HOW DOES YOUR TRUCK STACK UP AGAINST A MCLAREN?
How does your truck stack up against a McLaren?
THEREÕS AN old adage that warns against too many cooks spoiling the broth. It predicts a less than satisfactory outcome when multiple hands are involved. While that might be good advice in the kitchen, the opposite is true when it comes to automotive customizing. Assemble a crew of experts, create a central theme, and turn them loose so each can infuse his specialty into the project.
Adam Pela and his team at Pela Motorsports in Jupiter, Florida, have been doing just that—creating rolling works of automotive art—for more than 15 years. Specializing in high-performance diesel trucks, their builds are featured in magazines and showcased annually at SEMA.
The second important element in the customizing process is an enthusiast with strong creative ideas, as well as an equally stout checkbook. Enter Peter DeGeorge, an entrepreneur who is also from Jupiter. Peter has an amazing collection of high-performance vehicles, and when it was time to expand the mix, he had some unusual guidance for Adam. One of the cars in Peter’s garage is a McLaren 570S. When he showed up with his ’12 Ford F-250, the plan was to completely redo the truck from scratch, tear it down to the frame and rebuild it, then make it perform like his McLaren. Adam and his crew
smiled at the comparison, then realized he was serious. Since the team not only takes pride in building performance vehicles but also designing unique components to launch them to a new level, it took just a moment before they were up for the challenge. There were just a couple of key stipulations to the build, beginning with an obviously serious amount of horsepower, a smooth, lifted ride, and big, 40-inch tires.
With a truck build, since a firm foundation is the key to everything that follows, Peter’s F-250 was stripped and the bare frame painted satin black. Adam and his team created an upgrade list that was a blend of the latest aftermarket equipment, choosing each component carefully in order to walk the line between necessary stiffness for performance, and everyday ride comfort. Designed by One Up Offroad, the 10-inch lift kit uses radiusarm four-links front and rear and 10-inch King Off-Road Racing Shocks bypass coilover shocks on each corner. Both axles are fitted with custom alloy shafts and 4.88 gears. A heavy-duty– splined antiroll bar from Overtime CNC Performance ensures flat cornering, and since steering precision is often lost when lift and oversize tires join forces, King’s dual off-road steering stabilizer keeps the big rig on the straight and narrow.
Top-level brakes are always crucial to balanced performance, so stopping power is guaranteed thanks to pizza-sized, Wilwood 16- inch disc brakes and six-piston calipers. Finally, everyone agrees that wheels can make or break a ride, so huge 24x14 American Force Concave series wheels are the right choice to accommodate the demands of a powerful engine and achieve the “tall sports car” handling goal. The custom Blue Metallic painted rims are engraved with a “Rebel Edition” logo and fitted with 40-inch
Toyo Open Country M/T rubber.
Once the chassis elements were complete, the team took on one of the biggest challenges of the build: raising the performance bar. This effort began with balancing and blueprinting the 6.7L Power Stroke engine. Big horsepower goals meant reinforced internals that start with a custom-ground crankshaft with a welded camshaft gear, coated and valve-relieved stock pistons, Carrillo connecting rods, Elite Diesel Engineering five-axis, CNCported cylinder heads, and Stage 2 billet cam. Aspiration is critical when four-digit-horsepower numbers are on the wish list, so two Bullseye Power TCT turbochargers highlight the engine’s intake strategy, using a Griffin Thermal Products air-to-air intercooler to ensure a dense charge. Designed and fabricated by Pusher Intakes, the compound-turbo setup uses a 66mm BorgWarner S366
with a 4-inch inlet for quicker spooling, augmented with a larger 83mm S483 and 5.5-inch inlet for added boost.
Exergy Performance 100-percent-over injectors follow the turbos as part of a fuel system that also features dual 10mm Stroker Scorpion CP4.2 injection pumps, each rated at 800 hp. The custom aluminum fuel tank under the truck and the Transfer Flow auxiliary tank in the bed feeds the thirsty engine and doubles the F-250’s mileage range. Pela Motorsports ceramic coated all the exhaust components, including the manifolds and 5-inch stainless steel system. The final performance step was safeguarding all the heat-susceptible parts using Elite Diesel Engineering’s H13 high-performance oil pump, a Mishimoto radiator, and Griffin aluminum coolers located under bed for the return fuel and transmission fluids.
