It doesn't seem so long ago that all of us were staring at our television screens in sheer horror as we watched the tragic and gruesome events of September 11 unfold before our very eyes. While those senseless acts of violence and destruction were carried out with the intent of destroying and demoralizing our country and the American spirit, nothing could have been more misguided. In the days, months, and years following that terrible day, America and its people have become more united, stronger, and vigilant about their freedom and the justice that it takes to ensure it. For some, their personal acts of patriotism meant being kinder to their fellow Americans, while for others it meant flying the flag in front of their homes or placing a flag sticker on their car window. Then there's Peter Dufresne of Phoenix, who decided to dedicate the buildup of his brand-new truck to the American spirit. His truck of choice? An American-made '01 Ford F-350 Crew Cab 4x4 Super Duty.
Using the same pride and hard work ethic this country was founded on, Peter wasted no time in creating a blueprint for his soon-to-be masterpiece. Symbolizing the dominance and strength of this great country, Peter knew he had to go big on the suspension's lift. The crew at Valley Spring in Phoenix was tasked with fabricating the custom 20-inch lift system. To achieve the desired height and still retain some level of ride quality, custom-packed and -arched 18-inch springs were fit atop both front and rear axles. An additional 4 inches were achieved through the creation of custom spring hangers. With such an extreme amount of lift, a set of custom-fabricated lateral traction bars was created, along with custom 4130 chrome-moly tube shock hoops in the front. The ride is similar to that of floating on air, thanks to the more than 24 3-inch-bodied, 24-inch-long brushed-aluminum Doetsch Enterprises shocks residing at the corners. Turning the massive 21/44x16.5 Trxus STS tires wrapped around 16.5x14-inch Weld Mountain Crushers is no easy task, which explains the custom crossover steering system and stabilizers.
Standing as proud and nearly as high as Old Glory, the next phase of the build was to create an awe-inspiring set of graphics that would make everyone stop and reflect on the imagery plastered across the vast majority of the truck's front end and sides. To create this response, The Paint Shop in Phoenix was brought on board. After several weeks and hundreds of sheets of drafting paper, the team created the Stars and Stripes graphic that's seen today. Prior to the application of the design, a pair of Bushwacker fender flares was installed to help cover the width of the massive tires. The entire truck, including fender flares and door handles, was primed and painted with PPG White Pearl paint, which served as the foundation for the flamed graphics. House of Color's Red and Blue Pearl paints, which actually include ground mother-of-pearl, were laid down over the front and sides of the rig. When completed, more than 225 man-hours and 17 days had been invested in the paint, which doesn't include reassembly of the front and rear bumpers, trim pieces, or billet grille insert.