First Look at MRT Ford F 350 for SEMA

Although Mustang Racing Technologies cut its teeth on – get this – Mustangs, the custom design and fabrication firm is busy prepping a 2008 Ford F-350 for the 2008 SEMA show.

Its theme?; Well, we weren’t informed of the official name, but by a quick look at the various painted parts scattered around the build shop, it’s not hard to guess what Scott Hoag, owner of MRT, had in mind.

“This truck is made in America, by Americans,” Hoag said, “and it’s built so Americans can both work hard and play hard.”

By that, Hoag says he envisioned an F-350 that could perform not only as a dedicated work truck, but also as a weekend plaything.; As a result, you’re not going to see MRT produce a pickup that’s been SkyJacked into the stratosphere – such a truck may be fun to build, but it may not cut it at the job site.

“If you’re talking about functionality,” said Hoag, “then that rules out the giant lift kits.; You need contractors to have easy bed access; you need to be able to easily enter and exit the cab, and I certainly don’t want to use a drop-down hitch to pull a trailer.”

Instead, MRT’s relegated its wildest customization (aside from the paint) to the bed.; Starting with a stock Super Duty box, engineers cut along the inner seams and along the outer sheetmetal stampings, allowing two side-mounted cargo boxes to be fabricated.; Though similar boxes have been offered through the aftermarket, none retain the stock appearance like MRT’s design – which is expected to go on sale by the first quarter of 2009.

Hoag promises some additional functionality with Ford’s novel WorkSolutions in-cab PC, but during our visit, the MRT team was getting ready to tinker with the truck’s 6.4-liter PowerStroke twin-turbocharged diesel V-8.; Modifications won’t occur to the engine itself, but to its intake and exhaust systems.; MRT plans to scrap the diesel particulate filter for a custom airbox and tuning chip – the combination reportedly offering clean emissions but with better fuel economy.

We’ll see how that pans out, as we plan on swinging by the MRT shops over the next few weeks to document their build progress.; Stay with Automobile Magazine for the latest news and happenings surrounding the 2008 SEMA show.