Putting the Bling in SEMA

September 2019 Build Steve Janes

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue.

Being a finance manager for Clay Cooley Auto Group, a major automobile dealership in Texas, definitely gives Arturo Cardoso an inside look at the latest technology in vehicles, allowing him access to drive pretty much what he wants. But for the past three years, Cardoso has been pretty content driving diesel trucks.

For the past year Cardoso has not only driven a 2018 Ford F-250 Platinum, but has taken it a step further by turning it into a SEMA build truck, worthy for display with some of the most creative designs on the road.

“I enjoy building these trucks,” Cardoso explained. This is the fifth diesel truck he’s owned. “I built this one special for SEMA.”

Cardoso’s passion for truck builds tended to follow the common course of others. “I started liking lifted trucks,” he explained. And as time passed, he jokes that he really enjoyed the “bigger and badder stuff.”

For the 2018 SEMA show, once Cardoso had in mind what he wanted on his truck, he took his 2018 Ford F-250 Platinum (Magnetic Grey Color) to Martin Automotive Repair where Zack Martin took control of the actual build.

“Everything was done by the shop,” Cardoso said. He let the teams at Martin Automotive and at Cole Automotive (both located in Forney, TX) do all the wrenching.

The focus of the build was the Full Throttle Suspension. Carcoso started with a 16-inch Full Throttle Suspension link front and rear with coil-overs front and rear powdercoated Powder Blue with two coats of Pearl on top and the axles and springs powdercoated Heavy Silver.

He then added 42x15-inch 50R26LT Fury Tires, 26x16 American Force Spirit Wheels with True Spike 136mm Spike lug nuts and Shifted Industry 2-inch spacers.

Under the truck Cardoso chose to install ATS Diff covers front and rear, along with the Transmission Pan. On the top he added an Undercover Elite Cover with Swing Cases.

To light things up a bit, Cardoso went with the Bodyguard AL2 Series front and rear with the Twisted Pro Pods for Fog and Light Bar. He also went with the Rock Light Outlaw LED Platinum Series lights with color-matched headlights.

To class up the look of the SEMA build, Cardoso added Royal Hooks Show Hooks with Infinite Rule Locks and a Gen-Y Hitch with Bolt Lock (also powdered).

And if you’re going to have that “loud” look on the road, Cardoso figured he may as well have the loud sound as well…so he added HornBlaster K5 Kit with mount.

He also added Coles Automotive painted mirrors and taillights to go with a custom Boost Bar Grill. Finally to finish off the outside, Cardoso went with the Jamo Performance 5-inch Pipe with TSO Fab 8-inch Tip.

He also had the interior of the truck custom built with a Rock Light Kit in the headliner and box.

When it came to increasing the performance of the vehicle, Cardoso wasn’t too concerned about making any significant changes. “I did about everything I wanted on this build,” he explained. “I’m not big into the performance stuff. Perhaps in the future I may invest in a bigger turbo … but that’s about it.”

In all, Cardoso put about $60,000 into making his SEMA truck. But when you see it coming down the street, you’ll think it’s more like a million bucks.

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