BIG WHEELS at SEMA
Among the amazing builds that were displayed at this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas was a truck unlike another. Attendees wasted no time crowding around the Ford-based Baja racer truck. And for good reason: Baja driver Jason Coleman, who boasts several victories in the sport, displayed the very truck he races in. The bright red vehicle in the middle of the Central Hall was no replica; it was the real thing. And, of course, we couldn’t pass up the chance to write about this incredible Raptor Baja trophy truck.
The truck is cleverly built around the Baja-ready Ford F-150 Raptor. Despite the Raptor coming off the lot wide enough for the desert, Walker Industries designed an even wider body to sit on top of the lifted chassis. Underneath the Raptor skin roars a Turn-key LS racing motor, which is advertised to make 505 hp on the truck’s build bio. If it happens to be the same engine on Chevy’s racing engine site, it’s listed to also make 475 ft lbs of torque at 6,300 rpm. Mated to that is a Culhane Turbo 400 Reid case transmission.
Engine and transmission choice aside, the front and rear suspension is all decked out with FOX racing internal bypass coil overs, of which allow the suspension to travel 24″ in the front, and 29″ in the rear. For tires, the Raptor Baja sports 37″ BFG off-road tires on Ultra wheels. To keep Coleman stopping properly, all four disk brakes are upgraded with a serious Alcon rotor kit. Such a suspension setup simply means that Coleman is allowed the room to push the truck to its limits, and boy does he.
Coleman was introduced into the Baja racing at the tender age of 15 after he’d walked into a Terrible Herbst shop to volunteer his time and immerse himself in their world. A few years later, he found himself behind the wheel for a few Class 1/2 1600 races. Finding he had a natural talent in the world of Baja as a driver, it wasn’t long before he began racing in Class 10.
With such great talent comes a lot of attention and contract offers. Despite that, Coleman chose to stick with Terrible Herbst, the company that had given him his big break. Not only did they place a lot of trust in Coleman’s ability as a driver, they have a very valuable reputation for builds behind them. Besides, after seeing the beautiful Baja truck on the show floor and admiring the build quality and passion in Coleman’s eyes, it’s no wonder he stuck with Terrible Herbst.
For more technical images of how the build was put together, be sure to visit the truck’s build bio. To see videos of the truck in action, check out Coleman’s instagram.
Photos by Kristen Finley
Kristen Finley is a woman who eats, breathes, and sleeps cars. Her love of cars blossomed at a very young age, when handing tools to her sailor of a father underneath his cars constituted as quality time. Eager to learn, it was only a matter of time before her father became the one handing her the tools. Even into college at California State University, Monterey Bay, she’s pursuing a career in automotive journalism to allow her the chance to tell enchanting automotive stories.