KC HILITES BLOG
All New 2017 Ford Raptor Pre-Runner with KC’s Gravity LED Pro6 Light Bar at SEMA
We are proud to have KC’s Gravity LED Pro6 LED Light Bar featured at the 2016 SEMA show on Ford’s all new 2nd generation Raptor, read about the full build below.
Each fall, the SEMA Show plays host to some of the most exciting custom cars on the planet. You’ll find gold-plated lowriders, flame-spitting 4x4s, tricked-out late model SUVs, and 1,000-hp restomods. No matter what you’re into, there’s always something new under the lights of the Las Vegas Convention Center. One of the most popular vehicles at this year’s show was a custom 2017 Ford Raptor prerunner, built by 22 year-old race truck driver, Brad Deberti. This matte-black supertruck made headlines because it’s literally the first custom 2017 Raptor to be built. Full-scale production of Ford’s redesigned dune jumper just started in November, and they won’t hit showrooms until January. But this aspiring car builder managed to get one of the first 2nd-gen Raptors to roll out of the Dearborn Truck Plant. Along with a load of other mods, he fitted it with a custom K&N intake and turned it into a 500+ horsepower monster.
In order to grasp the details of the street-legal race truck, you have to know a little bit about its builder. Brad’s father, Doug DeBerti, started his automotive career over 30 years ago, and he’s now a well-known figure in the custom car world. Over the years, he’s built 10 award-winning SEMA show trucks for Ford, he’s designed and manufactured parts for Toyota TRD, GMC, Ford, and Chevrolet catalogs, he did logo prototyping for the Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Edition, and Doug even makes all of the Superman steering wheels and emblems for Shaquille O’Neal’s cars.
Although his company, DeBerti Designs, has been extremely successful, son Brad didn’t grow up like a spoiled kid. This is partly due to a very important rule that Doug enforced: “No video games and no TV if it’s daylight. If the sun’s up, get outside and do something.” So instead of wasting the day being entertained by the latest digital distractions, Brad spent all of his free time turning wrenches with his dad. This is how he learned about cars, business, and the value of hard work.
These lessons would prove invaluable when Brad started driving Pro Lite trucks in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, where he won his first two races in spectacular fashion, and continues to dominate the field to this day. But unlike many drivers, Brad DeBerti works on and preps his race trucks, by himself. “I like my stuff perfect, and I don’t really trust anyone else. Never had a mechanical failure in 2 years.” All his hard work eventually got noticed by Edsel Ford, who took an interest in the young driver and began reviewing the race reports for Brad’s Ford-bodied Pro Lite truck, personally.
So when the young phenom came up with the idea to build an F-150-based luxury off-road race truck for the 2016 SEMA Show, he decided to gamble on his notoriety and pitch the idea to Ford. This could’ve gone either way, because his father Doug had retired from show car building several years earlier, and everybody knew the prerunner project would be Brad’s baby from start to finish. But as luck would have it, Ford called a couple days later and said “sure, but would you mind building a 2017 Raptor instead?”. As it turns out, Ford’s SVT division had never displayed a Raptor at SEMA, and Brad’s concept would be the perfect way to garner some attention for their upcoming ‘desert stormer’. Elated at the opportunity, Brad set about adjusting his original design to suit the new Raptor.
When the black 2017 Ford Raptor SuperCrew finally arrived from Dearborn, Brad would have just 6 weeks to get it ready to display in the Ford booth at SEMA. So after doing a righteous burnout, he pulled the truck into the shop, removed the bed, and immediately lobbed-off the back half of the frame with a sawzall. He had FMI develop the complete race chassis and suspension in CAD, so the next step was to gut the entire truck and begin the arduous task of creating the one-off tube chassis and integrated roll bar.
To maintain stability after landing a jump, the overall width of the truck needed to grow to 100-inches in order to accommodate 19-in of suspension travel in the front, and 25-inches in the rear. After adding 3-inches to both sides of each axle, dual-bypass Fox Racing shocks were installed, along with a set of multi-compression rate coil springs in the front, and larger custom-made coil springs in the rear. In fact, nearly every piece of the suspension had to be custom made or modified.
To cover those huge BFG tires, Brad utilized his father’s prototyping expertise to create custom fenders that extended 4-in from the body, while maintaining the factory look. Brad said “The whole point of the truck was to make it look like Ford built it”. And at first glance, the truck does appear almost stock. Until you realize the sheer size of this thing. Other giveaways include the two fullsize spare tires strapped to the back, the three 12-in Kicker subwoofers and 3.5-ton hydraulic jack mounted in the bed, and the row of KC lights perched above the windshield.
Read the full article at K&N Filters Website