After taking several detours, Chad Louque has figured out that the custom truck scene is his niche. Like many others, he started out by owning inexpensive mini-trucks and using budget-lowering kits that could be done in the comfort of a garage, or in Chad's case, his backyard. Since his father and grandfather were mechanics, Chad gained a lot of skills at a young age, and he had the confidence to play with these trucks. Even though his first few customs were no more than low-rolling daily drivers, he knew he had the potential to do more.

In order for Chad to deck out a truck with lots of labor-intensive fabrication, it was going to take some extra money that he didn't have. On the other hand, the car scene was on the rise in popularity as The Fast and the Furious movie was an inspiring theater blockbuster. Chad thought that he could still build a show-worthy car on a budget because most of the parts were direct bolt-ons. His vehicle of choice was a '98 Chrysler Sebring Coupe, and he thought it was going to be pretty effortless to add style with a simple body kit. Since the car wasn't your everyday Honda Civic, this was not so cheap to build.

That's when he gave up on that project and bought this '02 Ford F-150 to haul a Suzuki GSXR street bike. Going fast on the streets with the Suzuki got him into a lot of trouble with the law and gave him reason to get rid of the bike. With nothing left to play with, Chad needed a hobby and knew he could do something great with his F-150. He started this truck by lowering it and adding a set of 20-inch wheels. Then, he saw a few trucks similar to his on the scene with front clips from an '05 Expedition. He liked the way they looked and researched how to do the same conversion to his truck. Many people told him it wasn't going to be easy, but once he got the parts in his hands, he found out they bolted directly on.

Chad knew he was on the right path with this project, and since he wanted to show it, he needed to step it up a notch. Though Chad knows some basics about working on vehicles, he didn't have any experience with airbagged suspensions. Instead of experimenting with air-ride components, he took the truck to a respectable, local shop to get it to lay frame. The new stance looked good, and it was ready for a paintjob, but Hurricane Katrina prevented it from happening. However, Chad later ran into his cousin, Raymond, who was starting up a paint shop named R&D Customs. Raymond offered to help get the truck topped off right with good bodywork and a clean paintjob. With the nice two-tone done, all that was left was to finish the inside of the bed. Chad didn't want to do the normal spray-on bedliner, so he came up with the idea of using a wood bed floor from a '56 F-100. While working on the bed, Chad switched to 22s in the rear and performed some sheetmetal work for the inner bed sides, along with some new wheeltubs.

Though it may have taken Chad a little bit of a journey to catch on to the fun of being a competitive player on the truck scene, he certainly is enjoying what he got himself into. One of the main reasons Chad decided to go forward with the truck thing is the fact that it is totally possible for anyone to gain the skills needed to achieve recognition. With the level of success he has had with this F-150, Chad is already thinking of his next project. Luckily, it will be a truck, but that is all we can say right now without giving away any of his plans.

THE 411

Owner/Hometown:
Chad Louque / Paulina, Louisiana

Year/Make/Model:
'02 Ford F-150 XLT Sport

Engine/Drivetrain:
4.6L V-8 / AEM anodized blue cold-air intake / Optima battery / Billet and Acrylic Fantasies billet battery cover, fluid caps, fan shroud topper, and hood strut covers / painted fan shroud, engine cover, and fuse box cover / custom two-piece 3-inch driveshaft
BY: Chad Louque

Rims:
FRONT: 20x8.5-inch Intro Vista with 5-inch backspacing
REAR: 22x8.5-inch Intro Vista with 5-1/2-inch backspacing

Tires:
Front: 245/35R20 Wanli
Rear: 255/30R22 Wanli

Suspension:
Front: Belltech 2-inch drop spindles / DJM lowered control arms / RE6 Slam Specialties airbags / KYB GR-2 shocks / drilled and slotted brake rotors
Rear: Air Ride Technologies triangulated four-link / KP Components rear cantilever / RE7 Slam Specialties airbags / Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks / drilled and slotted brake rotors
Accessories: Parker 1/2-inch valves / two Viair 450 compressors / modified gas tank to fit four-link / two 5-gallon chrome air tanks / stainless hardlines
Chassis: Front-notched for tie rods / custom front upper airbag mounts / custom rear step notch
By: AirRides of Gonzales, Louisiana

Body Mods:
'05 Ford Expedition front clip / Trenz billet grille / shaved bottom fenders and added body line / Custom Classic steel roll pan / shaved tailgate emblem / Depo Euro taillights / Street Scene smooth wiper cowl, mirrors, and bed caps / reproduction wood bed floor from '56 F-100 / spare tire mounted in bed
BY: Chad Louque / R&D Customs of Lutcher, Louisiana

Custom Paint:
DuPont Cobalt Blue and Silver / PPG lime-green pinstripe
By: Chad Louque / R&D Customs

Interior:
Factory leather seats with custom stitch work / painted dash pieces and door panel pieces / custom fiberglass center console / chrome door handles / Indiglo gauges / Billet and Acrylic Fantasies billet shifter, steering wheel, A/C vents, A/C knobs, turn signal cover, tilt wheel lever, doorsills, and rearview mirror
BY: Chad Louque

Audio/Video:
Pioneer AVH-P5700DVD flip-out touch-screen head unit / PowerBass 6.5-inch components / Visonik 1,000-watt amp for components and bass / two PowerBass 10-inch DVC subwoofers / 10-inch LCD screen mounted in dash / Pioneer vehicle dynamics processor
BY: Chad Louque

Club:
Erratic

Special Thanks:
His parents, fiance Trisha, R&D Customs, and everyone in Erratic

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