OWNER: Mike & Megan Danner
RIDE: '00 Ford F-150
HOMETOWN: Ladson, South Carolina

When you grow up in a family in which both your father and grandfather are active drag racers, the need for speed just automatically becomes part of your personality. Mike Danner from Ladson, South Carolina, has always been interested in high-performance vehicles. In the last 10 years, he's had a string of custom cars, but it was time for change. The sport compacts were nice, but he wanted to roll a little bigger and was captivated by the lines of the 2000 Ford F-150. He bought one brand new, as the story goes, planning to make just a few conservative changes. Mike builds race cars for a living and although his goal was a cool custom truck, it also had to be hot on the strip. The changes automatically became a combination of go and show.

Starting at ground level, suspension enhancements began with a C-notch from DJM that allowed plenty of clearance for the limited-slip Ford rearend. Mike fabricated a set of 30-inch-long ladder bars and a custom Panhard bar, designed to control axle wrap on takeoff. DJM upper and lower control arms, modified to accept 'bags, ensured the front and rear matched. Mike chose an air suspension system, bolting in Air Lift cylinders on all four wheels. The Viair 480C compressor, activated by 1/2-inch Air Lift valves, keeps the 'bags full and the 5-gallon reserve tank topped off. Both com-pressor and tank now reside in the former spare-tire compartment. Since stopping is as important as accelerating, Mike fitted a set of cross-drilled and slotted Brake Pro brakes with four-piston calipers.

Once the suspension could handle the power, Mike began concentrating on his earlier goal of high performance. The big 5.4L Ford V-8 was already quick in stock form, but when you're in the performance business more is always better. The new Pro Charger P2SC supercharger pumped out 11 pounds of boost, the Crower Stage One blower cams worked the valves, and the Dynatech long-tube, ceramic-coated headers dumped waste gasses into the Dynamax mufflers. A B&M shift kit strengthened the Ford 4R70W trans for an even stronger launch. With 436 hp, the Ford provides a very satisfying belt in the back when the light turns green.

Once acceleration and handling were attended to, custom mods were next. Everything on the body was shaved and the tailgate was re-skinned. The body kit from Street Scene continued the transformation, using their upper and lower grilles, side mirrors, smooth bed caps, and cowl cover. The unique hood is from Fiberglass Fabricators and SVT headlights with clear corners finish up the makeover. No truck is ever complete without wheels and Mike moved quickly from 18- to 20-inchers to the current set of 22-inch Gianelle Flush 10s wrapped in Hancook rubber, getting it rolling in style.

The interior makeover began with a supportive set of Sparco racing seats, covered in black tweed with red stitching and equipped with four-point, cam lock belts. When the big Triton engine is quiet, music from another source fills the cab thanks to the Sony CD head unit, Memphis 550-watt two-channel amp, four 6.5-inch Cerwin-Vega three-ways, and the pair of Punch 12s between the seats. The dash sports a boost gauge where the left-hand air-conditioning vent used to be, and the Auto Meter air suspension instruments are mounted on the A-pillar.

Mike designed his own graphics, and he and his wife chose the colors: a blend of PPG Medium Garnet Red on the bottom, Quicksilver on top, and a Jett Black separation spear between the two. Bennett's Paint and Body in St. Stephen, South Carolina, handled the spray-gun artistry.

How is the completed truck to drive? Mike says it not only holds its own on the street, strip, and show circuit, but here it is in his favorite magazine! Obviously, you can't go wrong when you follow your DNA!