The collection of fuel system and turbo upgrades means the engine is estimated at more than 1,000 hp and 1,800 lb-ft of torque. The impressive grunt makes its way rearward, thanks to the Snyder Performance Engineering automatic transmission with increased clutches, internal mods, and billet triple-disc converter.
With the home stretch almost in sight, the collection of interactive upgrades was a massive undertaking. “This truck has so many custom details that it took more than a year to build. It includes a list of components and modifications so long that it would make a good novel,” Adam says.
The truck is actually a ’12 model but has been transformed into a ’14 F-250 Platinum edition through external additions that include a FiberwerX carbon-fiber hood, Overkill Fabrication grille with Rebel Punisher skull, Rigid LED lightbars, Plan B Fab custom front and rear bumpers, and a Pace Edwards electric tonneau cover. Ideal Body Shop in Jupiter sprayed the body Metallic Gray with Metallic Blue accents and Satin Black frame.
The final leg of the build focused on the interior, beginning with modern electronic upgrades that include Ford’s SYNC AppLink, which allows the driver to use voice commands and steering wheel buttons to operate apps on a smartphone without fumbling with the phone itself, and a RideController Pro Bluetooth iPad control system to manage all the accessories. Adding to the fun on road trips is the full complement of JL Audio amps and electronics located behind the rear bench seat, delivering power to the eight JL Audio speakers positioned throughout the cab. Three Braille batteries and a 250 DC Power Engineering alternator ensure there is adequate power. Carbon-fiber Hydrodip accents appear throughout the interior as well as on the turbo components. For a little extra fun and to clear morning traffic, dual Zenith air compressors power a set of Nathan AirChime train horns.
The completed truck is an engineering marvel and a joy to drive, but it has not yet been pitted against Peter’s McLaren.
The heart of this rig is its high-performance 6.7L Power Stroke engine, upgraded with all-new internals, a pair of Bullseye Power TCT turbochargers, Griffin Thermal Products intercooler, and custom exhaust. It all makes for a combination that’s good for more than 1,000 hp.
Tight confines means careful plumbing to ensure the turbos function with maximum efficiency. Powdercoated and insulated ductwork snakes through every available opening in the engine compartment.
It’s plush inside, thanks to a ’14 Ford Platinum-edition seat upgrade, augmented with modern electronics that include a SYNC head unit, JLAudio amps and eight speakers, and a RideController Pro iPad control system for the accessories.
Everything up front is custom, beginning with the Overkill Fabrication grille, Rigid LED lightbars, Plan B Fabrication bumpers, and the sinister Punisher skull.
The powdercoated blue additions to the radius-arm four-link up front include the 10-inch lift kit, King Off-Road Racing Shocks dual steering stabilizer, and 10-inch bypass coilovers. Mag-Hytec differential covers provide increased lubricant and cooling capacity.
The One Up Offroad radius arms hold a stock axle that is upgraded with custom alloy shafts and 4.88 gears. The splined antiroll bar from Overtime CNC Performance minimizes lean in the corners.
Lifted high enough so spectators can see the sophisticated suspension upgrades, the F-250 uses powdercoated, radius-arm four-links front and rear.
Concealed inside the Pela Motorsports crest, the rearview camera is one of many modern upgrades. LED rear lightbars and the trailer hitch add to the truck’s capabilities.
Sprayed with bedliner, the bed holds the Transfer Flow auxiliary gas tank that ensures the thirsty compound-turbocharged 6.7L Power Stroke engine always has a solid source of fuel. The bed contents are protected by the electric Pace Edwards tonneau cover.
Painted a rich Metallic Blue, the 24x14 American Force Concave Series wheels sport “Rebel Edition” logos and are fitted with 40inch Toyo Open Country M/T tires.