Fam­ily Ad­ven­ture

LGE-CTS Cre­ates the First Off-Road-Ready ’18 Ex­pe­di­tion

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LGE-CTS cre­ates the first off-road–ready ’18 Ford Ex­pe­di­tion

When you build cus­tom ve­hi­cles for a liv­ing, you con­stantly have to set the bar higher and build some­thing to show off your skills, your prod­ucts, or, in this case, both. This ’18 Ford Ex­pe­di­tion was de­signed, built, and painted at LGECTS Mo­tor­sports in San Di­mas, Cal­i­for­nia, a fam­ily busi­ness helmed by Theresa Con­tr­eras, her sis­ter Sara Morosan, and their fa­ther Louie. They have put their cus­tom stamp on ev­ery­thing mo­tor­sports re­lated, in­clud­ing hot rods, mo­tor­cy­cles, lowrid­ers, mus­cle cars, and, of course, a lot of trucks. From laid-out show ve­hi­cles to off-road race rigs and ev­ery­thing in-be­tween, LGE-CTS Mo­tor­sports has been there—and built it. This project al­lowed the crew to show off their knowl­edge, de­sign abil­i­ties, and fabri­ca­tion work all in one build for the 2017 SEMA Show. Since the new Ex­pe­di­tion was a com­plete re­design from pre­vi­ous ver­sions, many prod­ucts used on it needed to be de­signed and fab­ri­cated without a tem­plate from which to work. These ini­tial one­off builds can be dif­fi­cult to de­velop, but the crew made it hap­pen and made it look good.

The first step in chang­ing the Ford was to mod­ify its fac­tory stance. LGE-CTS in­stalled an Icon Ve­hi­cle Dy­nam­ics 2.5-inch Stage 2 lift kit that was cus­tom built and de­signed us­ing this SUV as the pro­to­type for the kit, which will be in pro­duc­tion soon. It con­sists of 2.5-inch coilovers at all four cor­ners with re­mote reser­voirs and is equipped with CDC valves for 10 lev­els of com­pres­sion ad­justa­bil­ity. The front has a tubu­lar up­per arm with an Icon

Delta Joint. The truck re­ceived Hell­wig Prod­ucts sway bars to help not only with the sway when the truck is travers­ing paved and un­paved paths but also load con­trol to deal with the planned weight that would be added from ac­ces­sories.

Some of the im­me­di­ately no­tice­able changes on the Ex­pe­di­tion were to the ex­te­rior, which now has an ag­gres­sive yet un­der­stated ap­pear­ance. Theresa is a cus­tom painter first and fore­most, so she de­signed the lay­out of the paint scheme. She then worked with her team in their paint de­part­ment to spray the cus­tom mix of PPG Paint with the goal of high­light­ing the Ex­pe­di­tion in a few dif­fer­ent ways to make it pop. Be­sides the sub­tle blue base color, there are even more sub­tle shades of grays and blues used to ac­cen­tu­ate the body­lines down the sides of the SUV as well as on the hood and tail­gate. Gold pin­strip­ing was added, and many fac­tory trim pieces that might ap­pear stock were re­worked and coated in matte gray and black. At this point in the build, Theresa worked closely with her fa­ther Louie to de­sign and build all the one-off parts that would even­tu­ally be pro­duced for the com­pany’s Baja Forged prod­uct line. They cranked out a front bumper with a skid­plate, LED light­bar mount for the front bumper, rear bumper, roof rack, and fender flares coated in matte black paint. Top­ping off the roof rack is an ARB USA Rooftop Tent and Awning for those week­ends when they just want to get away and en­joy the land­scape.

Of all the cus­tom touches LGE-CTS does in-house, in­te­rior is not one of them. The crew turns to Ro­ge­lio’s Auto Uphol­stery in Bald­win Park when the time comes to make the in­side as cool as its out­ward ap­pear­ance. Theresa de­signs and dis­cusses each build with Ro­ge­lio to get on the same page re­gard­ing how she wants the over­all look. With all the fac­tory op­tions to­day, in­clud­ing heated seats and fac­tory airbags, the in­te­rior just needed some up­grades to make it stand out from a stock SUV. The fac­tory leather seats were mod­i­fied to in­clude blue and gray leather in­serts with yel­low/ gold stitch­ing. An ARB fridge/freezer combo unit was in­stalled in the back, and a cou­ple of ARB camp­ing chairs are avail­able for any po­ten­tial ad­ven­tures—which is what this Ford was built to do.

The Ex­pe­di­tion was a first-day de­but at the SEMA Show in Las Ve­gas in the

Ford main booth and re­ceived a Spe­cial Recog­ni­tion Award for Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment in De­sign from Ford. Ford then took it on tour to the L.A. and Detroit auto shows. Be­sides week­end ad­ven­tures to Death Val­ley and be­yond, the SUV is now used at lo­cal events to pro­mote LGE-CTS Mo­tor­sports while show­ing po­ten­tial clients what can be done for them.

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