Photography: Steve Temple
Reprint from Diesel Power Magazine, Spring 2005
A 6-inch Warner’s Performance exhaust system adds a powerful tone to the mix and serves to both dispel exhaust and add a few additional ponies.
WE LOVE DIESELS. Sure, they’re big and awkward, but man, talk about torque. Hitch up a turbodiesel F-350 to a four-story condo, and this hulking rig would hardly know that anything was back there.
As for exhaust’s heavy notes, diehard diesel fans know that the decibel level is just part of the appeal. Onlookers, alerted by the deep staccato rumble of the Power Stroke V-8, rising and falling as the driver works rhythmically through the gears, feel the ground tremble in advance of its approach. It’s reminiscent of the T-Rex scene in Jurasic Park—the rumble of footsteps signaling the creature’s presence. Only, the King of the Road F-350 goes one step farther. Anyone who doesn’t notice that you’ve arrived is probably comatose.
And who could miss this bold, golden streak of steel and chrome as it flashes by on its way to its next adventure? Like the Ford Mighty Tonka F-350 project vehicle that inspired the King’s creation, there’s
nothing subtle here. Its House of Kolor Golden Sunrise Pearl paint is brilliant. And nothing can deter this King Kong on wheels from its course. It’s a great wooly mammoth, Leviathan, and Goliath all rolled into one big hulk of
A speaker box and speakers from Power Audio definitely give the sound system a boost.
Created by Performance West Group, the King of the Road started life as an ’03 Ford F-350 Super Duty 1-ton dualie 4×4, equipped with the new 6.oL Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel. Then it kept on growing and growing.
At its core, this bad boy bristles with the kind of power that shakes the asphalt like an earthquake. As diesel owners already know, that horsepower figure is just the top of the iceberg. Yes, the F-350’s powerplant packs a wallop with 325 stallions, but at just 2,000 rpm, those Clydesdales grunt out 560 lb-ft of torque. That’s almost inconceivable. At just a whisper above idle, the King can clean-break more than 10 tons of rolling weight.
As if the King wasn’t already conspicuous enough, the throbbing pulse of the forced-induction diesel reverberates through massive, mirror-like chromed dual-side exhausts measuring a full 6 inches in diameter. Running the length of the Ford 1-ton, these huge versions of a Shelby Cobra’s side pipes reflect the scenery as it flies past. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to switch off those giant pipe organs when you order at the drive-through.
To divvy up the powerband with precision, the slick six-speed manual transmission features a Gear Vendors Overdrive that splits the shift points, providing 11 (yes, 11) forward speeds. That means no lurching or chugging, just seamless transitions. With the ability to select the exact rev range for steep grades or fuel-efficient cruising at high speed, the King’s pilot is in total control. The extra notches in the gear selector also greatly enhance towing, allowing drivers to effortlessly haul a World Cup Challenge boat, the most luxurious camper, or a trailer loaded with a herd of horsesâ€”all without breaking a sweat.
The 6-pL Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel is beefed up by an aftermarket exhaust, further enhancing its 325hp, 560 lb-ft performance.
6. Katzkin leather adds a comfortable and durable ambience to the interior.
8. A gear splitter from Gear Vendors gives the King of the Road access to 11 gears.
The rolling stock consists of 19.5-inch Rickson Truck Accessories forged wheels wrapped by Goodyear rubber.
Also enhancing the King’s towing ability is Valley Hitch’s new Under-bed Fifth Wheel System. Conventional bracing for fifth wheels traditionally renders the bed nearly unusable. In contrast, the Valley Hitch system relocates the bracing underneath the frame, leaving a clean 8-foot bed for cargo when the fifth wheel is removed. Offering practical protection for the bed and its contents is the new Wabasto Power Tonneau cover. Mounted on tracks and operated by remote control, the coordinated lid can be fully closed to protect its cargo and add to the pickup’s aerodynamics, or opened up for fifth-wheel function.
Vaulting the King skyward is a 6-inch lift kit by Revtek. Towering over the landscape, the King’s suspension provides an all-conquering capability no matter how tough the going gets.
For rolling stock, the Oasis Edge chrome-plated alloy 225 are banded with 37-inch-tall Goodyear tires. Housing the huge wheel and tire combo are custom fender flares from Design Tooling. Further enhancing the massive and aggressive stance of the King are Xenon’s front and rear lower fasciae. Street Scene’s anodized-aluminum, perforated inserts ad an extra custom touch to the chromed grille shell.
That personalized flavor pervades the comfortable crew cab. Glove-soft Katzkin leather covers the seats equipped with integrated electric heaters, coolers, and massagers. A comprehensive audio and video system from Clarion and Power Audio provides entertainment on the long haul, while a state-of-the-art navigation system either keeps you on track or lets you explore the roads less traveled.
Adding to the cabin’s dÃ©cor are brushed-aluminum trim pieces for the dash and door panels, Ford-logo floormats from designer Mat, and stainless steel door-entry guards from Cruiser Stainless Accessories. Ichibahn’s racing pedal pads finish off the driver’s footwell.
This diesel is all about the love of the open road and the ability to reach any destination in mind. And when this ride rumbles up to the roadside diner, jaws drop in mid chew. That’s because you’re behind the wheel of the unchallenged King of the Road. DP