OFF-ROAD KING

FORD F250 BLACK OPS

4 x 4 Australia - - Custom 4x4 Of The Year 2017 -

YEP, IT’S big, but if your plans in­clude ex­tended tour­ing, plus the abil­ity to tow a large car­a­van com­fort­ably, you want a size­able, self-con­tained rig – and this mon­ster lim­ited edi­tion Black Ops F250 (built by Us-based Tus­cany Mo­tor Co) fits that bill. When Si­mon, the owner, took de­liv­ery of the Black Ops F250 it was al­ready well kit­ted-out as ‘stan­dard’. A six-inch lift, twin steer­ing dampers, Road Ar­mor bull­bar, 20-inch rims run­ning 37-inch rub­ber, and an im­pos­ing black-on-black colour scheme mean this im­mense rig (it measures more than six me­tres in length) is fairly no­tice­able. Si­mon wanted to tweak a few things for tour­ing, so he ap­proached Luke and Re­becca at Out­back Cus­toms. The duo didn’t hold back – Luke and Re­becca reckon the huge tray setup is the big­gest they’ve ever built.

The process in­cluded fit­ment of a heavy-duty steel tray with im­proved de­par­ture an­gle and oo­dles of in­te­rior stor­age; the F250’s size al­lowed fit­ment of ad­di­tional stor­age ar­eas for­ward of the rear axle and there’s an ad­di­tional threequarter length trun­dle tray un­der­neath as well. Si­mon got clever with the two Jack­off canopies on the rear tray; be­ing in­de­pen­dent of each other, he can re­move one (or both) when he needs flat cargo space. The front canopy is split into two sec­tions, with an MSA drop-down fridge slide and 12V power on the pas­sen­ger side. Also in there are twin lithium bat­ter­ies and a Redarc man­age­ment sys­tem, plus a 1500W in­verter and iso­la­tor. And yes, there’s more – a gas hot-wa­ter sys­tem (with 12V pump) has been squeezed in, with a hose con­nect­ing to the un­der-tray 60-litre wa­ter tank. The driver’s side canopy is full of draw­ers and a bar­be­cue.

The rear cargo box is used for two full-size spares or lug­ging dogs, wet gear, etc. Up top Si­mon can switch be­tween a boat-loader and a James Baroud roof-top tent.

IF YOUR PLANS IN­CLUDE EX­TENDED TOUR­ING, THIS F250 FITS THAT BILL

With a rig of this size and weight, a top-notch sus­pen­sion sys­tem is a given; ad­justable Ride-rite air sus­pen­sion (cour­tesy of Out­back Cus­toms) com­bines with King shocks (fea­tur­ing a re­serve reser­voir) at the rear, while the front re­ceived King coil-overs with a re­mote reser­voir. The 20-inch wheelset orig­i­nally fit­ted was ditched in favour of 18-inch wheels and 37-inch rub­ber for a more com­pli­ant ride over rough tracks.

Add in the stealth blackout paint job (the F250 was also wrapped in-house with a vinyl wrap to match the powdercoated rear tray), a Baja De­signs slim-line LED light bar and Out­back Cus­tom rock-slid­ers to keep the be­he­moth’s belly out of harm’s way, and you have a se­ri­ously awe­some mo­bile out­back home.

There isn’t much this lim­ited edi­tion F250 isn’t good for in terms of the ul­ti­mate off-road ram raider.

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