Ronnie Palacios * San Antonio, Texas '00 Ford F-150
Some trucks are built to be seen and others are built to be driven. On occasion, trucks are built and rarely seen again. You might get a glimpse of them at shows or maybe even spot one at a local cruise night, but some fall into the realm of Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster. They become the myths of our sport.
In South Texas, Ronnie Palacios has built a distinctive truck that falls into the "local legend" category. Back in '01, Ronnie purchased this '00 F-150, wanting--like so many of us--to make some minor improvements to a clean daily driver. He started with a simple modification, a 2/4 drop to bring it down to a more respectable height. He then attended Texas Heatwave and noticed the extreme level of detail in so many of the rides. The trucks of the club, Negative Camber, really caught his eye and right then and there Ronnie decided to go all out on the F-150. The goal was to build a truck worthy of the famous NC logo. He would learn later that it's not the truck but the person that gets you into The World's Lowest family.
Early in '02, the F-150 was sent to Shane Price to get the process started. Shane was given the task of installing the air suspension. This was a solid beginning, but after a couple of months Ronnie knew he had to go bigger and bolder than just a normal 'bag job. The truck was loaded up and sent to Houston to get the works. Ronnie entrusted his friends at Locomotive to build the chassis to lie all the way down on some new 22-inch Billet Specialties wheels. That doesn't sound too radical, until you remember that this was '02--riding on 22s wasn't something many people had ever seen back then. Houston is the home of the go-big-or-go-home mentality, so Bobby and Sean had only one thing to do: lay this Ford out. They built a custom front chassis and raised the inner fenders to clear 22s with a tall tire. A great bonus to their work was this decision gave the truck room to clear today's 24-inch rollers. Once the stance and wheel clearance were done, the next journey began.
If you are trying to build one of the "World's Lowest" you need the best to lay down the color on the new canvas. Ronnie took the truck to one of the best shops in the business, Kustom Werx. Cory and the crew were given the task of shaving and cleaning this beauty. The standard treatment of the doors, taillights, hood, and antenna was performed, leaving these items shaved from the truck. Ronnie asked the guys to lay down a simple two-tone paintjob because he had something up his sleeve--he wanted graphics.
Only one person comes to mind when you want a one-off set of graphics in Texas: Pat Maxwell. The truck was taken to Maxwell Designs to have the graphics laid down, and since Ronnie was now a member of the club he dreamed of when he started, Pat laid down the Negative Camber Joker on the tailgate. Now everyone would know who Ronnie's family was.
This ride came home to San Antonio and shook up the scene. Nothing like this had been seen rolling the streets of South Texas. This truck became the talk of the town. As quick as the truck shook up the scene it was gone again--not back to Houston but tucked away safe in the proud owner's garage. This mythical beast would emerge from its lair from time to time over the next few years, but rarely for long. If you caught a glance of the truck but couldn't provide proof, no one would ever believe you actually saw it. Over these years, the interior was stripped and the cloth was sent to Alfredo Pena's Auto Trim in Houston to get some new skin created for the seats and doors. Houston is a great place to find a gator in the interior of a clean ride, and Alfredo took this opportunity to make sure this was one of them. Ronnie and his good friend Edgar Lopez took this time to smooth and paint the other pieces to complete the interior.
It had all come together. Finally, his dream was complete. Not only did he build a truck that allowed him to join the family he dreamed of, but he built a legend in South Texas. And this story isn't over--a new chapter's just beginning. The F-150 was sold to a new owner, Chris Morris, and Chris has started making this legend his own. He's already made changes to the interior, and he definitely has plans for other upgrades. Motor work and a new set of wheels might be in the near future. What about Ronnie? Oh, he's started another legend in the making, a 1955 Chevy Apache. Hopefully we can bait this truck to come out of hiding more than the Myth.
Stock 5.4L V-8
By: Ford Motor Company
Front & Rear: 20x10 Billet Specialties SLX 45S
Front & Rear: 245/35R20 Nitto NT555
Front: Custom control arms with Chevy ball joints / Slam Specialties 'bags
Rear: Custom two-link with Panhard bar / Slam Specialties 'bags / copper hard lines
Accessories: 1/2-inch Parker Valves / two Viair 400 compressors
Chassis: Step notch / raised inner fenderwells
By: Bobby and Sean at Locomotive Houston, TX
Shaved door handles, squirters on hood, antenna, taillights / top of tailgate is rolled / gas door relocated inside of bed / new wheeltubs in rear / '03 Harley Davidson front bumper and headlights / billet grille / Grant Kustoms rollpan molded in / LEDs molded into tailgate
By: Corey Scott, Spring, TX
House of Kolor True Blue, Tangelo Orange, and Orion Silver / Baby Blue and Lime Green pinstripe / Negative Camber clown airbrushed on tailgate / Tuff Bed liner
By: Cory Scott at Kustom Werx (two-tone) and Pat Maxwell of Maxwell Designs (graphics), Spring, TX
Leather seats with alligator inserts / alligator door inserts / a few interior plastics smoothed and painted True Blue / Billet Specialties Fast Lane steering wheel
By: Alfredo Pena's Auto Trim, Houston, TX
Alpine head unit
"To my big sister, without her I would not have even been able to buy the truck, and everyone listed in the article for his or her hard work."