BRANTLEY GILBERT has teamed up with SpeedKore™ Performance Group for a new Ford F-150 project to debut this week at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The collaboration formed when SpeedKore President, Jim Kacmarcik, who is also a partner in Given Music Publishing with Cindy Owen, was introduced to Scott Borchetta, President & CEO of Big Machine Label Group. The pair have a passion for music and speed, so their first meeting quickly turned to horsepower.
Known for its pro touring conversions of early model muscle cars and lightweight carbon fiber body conversions for modern performance cars such as the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger series, SpeedKore is undertaking its first ever truck build.
“We had to approach the 2018 Ford F-150 in a unique SpeedKore way,” said Kacmarcik. “We wanted people to know this came from our workshop in Grafton, Wisconsin. It needed to have the SpeedKore signature appearance and performance. That meant carbon fiber panels, spectacular attention to detail and plenty of performance.”
Modifying the F-150 started with the SpeedKore design team, who created a more aggressive appearance. Their renderings were transformed into CAD data, which led to machined patterns and molds for the pre-preg carbon fiber body pieces. These included the SpeedKore carbon fiber fenders, front spoiler and splitter. The same aerospace- grade material was used for the mirror covers, brake ducts, cab panels and tailgate applique. Even the door and tailgate handles were reproduced in carbon fiber, as were the tips for the Ford Performance exhaust system.
Once all the parts were pulled from the SpeedKore autoclave and fitted to the 2018 Ford F-150, the truck went into the SpeedKore paint booth for its two-tone PPG charcoal finish and clearcoat over the exposed carbon fiber.
Other exterior upgrades include signature SpeedKore illuminated badging. This technique was previously seen in the carbon fiber on the company’s Hellcat conversions and has now been applied to the badging on the F-150 as well.
Custom touches for Brantley include his name spelled out in billet lettering on the tailgate as well as his logo on the doors and leather seats. When Brantley steps into the cargo bed, he can fire up the amp and grab a guitar from the custom aluminum guitar and amp rack. This gives him the opportunity to break into an impromptu gig anywhere, anytime. The SpeedKore F-150 was first revealed to Brantley at a special pop-up show on October 14, 2018 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN.
“This truck blew away every expectation I had,” Brantley said after seeing the F-150 for the first time. “The attention to detail is incredible. There’s over 850 horsepower in this thing. So, it’s really, really fast and beautiful. It’s unreal.”
With a Ford Performance / Roush supercharger and cold-air intake on the 5.0-liter V8 engine, plus the Ford Performance exhaust system, Brantley need never be late to a sound check. And in keeping with SpeedKore’s performance ethos, the truck is fully equipped with an upgraded brake package, suspension and wheels. This includes powerful stopping ability provided by the massive Brembo BM-8 eight-piston calipers with 16.2-inch drilled rotors up front, and four-piston GT rear calipers with 15-inch drilled rotors. High-speed stability has been enhanced by a MaxTrac lowering kit using drop spindles and a rear spring flip kit as well as Crown Suspension front springs. It allowed the truck to be lowered five inches front and seven inches rear to fully exploit the generous 305/40 R22 Pirelli Scorpion tires fitted to 22×10-inch HRE TR105 forged, monoblock wheels at all four corners. The wheels were finished in metallic bronze to contrast the paintwork and harmonize with the custom interior.
The new upholstery features Bomber distressed European coffee brown leather with French stitching and carbon fiber highlights. It was created by Gabe’s Custom Interiors – one of the most respected trim shops in the country and SpeedKore’s preferred interior specialist.
Following its Nashville appearance with Brantley Gilbert, the SpeedKore Ford F-150 can be found at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV at the main Ford booth #22000 in Central Hall.