The Black Widow | One wicked 2021 Ford F-250
Daniel Hollis’ wicked 2021 Ford F-250 is a life-long dream come true!
The scene takes place in Historic, Jacksonville, Florida, located on the Atlantic Coast of northeastern Florida. The most populous city proper in the state of Florida, and the second largest city by area in the United States. The South has and will always be known for its large number of trucks. Daniel Hollis, was born in raised in the Mandarin suburb of southeast Jacksonville. He grew up immersed in the lifted truck culture, mud bogging, vehicle customization, and it’s still in his blood today. While Florida is rich in culture and diversity the truck scene is second to none and growing!
“Growing up, we always had to work on our own vehicles, because we couldn’t afford to send anything to a shop. I learned all my hands-on skills from my dad, thus essentially, we became our own gear heads.” At 13, Dan took a stab at rebuilding his first engine that he sourced from a Mercury Cougar. Rebuilding that engine gave him the confidence to start tinkering with bigger and bigger projects. With the help of his brother and cousins, they began their venture into the lifted truck scene, showcasing them among all their buddies. “We lifted a 98 Dodge Ram a 1978 Ford flair side and as many other trucks that we could get our hands on! Ever since we were kids, my brother and I dreamed of having huge matching trucks at some point in life and we were bound and determined to achieve that goal. I kept the 98 Dodge we had built many years ago until I was 38 years old.”
Out With the Old, In with the New!
After the long tenure with his 98 Dodge, Dan decided it was more useful to own a 4-door truck. He traded in his beloved 98 model for a 2011, Hemi powered Ram 1500 crew cab. Dan had his sights set on customizing this truck just as he did with his others from the moment he purchased it. However, just after a year of owning it, the Hemi engine dropped a valve which proceed to burn a hole in a piston. This setback put a major dent in his plans going forward but he stayed positive. “After I finally got the engine rebuilt, I was done with gas-powered trucks. I traded that in for a diesel powered Nissan Titan XD, which my father keeps after today.”
The Black Widow
So, what was next for Dan? Something over the top of course! After a little search he came across a truck he knew he had to have.” I bought a 2021 Ford F-250 Black Widow Edition from Bozard Ford in St. Augustine, Florida.” The Black Widow option came with many standard features including a six-inch suspension lift, 20” Black Widow Wheels w/center caps, 37” mud terrain tires, upgraded lighting, custom interior/badging, and much more! The Black Widow package is certainly bad ass in its own right, but Dan wanted more. “I drove the truck the way it was for roughly 6 months but I knew I couldn’t leave it alone. After that, my brother and I decided that we had bigger plans for it. We kept hearing and seeing the popularity of the Any Level Lift company, and we were extremely interested in using their suspension products. I called the company in New York to find out what dealers were located in Florida. They referred me to All Pro Automotive down in Sarasota, Florida and we ordered (3) suspension kits with them.” The lead time for getting the suspension was roughly 12 weeks from the manufacturer to the dealer. Once it arrived, Dan eagerly shipped his F-250 from Jacksonville to Sarasota to begin the first phase of the build. Once the details were discussed and finalized, the fun began! The first part of the build would take around two months to complete. When phase one was complete, out came Dan’s F-250 with a fresh power coat, train horns, and rock lights. “Once I got it back, I drove it the way it was for several months, but again, it wasn’t enough”. The next step in the process for the F-250 was upgrading the truck’s stereo system. Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out exactly the way he wanted it to. “I didn’t have a good experience with the first shop, and unfortunately, I paid the price for it. The quality if the installation was poor and the system sounded terrible. From that point, I reached to Miami Pro Audio to reverse the damage the previous shop had done.” Luckily for Dan, Miami Pro Audio knocked the re-do out of the park!
One Challenge After Another
Challenges kept presenting themselves for Dan, but he knew he needed to just push through them. Unfortunately, he had yet another setback to deal with. “I made a careless mistake and I screwed up my fenders by turning my truck with the lift lowered all the way down. I had the broken fender flares and bent panels on the front of the truck.” Frustrated and defeated, Dan forced himself to take a step back. But he regrouped quickly and pushed forward towards his goals. Dan took his truck over to Twisted Pro All Terrain in St. Augustine, Florida. “I went to Twisted Pro and talked to that build team and we added fender cutouts changed bumpers and also added the window cowl cover. They custom installed it with a roof rack and added all of their Twisted lighting to the bumpers and roof rack.” At that point, Dan said to himself, “I am done with the upgrades for now.” Or, so he thought! He reflected, “I fell asleep one night and had a dream about wrapping the vehicle with a crazy black widow theme.” He acted on that dream and immediately reached out to 201 Wraps in Jacksonville, Florida. Once the concept was carefully designed, Dan sent his truck over to 201 Wraps to get started. A few days later, out came the epic design you see today, and Dan was ecstatic! Surely this was enough for Dan, he’s already upgraded everything imaginable! Well, not everything, actually. “One night I was enjoying a nice solo ride through Jacksonville and I thought to myself, what can I do next?” Dan’s thought process here was, “I have come this far, why stop now?” He contemplated a few things, quickly realizing there weren’t any performance upgrades. Well, that quickly changed and once again the big Ford was getting more upgrades. So, what’s next? A cold air intake and DPF delete was on tap with a custom tune from Redline Diesel in Jacksonville, Florida. Other than a few more cosmetic changes, that’s all the modifications Dan has planned for this particular build.
Reflection and The Future
Dan reflects on the values and work ethic he learned growing up. He’s extremely humble but worked tirelessly and selflessly to achieve his life long dreams. “It hasn’t been easy, but I maintained my faith and didn’t quit.” Earlier in the story, we mentioned Dan had purchased not one, but three separate Any Level Lift kits. Dan has several other builds in the works, with big plans for each one of them. He has set yet another goal for himself, and we have no doubt that he will achieve it. “Once I have all four of my builds complete, I want to bring them all to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.” We look forward to keeping you updated on the progress of all of his future builds!
2021 Ford F-250 (Lariat) Black Widow Edition
Body: Fab Four bumpers, grille, fenders, (2) 18” subs in bed, Custom “Black Widow” wrap by 201 Wraps in Jacksonville, Florida,
Chassis: Stock frame with Any Level Lift hydraulic suspension
Suspension: Any Level Lift suspension, King coil-over shocks, slotted
Wheels/Tires: KG 1, 26” wheels, Interco 44×19.5x 26 Super Swamper Bogger tires
Engine: 6.7L V8 Power Stroke diesel engine, Cold air intake-tuned by Red Line Diesel of Jacksonville, Florida
Lighting: Custom painted headlights, Twisted Pro bumper/roof rack lights
Interior: Black Widow gauges/head rest embroidery, 6,000 watt amplifier powering 2 subwoofers underneath rear seat/truck bed
Utility: Warn winch, Monster hooks