Custom 2017 F-150 Is Ready to Steal the Spotlight at SEMA

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Ford - SEMA

Country’s largest auto parts retailer, AutoNation, plans to make a new Ford truck the star of SEMA. We have no problem with that.

It’s that time of year again. Pumpkin spice everything is once more on the menu of every coffee shop and restaurant in town. The leaves are beginning to change colors. The air is getting cooler. Most importantly to car lovers, it’s also time for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, which is happening from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3.

The show floor will be packed with booths featuring aftermarket performance parts; cosmetic add-ons and upgrades; and wildly tricked-out custom vehicles. Ford Mustangs and F-150s are always a big hit at the show. Florida-based mega-retailer AutoNation is well aware of this, which is why it’s extensively modifying one of the Blue Oval’s half-ton pickups to show off at the event. And when you’re the largest automotive retailer in the U.S., you pretty much have every conceivable modification at your fingertips. So, we’re really excited to see the results of this promising F-150 project that we spotted on the company’s blog.

AutoNation chose a Shadow Black 2017 F-150 with the STX and XL Sport Appearance packages as a starting point. Power comes from the potent 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. To get the rig ready for the big event in Sin City, AutoNation has partnered with a variety of specialty vendors, including Auto Gear and Flat 12 Gallery, which is giving the truck a total visual overhaul. The F-150 is fully wrapped and once Flat 12 Gallery is done working its magic, the wrap will be completely covered in hand-drawn artwork.

Graphics is not the only item to be crossed off of the to-do list for this build. It wouldn’t be a SEMA exhibit if it still had its stock wheels, so AutoNation is going to swap out the standard units for a set of 20-inch Grid GD03 rims. Those will fit nicely under the 3.5-inch lift that the F-150 will eventually be rocking.

There are even more mods to go, and AutoNation will reveal them this week. So, if you plan on being in Las Vegas, you can see the full results at SEMA.

And if you are going to be at SEMA, come party with Internet Brands’ Auto Content team from sites like F-150 Online, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Honda-Tech, and Corvette Forum! We are celebrating the success of our brother site Rennlist‘s successful Porsche resto, #ProjectStork, and are inviting fans to join us for an opportunity to stop by for a few drinks, hang out with fellow auto enthusiasts from around the country, meet #ProjectDStork master mind and award-winning auto journalist Manuel Carrillo III, and enter to win very cool prizes from top auto brands.

To enter for a chance to attend the Rennlist SEMA Happy Hour, simply tweet @RennlistForums with #ProjectStork any time between now and Nov. 1, and you may soon be joining us for some free drinks and prizes with fellow enthusiasts! You will also get a chance to participate in our Facebook Live video on Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m. (PT). Get more details at

The #ProjectStork multi-episode restoration series documents the rebirth of the 1977 Porsche 911 S that brought popular automotive journalist-editor and TeamSpeed and JK-Forum editor Manuel Carrillo III home from the hospital after he was born. After 15 years of gathering dust in his mother’s garage, he’s working with some of the world’s greatest brands like Haynes, BorlaYokohamaECS Tuning, and Performance Developments to transform his family heirloom into the dream car he’s always imagined it could be. Meet Manuel at our SEMA Happy Hour and share a toast with us!

Tweet @RennlistForums with #ProjectStork now!

Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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