When most people think about an ostrich, they conjure up the mental picture of a big goofy-looking bird with long legs, useless little wings, and, at least according to Disney, a bald head that it likes to stick in the ground. For Freddy Rodriguez of Houston, Texas, he couldn't care less if the bird could swim under water or cook up a meatloaf - all he knows is they make great-looking material for his seats and add a cool element to the paint on his body-dropped '96 Tahoe.

The truck has come a long way from its days of green paint and bench seats, thanks to several local shops. Xtreem Rydes in Huffman, Texas, took on the task of sticking Freddy's bird in the sand with a 2-1/2-inch body drop and 'bags. DJM drop spindles and Slam Specialties 'bags were used in the front, while Firestone 'bags and a two-link control the rear. Tucked in the wheelwells are 22-inch Boyd Coddington Rallye II billets skinned in Pirelli 265/35 rubber.

Smooth body panels wrap around the truck, thanks to the metal work of M&N Last Minute Customs in Houston. There, the crew shaved the door handles, roof rack, gas door, taillights, and third brake light. The fuel filler neck was extended to the rear pillar, which opens from the rear for convenience. A Distinctive front bumper, Street Scene mirrors, and a Sir Michaels roll pan were also added to the exterior, and the rear was molded together.

Mark Martinez of Maxwell Designs did the final prep work and used a combination of PPG Sunburst Orange and Out of the Blue colors for the two-tone split. A tribal design was laid out to cut through the orange and blue tones, and sprayed with PPG Silver. Mark then pulled out the airbrush and beveled the edges of the tribal lines as well as added the ostrich texture below the tribal cuts.

The inside of the Tahoe is nothing short of an amazing mix of work by Rivera Services in League City, Texas. The factory seats were removed and replaced with '04 Escalade seats featuring burnt-orange ostrich inserts to match the exterior of the truck. A custom fiberglass wall of sound sits behind the rear seats and houses six JL Audio 10-inch subs. A custom floating console carries the painted fiberglass to the dash and holds the gauges and switches. The smoothed and painted dash is accented with a slew of billet components as well as a Pioneer AVIC-N1 to control the tunes.

Freddy's Tahoe is a testament to the talent pool that the Lone Star state holds within its borders and could be one more reason to make sure you don't mess with Texas.

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