Tire Peeler to Trophy Stealer
WE HAVE HEARD THE STORY HUNDREDS AND MAYBE EVEN THOUSANDS OF TIMES. The story about a guy who buys a new truck or SUV and attempts to follow a simple plan of suspension changes, a wheel and tire upgrade, and a few exterior additions. For some, blending these simple custom elements together is enough to satisfy the need to be different, but for a true hardcore truck enthusiast, the customizing addiction is never over until every surface of that ride has been noticeably altered.
Matt Rossi of Stowe, Pennsylvania, is one of those enthusiasts who is consistently trying to improve his vehicle’s performance, looks and style and has the bank statements to prove it. Luckily, Matt’s wife Kim was just as enthused about turning their 2000 Ford Excursion into an extra tall, graphic-covered custom as Matt was and gave him the green light to go crazy.
The journey began began at J&B Motorsports in Stowe where the body was lifted off the frame and the massive lift was fabricated, built and installed. To begin the Excursion’s initial elevation, 18-inch Atlas leaf springs were mounted front and rear and a custom aluminum J&B 3-inch body lift took things to the next level. A custom traction bar cradle and transmission crossmember were engineered and welded to accept the front and rear 2-inch tube constructed 4-link bars complete with 3/4-inch rod ends. An Eaton posi unit and 4.56 gears were stuffed into the factory rear end to help restore some lost power that had been robbed by the 20 x 12-inch Weld wheel and 49-inch IROK tire combo.
To make the Excursion a pleasure to drive, Matt knew the factory steering needed to be upgraded to swing the oversized wheels and tires back and forth. Off Road Unlimited in Burbank, California, solved the steering issues with a custom crossover steering assembly with hydraulic ram assist. ORU shock hoops were used under the nose to mount four Fox Racing 2.0 reservoir dampeners to keep suspension travel in check when Matt decides to mob through a few on- or off-road obstacles. Four Fox 2.0 shocks were mounted in the rear to match the front suspension’s smooth riding performance.
Once the height adjustment was complete, functional and the geometry checked out, the suspension was disassembled and all of the components along with the frame were hauled to Van Industries of Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, for candy blue, sulfur yellow and bright orange powdercoating. While the chassis and suspension pieces got some color at the powdercoater, the underside of the Excursion’s body was dusted in bold coloring to continue the superb level of detailing throughout the entire undercarriage. After the chassis was reassembled, the body was lowered back onto the detailed structure and headed for some mild smoothing and bold matching paint tricks.
Since Matt and Kim’s above-average blue oval was headed for show battle, it needed some exterior artistry to go along with the rough and tough suspension stance and blinding undercarriage updates. The custom paint and graphic pros at Extreme Motorsports Painting removed all the Excursion’s emblems and molding and laid down House of Kolor Tangelo Orange pearl over a white basecoat up top, transitioning into an Oriental Blue candy laid over a base fade of Pavo Purple metallic. Orion Silver metallic, snow white pearl and a lime gold candy fade sizzle up the Excursion’s center section, while a deep black comprises the lower region.
To further promote the Excursion’s burly physique, a Reaper Racing pre-runner bar was mounted at the nose and topped with four off-road lights for night duty. A set of PIAA 1500 lights resides under the Xenon rear bumper cover to provide as much night vision in the rear as there is up front. Kodiak Sidewinder steps were installed to ease entry and exit in and out of this insanely tall beast.
In order to match Tall Order’s performance to its stunning looks, OK 4WD in Stewartsville, New Jersey, installed a polished Kenne Bell supercharger and 100-hp shot of nitrous to wake up the factory Triton V-10. J&B Motorsports capped off the heads with a set of JBA headers to help with the exhaust side of the performance equation. BTS of Oaks, Pennsylvania, tooled up a custom-bent 3-inch dual exhaust system utilizing Flowmaster mufflers and coated by Jet Hot Coatings for visual appeal.
Now sporting an out-of-this-world stance, paint scheme and enough power on tap to blaze the 49-inch IROK Super Swamper rubber, Matt and Kim channeled their focus into finishing their trophy collector off with a simple and stunning custom interior. Automotive Concepts of Horsham, Pennsylvania, upholstered the factory buckets and rear bench in blue and orange Katzkin leather and covered the floorboards with electric blue carpet from Auto Custom Carpets. A Trenz billet steering wheel helps Matt point and shoot the Excursion’s nose, while a few tangelo orange dash pieces and Auto Meter Instruments complemented by a white face gauge panel round out the cockpit styling.
Matt and Kim Rossi have put together one impressive Excursion with the detail and craftsmanship necessary to win at the shows and the shock value and power to impress on the street. Like most in-depth custom builds this one would not have been possible without the help of some talented automotive specialists. Joe and Brian from J&B Motorsports, BTS, Extreme Motorsports, Automotive Concepts, OK 4WD, and Arizona Driveline made this exceptional Excursion possible. Tall Order is just one more example of turning a few custom ideas into a pavement-shaking, trophy-stealing reality. ST