There is no reason for a good truck to ever die. If the work is decent, it can run and still be show-worthy, so there is no reason to ever let a good truck go to waste. If you find one that looks dilapidated, then save it and do whatever you can to keep it from going to the wrecking yard. If there is anything broken or missing, that just gives you a good excuse to replace and rebuild it for the better.

A good example of this idea is this Lincoln Navigator.It has also gone through its ups and downs before becoming cool again. Back in 2000, famous bodybuilder Flex Wheeler purchased it new. He put some big wheels on it and rolled it until there were plenty of other Navigators rolling in the same fashion. Then, it was taken to Master Image Customs (MIC) and fully customized all the way around.

With the new air-ride suspension installed, Flex was a bit disappointed with the handling of the truck. Airbags do give you a comfortable ride and allow you to dump your truck down for show. But, on the flip side, most 'bagged suspensions are not set up to outperform luxury sports cars. Flex wanted something that could turn corners at high speeds to smoke the other fools on the road.

The Navigator just didn't cut it for him and was sold to someone who could enjoy it more. Of course, it was eye candy filled with expensive audio equipment, and some people who can't afford such nice things will do what it takes to get it the easy way. At some point, it was stripped of its goods then later landed in a car auction. It was purchased and rarely used by the new owner.

Enter Tim Hethcox, who was looking for a very street-bound custom SUV. Since he had a lot of prerunner-type vehicles in his possession that got wrecked in off-roading adventures, he needed something to drive that would keep him on the streets. As he browsed through the local Truck Trader, he found the stripped-down truck. Because he was already looking to buy a Navigator to airbag, this truck was perfect since it already had an adjustable suspension.

He bought the truck and used it to tow his high-powered quad. While doing so, the wheel studs on the rear driver-side hub broke, causing the truck to jackknife and messed up the body really bad. Since the old white paintjob with streaking blue stars was already in bad shape, this was the perfect opportunity clean it up.

The Navigator was rebuilt by straightening out the sheetmetal and spraying a new cool paintjob. Because the truck was stripped of all the audio goodies, the sound system also had to be replaced with all new equipment. Now the truck is back to a good state, and Tim is very glad to be the one to make this happen. The truck went though hard times and several different owners but has wound up being appreciated again. For the truck's sake, it was not totally trashed and was saved to make a new owner happy.

The 411


Owner/hometown: Tim Hethcox / Apache Junction, Arizona

Year/make/model: '00 Lincoln Navigator

Engine/drivetrain: 5.4L V-8 / K&N intake / automatic transmission

Wheels/tires: 22-inch XHP Blade / 285/35R22 Toyo Proxes

Suspension: Two Viair 450 compressors / nitrogen bottle / 3/8-inch parker valves / (Front) DJM lower control arms / DJM drop spindles / 2,600-pound Firestone airbags / (Rear) factory four-link / 2,600-pound Firestone airbags

Fabricator: Master Image Customs of Mission Viejo, California

Body Mods: Custom MIC grille / shaved door handles, roof rack, and rear emblems

Bodyman: Master Image Customs of Mission Viejo, California

Paint: Cadillac Pearl White

Interior: Painted dash and center console / blue velvet material on dash and doors / tan and white leather seats with blue stars / custom sub box with shag material

Audio/video: Kenwood head unit / Myron & Davis monitors in headrest and sunvisors / four 15-inch Power Acoustic subwoofers / four pairs of 6x5-inch Alpine components / pair of 6x5-inch MMatts audio components / four Diesel Audio amps

Installer: Louder Than You Car Audio of Mesa, Arizona

Special Thanks: Mom, dad, Becky, and Tim, Sr.