When most people start building a custom ride, they gather all sorts of information and sift through what's available in the automotive aftermarket to determine the best way to build the truck that suits them.

When James Demouy started working on his '01 Ford Sport Trac, however, there was nothing out there that he could use to help customize his ride. Parts for the sport-utility truck were so scarce that James had to custom-build just about every item that makes this vehicle look different from one you'd buy in a Ford showroom. Although this method of custom work made the truck very custom to be sure, it also made for a good year-and-a-half's worth of headaches for the owner, who couldn't wait to get his truck ready to show.

During the buildup phase, much of the work was left in the responsible hands of Chaotic Customs in Tomball, Texas. Almost every aspect of the project was handled by the shop, with the exception of the interior, which was done by James' wife Cathy, and the stereo system, which was expertly installed by Street Wheels. After Cathy finished working on the interior, James was incredibly eager to get the last few details of the Sport Trac worked out so he could start showing it. After taking the truck to its first few events last season, James realized that building something most people wouldn't think of as a custom is often more rewarding than building a truck that's closer to the mainstream. He's received plenty of adulation for his work on the Ford so far and has a few extra things he plans to have completed by the time people see the sport-utility truck again during the 2005 show season.

The Lowdown

Wheels/Tires 20x8-inch B. Coddington Cobra billet wheels with Kumho 245/35R19 radial tires

Suspension/Chassis Firestone air springs used at all four corners / Toxic shocks at all corners / relocated stock spindles for more suspension drop and better geometry / Ekstensiv Metal Works custom four-link rear suspension components / all suspension work performed by Rocky at Chaotic Customs in Tomball, Texas

Performance Flowmaster 2-inch muffler/ Flowmaster catalytic converter / high-performance computer-chip upgrade / custom air intake

Body Modifications 4-1/2-inch body drop by Chaotic Customs / shaved door handles / shaved and relocated tailgate handle / shaved roof-rack mounts / raised cowl in hood for body drop / Trenz billet grille / APC headlights / APC taillights

Paint House of Kolor Orange, Blue, and Purple by Max at Chaotic Customs

Interior Dash painted / leopard-print inserts / billet controls / tan carpeting / leopard-print headliner and upholstery / all interior work by Cathy Demouy

Stereo Alpine 8785 head unit / Alpine subwoofer enclosure for 10-inch Alpine subs under rear seats / Alpine 1,000-watt amplifier /Alpine 500-watt amplifier / 6-1/2-inch Alpine speakers in doors / 4-inch Alpine speakers in dash / Alpine 6-inch monitor / Alpine DVD player / installation by Street Wheels in Deerpark, Texas

Miscellaneous Details At the shows he's attended in Greenville (Showfest) and Austin (Texas Heat Wave), James managed to win First Place awards as well as Best of Show trophies

Special Thanks A debt of gratitude is due Cathy Demouy and James' parents for their enduring love and support (as well as Cathy's killer sewing and upholstery skillz )