Taking over the Kandy Kingdom

 Hundreds of different cultures exist in the automotive industry. They all have one focal point: have the best vehicle possible. In the tuner lifestyle, it’s about loud music and utilizing small areas for speakers. In the lowrider lifestyle, it’s about adjustable suspension and flashy paint. And, of course, in the truck lifestyle, it’s about being as low as possible with larger wheels tucking under the truck. 

Raul Saenz of Houston, Texas, decided he wanted to combine a few cultures into one. As a child, Raul built model cars in lowrider form and oftentimes would ask his parents to drive by the lowrider hangouts so he could see the vehicles.

In 2006, Raul got the opportunity to purchase a brand-new Ford F-150 and took it. To begin the lifestyle meshing, within the first two weeks Raul took the Ford into Stereo EFX to add a full custom stereo system, and he also added some 24-inch wheels. A year later, Raul upgraded to 26-inch wheels, made his stereo louder and added a few TVs in the cab. In 2008, Raul and some of his close friends decided to start a truck club and called it HouTex Ryders. As Raul was entrusted with the president role of the club, his Ford F-150 needed to start standing out.

In the tuner lifestyle, it’s about loud music and utilizing small areas for speakers. In the lowrider lifestyle, it’s about adjustable suspension and flashy paint. And, of course, in the truck lifestyle, it’s about being as low as possible with larger wheels tucking under the truck. 

At first it began as something simple. Mando’s Drop Shop added a full air-ride system, bringing the Ford down on the 26-inch wheels. As the club started growing, Raul began to realize he needed to step up his game. The rear doors and hood were given the suicide treatment. He added bigger 28-inch wheels, making the Ford tuck even more. Although Raul was winning shows at the local level, he simply wanted to upgrade and do more. He brought the F-150 to Lil 1 Kustoms and had the Ford cut to lay frame. Once again, he upgraded the wheels, going with 30-inch Forgiato Ottos, and added a full panoramic roof. A big modification was splitting the tailgate in half and having it open on a motorized switch using actuators.

With all the body modifications completed, it was time to switch the stock exterior. The only person Raul would trust with his creation was Jose Mendoza, a.k.a. Pistolero Designs. At this point, Raul wanted his lowrider style brought into the look of the truck by using multi-color House of Kolor Kandies all throughout the body. Patterns flowing through the sides and jambs set the Ford into a different class. Inside the cabin, Raul enlisted Ramon’s Upholstery to remove all the stock guts and replace them with everything completely new.

The stock seats were swapped to cigar brown with a mixture of leather, suede, alligator and ostrich. The center console was fabricated from fiberglass and painted to match the exterior. The floor was replaced with a bright purple carpet, and purple vinyl was added to the steering wheel and dashboard. Behind the steering wheel, factory gauges were removed and titanium US Speedo gauges added. On the door panels, Raul had a friend engrave the chrome pull handles for a unique lowrider style. Through the new custom center console that flows from the front to the rear, Raul had the JL Audio subwoofers reworked to fire inside a plexiglass enclosure.

Under the hood, Raul utilized the stock 4.6L and had Pistolero Designs paint each plastic part purple to match the exterior. For performance, Pereira’s Muffler Shop from Houston, Texas, was enlisted to add a full Flowmaster exhaust system from the front to the back. For better air flow, Raul installed a K&N intake with air filter for smoother air flow. Pistolero Designs painted the Kandy coating to match. To enhance the appeal, Raul added four multi-color plasma LED halo lights to the headlights and six on the fog lights from Omni 12 Products that blend the colors together.

Throughout the constant push forward, Raul relied heavily on his wife Vanessa for motivation and support, and wishes to thank her for the perseverance. A special thanks goes to Raul’s brother Rey for always being there to repair and help fix things along the way. As HouTex Ryders continues to grow in stature and size, Kandy Krush remains at the forefront showcasing the determination and success you can achieve when you go against the odds and combine your cultures into one. Raul has made Kandy Krush a family truck and integrated the truck lifestyle into both his son’s Raul Jr. and Rolando’s lives.


Raul Saenz
Houston, Texas
’06 Ford F-150
HouTex Ryders


  • Front Suspension: Custom control arms, Slam Specialties 2600 air bags
  • Rear Suspension: Texas two-link, Slam Specialties 2600 air bags, four Viair 444c compressors, 5-gallon air tank


  • Engine: 4.6 V-8, Flowmaster exhaust added by Pereira’s Muffler Shop, K&N intake and air filter painted by Pistolero Designs
  • Transmission: 4-speed 4R75E
  • Rearend: Stock axle cut to fit 30’s, 3:55 gears


  • Multi-color Purple, Blue, Pink with patterns House of Kolor Kandy paint, Matrix clearcoat and pinstripe all done by Jose Mendoza at Pistolero Designs
  • Suicide rear doors, suicide hood, split motorized tailgate, panoramic roof all done by Lil 1 Kustoms
  • Engraved mirrors and handles
  • Lo-Rider bed cover
  • Custom rollpan
  • Tiarra front grille


  • Bucket seats, wrapped in cigar brown leather, ostrich, alligator and suede
  • Full purple carpet
  • Pillars to dashboard wrapped by Ramon’s Upholstery
  • Fiberglass doors and console by Manny’s Custom Creations
  • Engraved inside handles, UPR Products A/C knobs, window switch covers and A/C vents, billet pedals and shifter knob by AMI Billet Styling
  • Stereo: Pioneer double din, four 10-inch JL Audio subwoofers, three Memphis amplifiers, Pioneer components all done by EFX Elite Auto Styling

Wheels & Tires: 

  • Wheels: 30×10 Forgiato Ottos
  • Tires: 255/30R30 Fullrun

Special Thanks: My wife Vanessa, brother Rey, my father Raul Sr., my HouTex Ryders family, my sons Raul Jr. and Rolando, Jose at Pistolero Designs, Ernesto at Lil 1 Kustoms, Ernan, Sam and Max at EFX Elite Auto Styling, Ramon at Ramon’s Upholstery, Cisco at Texan Motorsports, Luz, Manny at Manny’s Custom Creations and Jesse at Jesse’s House of Paint and Body