that it takes minor details to really make an awesome build!”

GEAR: 2015 Ford F-250

  • 8” BDS Suspension dual shock hoop kit (stretched to 10”) with adjustable front track bar and dual Fox shocks and stabilizers
Wheels & Tires
  • 22x12 American Force Ambush wheels
  • 40x15.50R22 Toyo Open Country MT tires
  • Rigid Industries 54 inch RDS bar with Addictive Desert Designs brackets
  • FIBERWERX front fenders and bedsides which were custom made to hold 2014 SVT Raptor taillights
  • plainAnsimple by design custom headlights with Rigid Industries Dually cubes
  • Royalty Core RC2 grille
  • Addictive Desert Designs Honey Badger front and rear bumpers
  • Superwinch recovery winch
  • 3M matte copper vinyl wrap
  • AMP RESEARCH Powerstep running board
  • Color-matched Line-X bed coating
  • AIRAID intake
  • MBRP Inc. exhaust with 8-inch Turndown Exhaust Tip
  • Custom suede headliner
  • Interior components painted copper and tuxedo black
  • Custom leather with diamond suede middle and copper piping and stitching
  • Vinyl sponsor logo with 3M reflective coating (reflects with a flash or under lights)
  • (3) 8" Sony XS-GS80L subwoofers
  • (4) 6.5" Sony XS-GS1720S Components
  • (4) Sony XMGS400 4-channel amplifiers
  • (2) Sony XMGS100 Mono amplifiers
  • (1) Audison BitTen signal processor

Sarasota Ford | • Sony | • AIRAID | • MBRP | • AMP Research | • American Force Wheels | • Addictive Desert Designs | • Royalty Core | • Rigid Industries | • Toyo | • BDS Suspension |

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