Throughout the ages, superheros have existed in the lives of many young men and women. With these superheros came fantasy lives, villains, and yes, cool crime-fighting equipment. One of the coolest superheros to date was the Green Hornet, not just because he had Bruce Lee (Kato) as his sidekick, but because he drove his trusted Black Beauty, one of the baddest '66 Chrysler Imperials to ever touch blacktop. If the Green Hornet had been behind the wheel of a truck, we think it might have resembled Ricky Monjaraz's stunning black-and-green '02 Ford Super Duty 4X4 F-350 truck, which he purchased new and built for the purpose of garnering attention for not only himself, but for some of today's leading aftermarket manufacturers. For the Paramount, California-based vice president of RSI Designs, an ATV accessory company, there was no better venue than this lifted Ford.
Over the course of an eight-month period, virtually every inch of the vehicle received some level of customization. The largest and most noticeable transformation, however, was centered on the vehicle's suspension. Knowing that the bigger the truck, the more eyes would be laid upon it, Ricky enlisted the help of the world-renowned extreme-lift specialists at Twisted Suspensions of Fresno, California, for their advice. Once the enormous 21/44x17 Super Swamper Trxus STS rubber and custom 17x17-inch Weld Racing Stone Crusher polished wheels were selected, the Twisted crew proceeded to install its 16-inch suspension system both front and rear. Given such an extreme amount of lift, special precautions were taken to strengthen the stock frame and front crossmembers. The 16-inch leaf springs were attached to the frame at all four corners by custom-fabricated and -strengthened shackles, which help to reduce the amount of arch the springs must conform to. This reduction lends an improved quality of ride to the truck, while still retaining that high-in-the-sky look. As if the tires didn't already float across the pavement, dual 2.5x40-inch Fox Racing shocks with reservoirs were installed at each corner. The custom front shock hoops were fabricated from 4130 chrome-moly tubing.
The stock steering components were strengthened in preparation for their heavier-than-normal duty. The front steering stabilizer was replaced with a custom-valved unit so that heat-induced fading wouldn't become an issue. Not quite content with the rig's massive 7.3L Power Stroke diesel, Ricky installed Bully Dog Performance's 4-inch stainless-steel exhaust system for some added horsepower. The stock 4.56 front and rear ring-and-pinion gears were swapped out for units measuring 5.20, courtesy of Twisted Suspension. To reduce the stress that was about to be placed on the transmission and to increase shifting points, a Transmission Masters shift kit was installed in the stock automatic unit. Dual Optima Yellow Top batteries guarantee easy starting every time. Once he had the rig at its proper cruising elevation, Ricky turned his focus to the exterior. Already coated in a tuxedo-black skin, Ricky had his rig tattooed with custom House of Kolor Mint Green Pearl tribal flames, which were conceptualized, hand-drawn, and painted by Ramzey's Auto Body in Fresno, California. Everything from the front bumper cover to the front and rear axles, including the spring packs, was doused with the green mix. To add contrast to some of the color-matched components, key suspension items, such as the crossmembers, shackles, and shock bodies, were custom-polished. Completing the mean-looking exterior is a themed DJ Motorsports stainless-steel tribal grille, APC taillights, and custom-lengthened Kodiak Sidewinder steps. Upon opening any of the four doors, it appears that a continual party is always going on inside the rig's cabin. Looking more like the dcor from a Hollywood night club than a Ford Super Duty, the mind begins to wonder amidst the yards from custom Renegade Seats of Phoenix, with tribal-stitched black ostrich skins and green, gold, and silver leather, not to mention the carbon-fiber inserts placed throughout. Things didn't stop at just the lower half of the interior, though. One look up at the custom-stitched leather checkered racing flag and three-dimensional flamed headliner alerts occupants that this is definitely the place to be while driving around town, and that's way before the fiber-optic green light show kicks in, bouncing off the dashboard, windshield, and other occupants. Rounding out the interior's tribal-flame theme is a pair of Nu Image billet A/C unit knobs.
All Wired Up of Colton, California, installed the plethora of Audiobahn equipment, which includes three 10-inch subs that have been mounted behind the rear bench, more than 1,300 watts of amplification, and two sets of the company's high-end separate speakers, which replaced the factory units in the door panels. Driving these components is a Performance Techniques in-dash DVD player paired with a visor-mounted 6-inch monitor and headrest-mounted 6-inch MicroVision monitors. For those especially long hauls, a PlayStation 2 was installed. With only two shows under his belt, Ricky and his Green Hornet have managed to garner one First Place finish so far. If this is any prediction of what the future holds for these two, we think Ricky will be a very happy man. Possibly the strangest twist to this story is that for years, Ricky was an enthusiast of lowered vehicles and wouldn't even think of owning a lifted truck. Like we said in the opening lines, it's all about perception.
|Owner/hometown ||Ricky Monjaraz/Paramount, California |
|Year/make/model || '02 Ford F-350 Super Duty 4x4 |
|Suspension ||16-inch Twisted Suspension extreme lift |
|(front and rear) |
|Tires ||22/44x17 Super Swamper Trxus STS |
|Wheels ||17x17-inch Weld Racing Stone Crushers |
|Shocks ||2-1/2-inch King Racing reservoir shocks |
|(front and rear) |
|Engine ||Ford 7.3L Power Stroke diesel |
|Other modifications ||Custom 4-inch Bully Dog exhaust, custom |
|audio/video system, Offroad Unlimited satin rear |
|differential cover, custom graphics, APC taillights |
|and side markers, Kodiak Sidewinder steps |