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WORDS: KRISTIE REAL | PHOTOS: DALE MARTIN | @DMARTY78

 

Not every SEMA-level truck needs an over-the-top-themed storyline to capture the attention of a wide audience. In fact, some trucks destined to debut under the bright lights of Vegas don’t even start as extensive project vehicles. When we met Brandon Wingard and saw his larger-than-life 2018 Ford F350 Platinum edition pickup, he was more than excited to break down the story of the truck’s very modest beginning and its rise to the top. “When I bought this truck, brand new, in 2018, I had no intentions of building into what it is today”, Brandon admits. “Then, an idea came from nowhere to build the truck using nothing but aftermarket products that were built solely in the USA. When I purchased the truck, I felt that Ford was the last truly American automotive company utilizing union labor. This was enough to fuel my idea for the build.”

With that spark of patriotic inspiration, Brandon began researching the modifications he wanted to see done to his F350 and then narrowed down his search to American-made products. “This proved very difficult as many companies have outsourced materials, assembly, production, etc.,” Brandon says. “I wanted to prove that quality parts can be sourced here in the USA, as well as bring attention to the ‘little guy’ shops who are proud to put that label on their products and fly the colors of this country.” To kick off the build, Brandon sought the
help of Stryker Off Road Design located in Marysville, TN, to begin the talks of running their impressive Identity Series 16”-22” lift kit. There are absolutely no shortcuts taken with this package that includes front and rear 4-link systems, as well as bulletproof, fully powder-coated suspension components that would soonturn Brandon’s factory F350 into a literal tank of a truck. Fully customizable SORD hydraulic coilovers were also thrown into the mix for an even more impressive ride quality. To equal out the huge gain in stature, 28×16 TIS Forged wheels and 44×19.50R28 Interco TSL Bogger Super Swamper tires were mated to complete the Ford’s intimidating new stance. Next, Brandon wanted to change the attitude of the F350’s exterior to match its recent aggressive suspension upgrades. Although the factory burgundy paint was nice and clean, it just wasn’t going to cut it for the type of attention Brandon was going for. Nothing but proud red, white and blue American flag-themed graphics would do for this 1-ton patriot. To add to that truck’s rugged landscape, DB Customz Fab created a one-off custom grille design featuring a raised nameplate emblazoned with the word ‘Patriot’ that simply cannot be missed. The grille also features halo backlighting for a stunning nighttime effect.

Other lighting upgrades include customized headlights and taillights by Supreme Retroz, two 30” curved LED light bars and six Quattro LED pod lights from Heretic Studios, and a whole bunch of rock lights from C4 Off Road for reliable illumination through the darkest of night. Brandon then swapped out the factory bumpers for Steel Demon Series heavy-duty front and rear bumpers from Flog Industries, which played a huge part in the transformation of the Ford’s outer façade. Even the interior received a healthy upgrade with color-matched Roadwire leather seat covers. From every angle, this F350 screams its prideful patriotism loud enough for all to hear!

Even though an unforeseen driveshaft issue while en route to the SEMA event kept Brandon’s Ford from rolling into the big show, he still has zero regrets about the experience he’s had so far with this build. “I guess I have an old-fashioned mindset that you should drive what you build, but even though the truck didn’t officially make through the gate to SEMA, I can honestly say that I have driven it across the country five times now as a full-scale build,” Brandon says. They say that purchasing a vehicle is not
a sound investment, but for Brandon, the decision to go all the way with his truck has paid off in many ways. “I’ve learned the value of friendships and networking with talented like-minded folks out there. Also, it gave me a great opportunity to spend a lot of time with my late stepfather Phil Allen Luckert who helped me make it over a lot of hurdles during the process. The sentimental value attached to this project for me far outweighs any amount of monetary return I could ever hope to earn through it.”

2018 FORD F-350 THE PATRIOT

WHEELS/TIRES

• 28×16 TIS Forged F533 wheels w/ Venum Wheel 6” spiked lug nuts
• 44×19.50R28 Interco TSL Bogger Super Swamper tires
SUSPENSION
Stryker Off Road Design Identity Series 16”-22” lift kit and SORD Performance hydraulic coilovers
PERFORMANCE
• Zero Tolerance Diesel 150HP tune w/ full emissions delete
• Swanky Steel War Torn exhaust tip
• R1 Concepts rotors
EXTERIOR/ARMOR
• Flog Industries Steel Demon Series heavy-duty bumpers front and rear w/ Tugz tow hooks
• Rhino Hitch 19” drop w/ Convert-A-Ball
• DB Customz Fab one-off custom design grille w/ raised
‘Patriot’ nameplate and halo backlighting
• Ram air hood / Fibertec Performance fiberglass ported hood
• Mirrors painted to match Custom ‘Platinum 1 Ton’ LED backlit badges by Main Event Emblems
• Mag Hytec diff cover
LIGHTING
Factory headlights and taillights custom painted by Supreme Retroz
• 2 Heretic Studios 30” curved LED light bars
• 6 Quattro LED pods (four up front, two at rear)
• C4 Off Road Land Mine Plus RGBW rock lights
INTERIOR
Roadwire leather interiors custom color-matched seats
INFOTAINMENT/ELECTRONICS
HornBlasters 544 Nightmare XL edition train horn w/ six-horn upgrade
SOURCES:
STRYKERORDESIGN | @STRYKEROFFROADDESIGN @1TON_PATRIOT