Home Automotive SEMA Showstopper: Thomas Szabo’s Six-Door Ford Excursion

SEMA Showstopper: Thomas Szabo’s Six-Door Ford Excursion


Stretching the Super Duty Ford Excursion

Photos by Mach1Media

When it comes to any automotive-minded person’s bucket list, attending the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas is among the top goals. What if you could display a car that you’ve built at the world’s largest aftermarket convention? Now that’s an accomplishment many of us can only dream of, and only a select few can say they did.

Thomas Szabo is the owner of Superior Diesel Performance, located in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan), Canada. But he didn’t just build a SEMA show vehicle—he took the saying “Go Big or Go Home” to a whole other level.

Thomas, a Super Duty truck specialist, wanted to build something different for his SEMA debut. He built a Ford Excursion. But we’re not talking about just any old custom Excursion—we’re talking going well beyond the norm, even by SEMA show standards. Knowing the project would be a big undertaking anyway, as Thomas told us, “We decided to go all out and make it a six-door.”

From Four To Six

Extending the Excursion required many tricks. Starting with modifying Ford’s frame, the Excursion stretched out. Western Millennium Collision was responsible for the bodywork of this unique build. They literally grafted two vehicle bodies together to give it its limousine status. The incorporation of Super Duty bedsides into the rear quarters was one of the most innovative tricks used in this project. Doing so gave the Excursion larger fender flares in the rear that could almost pass as “factory” with how well they continue into the body lines all the way around the truck.

Excursion’s less obvious aesthetic options include shaved keyholes and badges, textured panels and door handles as well as an RK Sport hood. Fusion bumpers and a custom Overkill Fab Front Grille are also available. Nine Rigid LED lights adorns the grille and wheelwells. A custom Gen-Y Mega-Duty Hitch and rear bumper hooks are also available.

As for the paint, it’s probably not what you’d expect. Andrey Kolenik, Western Millennium Collision, painted the exterior of the Excursion in factory Ford glossy black with three layers of copper clearcoat.

The Excursion’s interior is equally stunning with its black leather and suede Roadwire second-row and front bucket seats, as well as two matching rear bench seats. Tory Wilcox, of Ripstitch interiors, created the custom door panels and headliner to match the seats. In the dash,  Edge CTS3 gauges keep temperatures, speed, and other need-to-know measurements front and center, while a full Kicker stereo system pumps tunes throughout all four seating rows thanks to a combination of speakers, amps, and eight and 10-inch subs, the aforementioned fitted into a custom center console box and spare tire box.

“Incorporating Super Duty bedsides into the rear quarters … gave the Excursion larger fender flares in the rear that could almost pass as ‘factory’ with how well they continue into the body lines all the way around the truck.”

Beyond Stock

Certainly a looker, the Excursion couldn’t be left with stock mechanics. While this bad boy retains a 2013 6.7 Power Stroke diesel, Thomas gave it a full revamp fitting of the truck’s custom status. Right off the bat, you’ll notice a Compound S480 Turbo setup over a BD Diesel Scorpion 64.5mm turbo kit. A BD intake manifold, headers, and a custom 4-inch downpipe with a 4-inch BD exhaust brake were also added to the truck, dumping the diesel’s exhaust just in front of the rear axle via 5-inch duals.

Other features include a rebuilt bottom end with O-ringed heads and ARP head studs, a PPE oil pan, and an S&S Diesel Disaster Prevention Kit, protecting the fuel system from any possible malfunctions of the fuel pump. Prismatic powdercoated valve covers, upper oil pan, and accessory brackets carry the Excursion’s color scheme throughout the engine bay.

“Thomas hit it out of the park with this build, not only aesthetically, but also in form and function—right down to the custom suspension system that sends this truck soaring about the rest.”

The 6.7L V-8’s transmission is a rebuilt Ford 6R140, fitted with an Alto HD clutch pack, Suncoast shafts and a Mister Transmission-designed custom valve body. A Suncoast 1700 stall converter feeds the truck’s ponies to the trans while a PPE deep sump pan helps keep extra fluid flowing for optimal performance. Continuing with the truck’s aesthetic cues, both the transmission and the transfer case were powdercoated using Prismatic powder to match the Excursion’s exterior paint.

