From Protecting to Dominating
The United States Army, which has been around for nearly 250 years, is one of the most integral and monumental forces in the United States military. As a young boy, Nick Butts would play with Army men and go into battle with his toys. At 19, Nick decided it was time to enlist, learn the discipline, and get the experience he was seeking. The core benefit of enlisting, aside from strengthening him for tomorrow, was that the United States Army offered money for education, comprehensive healthcare, and financial aid to cover the cost of living.
Nick was working as a technician for Ford Motor Company when he enlisted and was immediately deployed into Afghanistan in March of 2014.
“I actually turned 21 in a watch tower with a mining gun,” Nick says.
After he returned from the Middle East, Nick was stationed in Hawaii where he was a police officer. During one of his weeks at home to visit family, he was able to purchase a 2015 Ford F-250 Platinum using money he earned and saved. The Army has a policy that when you move to a new station, it ships your household goods and one vehicle for free. Of course, Nick wanted his brand new Ford in Hawaii, so it was shipped.
The cost of fixing up a truck in Hawaii was astronomical, so Nick started off small. He entered the American Force Dream Wheel contest where the company gives you a set of wheels for free.
“I didn’t win,” Nick adds, “but American Force offered me a huge discount because of my service to this country.”
WITH all the heavy hitters in the truck industry being newer style trucks, Nick knew that he had to do something unique to make his older truck stand out.
It shipped the 26-inch wheels to Nick for mounting. Nick added some minor engine modifications and an exhaust for performance. He spent the remaining three years of military service in active duty until October 2017. Once Nick returned home, he decided to turn his Ford into something even greater.
DRIPPING IN GOLD
With all the heavy hitters in the truck industry being newer style trucks, Nick knew that he had to do something unique to make his older truck stand out. His idea was to add suicide doors to the back doors and bring back the old-school way of building. Based on their reputation, the crew at Texas Born Performance out of Rhome, Texas, was chosen to do the work. Hunter, the owner, and Nick planned out the details by finding a hinge kit off an older Chevy truck. Both doors had to be cut and welded to get the functionality perfect for swinging. Once installed, they turned their attention to the suspension.
Every single piece that was added under the Ford was sent off to Economy Plating for chrome plating. Once they were chromed, Top Koat in Kennedale, Texas, was given the task of powdercoating all the chrome pieces in a bright gold. The suspension was installed starting with the subframe and then front to rear. Brackets were built for the air tanks so they could be shown off underneath the lifted Ford. Rigo and Manny supplied Nick with a Hornblaster kit that he had dipped in gold and mounted right below the tanks. With the suspension came a drop-down sway bar, but Nick didn’t like the look so he went with a Signature Metal Fab sway bar since it looked cleaner.
Once the adjustable hydraulic lift was installed and working, Kaly Doyle of KD Designs brought the F-250 into the paint booth and added a white pearl paint with gold metal flake throughout. After the motor was dropped back into the newly lifted truck, Hunter, Nick, and Nick’s father, Steve, added the H&S 64mm turbo kit with No Limit CVC and EGR delete. Everything that could be changed was touched in gold for added affect. Nick went with SSBC 8-piston brake setup for better stopping power on the larger and heavier truck. For the exterior additions, a custom bracket was made and two off-road 30-inch light bars were mounted in the grille behind the mesh and bumper. Thirty-two rock lights were added to showcase the undercarriage at night and indoors.
ALL THAT GLITTERS …
The final step was inside the cabin, as Texas Born Performance removed the seats and wrapped them in high-quality Alea Leather diamond-stitched seats and center console. A custom star light ceiling was added with a total of 150 fiber optic lights to make it resemble a Rolls Royce. While the seats were being completed, Next Gen Audi was mocking up door panels that incorporated speakers in each door. The Kicker stereo system was next to be installed with two Kicker 5.25-inch and a Kicker 6.5-inch in each door. In each fender well, a Kicker tower speaker was mounted to give it better sound. To lead the stereo, a custom retro iPad dash kit was installed in the dashboard.
Nick spent a total of four years in the United States Army and a good portion in active combat overseas. Defending this country gave him the discipline and patience to understand that planning and executing a build of this caliber was not easy. Nick wishes to thank the hard-working team at Texas Born Performance and Hunter, the owner, for opening up the shop for him, and his father, Steve, to do their own work on the Ford. Project Goldmember was a huge success in 2018 as a primary spot holder at the Fury booth at SEMA in Las Vegas.
Fort Worth, Texas
2015 Ford F-250 Platinum
- Front Suspension: FOA shocks, Ultimate Air Ride 12-18 inches, Firestone 5412 air bags
- Rear Suspension: Firestone 5412 air bags, Ultimate Air Ride 12-18 inches, four seamless air tanks in gold, two Viair 485c compressors, FOA shocks, Airlift P3H air management system installed by Texas Born Performance
- Engine: 6.7L turbo diesel, deleted, No Limit intercooler in gold, No Limit intake Stage 2, No Limit CCV in gold, No Limit EGR in gold, No Limit coolant tank in gold, No Limit cap kit in gold, H&S 64mm turbo kit, pipes and turbo in gold, manifold painted high temp black, Spartan tunes, EZ-Lynk, Flo Pro 5-inch downpipe, Tro exhaust tip in gold, all done by Texas Born Performance, SSBC B8 Barbarian 8-piston calipers, drilled and slotted rotors, Mag Hytec front and rear differential in gold, Mag Hytec transmission pan
- Pearl White with House of Kolor gold flake
- Frame and axles painted black with House of Kolor gold flake
- Under the cab and bed painted matte black
- Grille and tailgate painted matte black
- Suicide rear doors using OBS Chevy hinges done by KD Designs
- Amp Research power steps
- Bulletproof hitch in custom gold
- Hornblasters K5 train horns
- OLB rock lights
- OLB 5.5 fog lights
- Two OLB 30-inch light bars in grille
- Two OLB 40-inch light bars in bumper
- Plain an Simple headlights and taillights in white and gold
- Gold decals by Avery Dennison
- Tailgate embossed with #Project Goldmember
- 12-volt Villan license plate holder in gold
- Alea Leather seats with diamond stitches
- Diamond-stitched center console
- Lock ‘Er Down electric console safe
- Star light roof with 150 lights
- Door trim and dash custom painted white and gold
- Custom door panels
- Stereo: retro custom iPad in dash, Kicker components in all four doors, rear seats raised 2 inches to fit three Kicker L7 8-inch subwoofers, Kicker amplifiers, sound dampening done with Second Skin Sound Dampening
WHEELS & TIRES
- Wheels: 26×16 American Force Spirit Tiers, True Spike Lug Nuts
- Tires: 42×15.50R26 Fury Country Hunters M/T
Hunter and Texas Born Performance, my father Steve, John Scott and Scott Solar, Fury Off Road Tire, American Force Wheels, Ultimate Air Ride, Viair, Bolt Lock, Plain An Simple, Mag Hytec, 12-Volt Villans, Bulletproof Hitches, KD Design, Kicker Audio, Top Koat, Hornblasters, Lock ‘Er Down, SSBC Brakes, True Spike Lug Nuts, Alea Leather, No Limit Fab, Ride Controller, Avery Dennison