It was March 2004, and Ren Robinson of American Canyon, California, was shopping around for a new custom truck to build. He did some research and after a while realized that there weren't many '04 Fords out there, so he decided he'd get out there and build one. Just a few days later, he picked up a bone-stock burgundy crew cab and got going on it. Some 22s, a 4/6 drop, a pair of billet grilles, and an exhaust later, Ren rolled into a show, expecting the trophies to come pouring in, trumpets playing in the background, hailing him as the new king of all things custom. Instead, he heard the loud sound of air evacuating from valves and the distinct sound of frames slamming down on concrete. This was not going to be the day he expected. A little setback like this wasn't going to get him down. Instead, he made a few phone calls, and a few days later, he was ready to begin anew. The journey starts at SIC Motorsports in San Jose, California. To say that the owner Clint has a lot of personality is kind of like saying that the sky is blue. He's a character to be sure, and he likes to put his own custom spin on the rides that he builds for himself and his customers. After a conversation with Clint and his partner Nick Germano, Ren had made up his mind; this was going to be a SIC ride.
The altitude adjustment came first. The new F-150s have a pretty trippy suspension setup, so they had their work cut out for them. The control arms, springs, and shocks were yanked out and tossed, and in their place went a set of Air Ride Shockwaves, DJM lower control arms, and Total Chaos heavy-duty titanium upper control arms. Those upper arms have a uni-ball with a misalignment spacer, instead of the ball joint, which allows them to kick back at some wicked angles without binding, allowing the truck to lay frame up front. All that work kicked the wheels into the engine bay, but to keep it all looking stock under the hood, they lifted the stock fenderwells 3 inches. Out back, Nick bridged the frame and made mounts for Air Ride 9,100-pound 'bags that were mounted on top of the axle. The whole system was done with 1/2-inch-diameter line, 1/2-inch Air Ride valves, a pair of Viair compressors, and a pair of chromed 6-gallon tanks. Keeping an eye on the system is a digital Air Ride control panel and a SIC Motorsports switch box. With all that work on the suspension, the booty 22-inch chromies had to go, so he ditched those and got a set of 22x8.5-inch Intro Twisted Vista 6s and mounted 265/40 Nittos on at four corners.
He had to be ready for the car shows now, right? Sure enough, Ren hit the scene and he was looking pretty tight, but wasn't pulling any heavy jewelry home yet. What was the deal? Now he noticed people rolling around with custom paint, and he knew that graphics were next on his list. After getting a good referral from Dan at FBI, Ren decided to meet up with James Cashman of Cashman Customs in Concord, California. The two discussed ideas, and Ren showed James a few sketches of what he had in mind. After the meeting, it was time to go to work. Ren wanted a clean look, but he didn't want to move up a to a more competitive class at truck shows because he had performed too many body modifications. James kept it simple by shaving the tailgate handle and emblems, then smoothing out the stock door handles and painting them to match the graphics. Since the truck was still pretty new, and the stock toreador red looked clean, they decided to base the graphics on the stock color. The truck was painted using House of Kolor products, including Kandy Tangerine, Cinnamon Pearl, Candy Apple Red, and metallic silver. No detail was left untouched, even the bridge cover was decorated to match. By the time the truck was done, it was a whole new ride.
You should know by now what was next, another visit to a show, another new idea, and this time, his wife Rose brought it up. "You know, you might as well take it to the top," she said. That woman is a keeper. The interior was a whole new land for Ren, and it started by going back to Cashman Customs for some custom paint. James took the stock door panels, smoothed them flat, and sprayed them the factory toreador red with some wicked tangerine pinstriping. If you look at the door panels, you'll notice a piece of sheetmetal riveted to the bottom of it. That's also the handiwork of James at Cashman, who cut out the tribal pattern with a plasma cutter and left the rough edges for a custom look. Next, it was off to Larry's Custom Upholstery in Napa, California, to stitch in some red leather into the seat inserts. The whole family helps out with this truck, too, as evidenced by the purchase of chromed interior pieces by Ren's son Chris. Throw in some aluminum floor mats and a Colorado Custom Climax steering wheel, and you've got yourself a formula for a show winner, right?
Man, you just haven't been following along, have you? Ren wasn't going to head to another show with the Ford until he had some more work done. Now it was time for the stereo, but it's never just about the sound these days, is it? Any cool truck has to have monitors everywhere, and Ren's ride is no exception. It all starts with a double-din Kenwood DDX-7015 DVD Monitor head unit, which does everything that you'd expect and more. The DVD portion feeds a video signal to a pair of Eiger Vision 5.6-inch monitors in the headrests, and a Microvision MTV-7SW mounted in a drop-down off the headliner. For speakers, Bazooka mids and highs cover the front, while Eclipses run the rear doors. There's also a JL Audio stealth box hidden under the seat, next to a pair of JL Audio amps, an e4300 for the mids and highs, and an e1800 for the sub. Motor Music of Concord, California, hooked Ren up with the setup and the install for the Ford.
It took a long time, but Ren finally did make it to that show. That show was the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and if you're not in the industry, you've got to get an invite to be there. That's where we caught up with Ren and shot the pics you see here today. Now it's time for the trophies.
THE 411Owner/hometown: Ren Robinson / American Canyon, California
Year/make/model: '04 Ford F-150 Crew Cab
Engine/drivetrain: 4.6L V-8 with automatic tranny
Wheels/tires: 22x8.5-inch Intro Twisted Vista 6 / Nitto 265/40R22
Suspension: Air Ride Technologies Shockwaves up front / Air Ride 900 'bags out back / DJM lower control arms / Total Chaos upper control arms with uni-balls / Air Ride compressors and 1/2-inch valves
Fabricator: Clint Petree and Nick Germano at SIC Motorsports in San Jose, California
Body Mods: Shaved tailgate handle and emblems / smoothed handles
Custom Paint: Stock toreador red and silver two-tone, with House of Kolor Tangerine, Kandy Apple Red, and Cinnamon Pearl graphics / paintwork by James Cashman at Cashman Customs in Concord, California
Interior: Red leather accent stripe / billet and chrome accessories / Colorado Customs Climax steering wheel / painted and pinstriped door panels
Upholsterer: Larry's Custom Upholstery in Napa, California
Audio/video: Kenwood DDX-7015 DVD/Monitor Deck / Eiger Vision 5.6-inch Monitors in headrests / Microvision MTV-7SW in drop-down / JL Audio e4300 amp for mids/highs / JL Audio e1800 for sub / SAS Bazooka RX-6S mids/highs (front) / Eclipse SE-8373 (rear) / JL Audio Stealthbox with 10W3
Special Thanks: Ren would like to thank his club Acrophobia, Clint and Nick at SIC Motorsports, Robert Espajo at Motor Music, and a special shout out to his parents, his son Christopher, and his wife Rose.