Down below, the Ford’s factory driveline spins a Super Duty Dana 60 in the front and a Dana 70 in the rear, both featuring Nitro 4.30 gears and install kits inside powdercoated axle housings with PPE diff covers. Six-inch backspaced Mickey Thompson 38/15.5/r24 Baja Boss shoes, wrapped around 24×14-inch Gear Off Road wheels, plant the six-door beast to the pavement, while stopping power is provided by 15.5-inch front and 15-inch rear 6-piston Wilwood brakes fitted with braided stainless steel lines.

Custom Suspension

No SEMA show vehicle is complete without customizations from top to bottom, and Thomas hit it out of the park with this build, not only aesthetically, but also in form and function—right down to the custom suspension system that sends this truck soaring about the rest.

A fully custom Papis air-suspension system does numbers to set this Excursion apart, giving the truck both a unique stance and extensive capabilities with front and rear 4-links, a custom subframe and axle truss, suspension cradle, and Locked Offroad triple-bypasses with remote reservoirs capable of 10 inches of travel on all four corners. Fitted to a 2013 Super Duty front frame section that is melded to a 2002 Excursion rear, Slam Specialties SS8 airbags help actuate the Excursion’s massive lift of 8 to 14 inches above factory ride height.

Feeding the suspension system with air are polished air tanks with two compressors controlled by an AccuAir controller. This on-board air system also feeds the three horns from HornBlasters tucked up discretely under the rear bumper.

From start to finish, the project, which could have easily taken over a year to accomplish, was completed by Thomas and his team in just seven months. Along the way, aspects like shipping times and getting parts through customs challenged the team, but in the end, they pulled off a fantastic bigger-the-life SEMA build that will be admired across the States and Canada for years to come.

2013 Ford Excursion Six-Door


  • Thomas Szabo
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Chassis & Suspension

  • 2013 Ford Super Duty front frame
  • 2002 Ford Excursion rear frame
  • Papis 8- to 14-inch air suspension system
  • Slam Specialties SS8 air bags
  • Locked Offroad triple bypass shocks with 10 inches of travel
  • 4-link
  • AccuAir controller

Wheels & Tires

  • 24×14-inch Gear Off Road D769P wheels
  • 38/15.5/R24 Mickey Thompson Baja Boss tires
  • 6-inch backspace

Engine & Drivetrain

  • 2013 Ford 6.7L diesel
  • BD Diesel headers
  • BD Diesel intake manifold
  • Custom 4-inch downpipe to 5-inch dual axle dump
  • BD Diesel 4-inch exhaust brake
  • Compound S480 turbo
  • BD Diesel Scorpion 64.5mm turbo kit
  • PPE oil pan
  • S&S Diesel Disaster Prevention Kit
  • Rebuilt bottom end with O-ringed heads and ARP head studs
  • 44-gallon Excursion fuel tank
  • Rebuilt Ford 6R140 automatic transmission
  • Alto clutches
  • Suncoast shafts
  • Custom valve body
  • Suncoast converter with 1700 stall
  • Dana 60 frontend
  • Dana 70 rearend
  • Nitro 4.30 gears
  • Wilwood 15.5 front and 15-inch rear 6-piston brakes

Body & Paint

  • Stretched to six doors
  • Super Duty rear bedsides incorporated into the rear quarters
  • Custom Overkill Fab grille
  • RK Sport hood
  • Fusion bumpers
  • Rigid lights
  • Shaved keyholes and badges
  • Textured trim panels and door handles
  • Three HornBlasters horns
  • Factory Ford gloss black with three coats of copper clearcoat

Interior & Stereo

  • Four Roadwire buckets and two benches
  • Black leather and suede upholstery
  • Edge CTS3 gauges
  • Kicker stereo system
  • Custom center console subwoofer box with 8-inch sub
  • Custom spare tire subwoofer box with two 10-inch subs

The post SEMA Showstopper: Thomas Szabo’s Six-Door Ford Excursion appeared first on Diesel World.

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