"Take your time, and screw what everyone else thinks," comments Robert Southerland about the insight he's taken away from the experience of building his first full-custom vehicle. "I've always loved minitrucks, even before I could drive, but then I lost track of things for a few years."

Robert isn't club affiliated, and with the exception of a little help from his buddies, he single-handedly cut into his factory-fashioned 11-year-old truck with only one goal in mind—to make it look like the image he crafted of it in his brain. Simple enough, right? Well, the sentiment is spot on, but physically accomplishing that task proved to be the tough part. "I lowered the truck three different times before 'bagging it. I shaved the body and rocked it in primer for a while before performing more bodywork. The interior came along, followed by little odds and ends to clean it up, and lastly, I Z'd the frame 2 ¼ inches, which should've been one of the first steps. I wish I would've stock-floor bodydropped it too, but I'm still not done with it."

By now, you should get the impression that Robert is a regular dude who wanted something more for his Ford. Not having a deep bankroll or a list of sponsors meant he had to dig deep in his gut and wallet to get what he wanted. "I don't plan to stop with this truck. I want to haul the family in it and hit as many shows as I can."

Take your time, and screw what everyone else thinks

Owner: Robert Southerland
Ride: 1999 Ford Ranger
Hometown: Council Bluffs, IA

The Lowdown

Wheels: 18x8 Center Line Edge Millennium Series
Tires: 225/45/18 Riken Raptor

Chassis Modifications
Suspension (front): Suicidedoors 'bag cups, Air Lift Dominator 2,500 'bags
Suspension (rear): Suicidedoors triangulated four-link with Air Lift Dominator 2,500 'bags on bars
Control Arms: DJM
Shocks: Monroe
Compressor(s): Two Viair 380s, one York 210 EDC
Air/hydro Accessories: 3/8-inch SMC valves
Frame Mods: Z'd 2 1/4 inches, boxed from the cab back
Misc.: 15-gallon Jegs aluminum fuel cell
Performed By: Owner

Body Modifications
Shaved: Door handles, gas door, cab seams, third brakelight, fenders, mud flap holes, cowl and wipers, antenna, firewall
Body Mods: Frenched license plate, framehorns raised 1 inch and sectioned 1 1/2 inches
Bolt-ons: Handmade billet steps, '06 Ranger taillights
Misc.: Bed caps smoothed and painted, bed floor raised 6 inches
Performed By: Owner

Paint
Brand & Colors: PPG Deltron Bright Atlantic Blue
Performed By: Jesus Tirado, owner

Interior
Seats: Pontiac G6
Dash: Shaved, smooth, and painted
Gauges: White Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Misc.: Door panels painted, handmade 1/2-inch tube center console
Performed By: Owner

Stereo
Head Unit: Pioneer
Mids & Highs: Kicker 5-1/2-inch components
Subwoofers: Kicker 10-inch Solo-Baric L7
Amplifiers: Alpine
Misc.: Custom-ported box
Performed By: Owner

Engine/Performance
Engine: Stock 2.5L
Intake: Handmade SS with K&N filter
Header/exhaust: Dumped before axle
Misc.: Two DieHard cells, trailer fenders under hood
Performed By: Owner

Special Thanks From Owner
"Thanks to my wife Rachel and daughters Olivia and Sophia. I love you guys! Jeremy Roseland for an extra hand or opinion when I needed it, everyone else who lent a hand, Jesus Tirado, and to all the guys who are building crazy trucks at home in small garages while working regular jobs and taking care of their families."