An Adventurous SEMA Build

May 2020 Feature Clyde Turner

This article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue.

This truck is quite a build, as you might expect from a SEMA build. However, this one stands out in a special way, because it’s used for a very unique purpose. The over-landing field is rapidly expanding, and San Dimas, Calif.-based custom truck builder LGE-CTS Motorsports caught onto the trend with a 2020 Ford F250 6.7L Power Stroke build named Baja Forged. Just looking at this vehicle in plain view, it’s easy to see that it’s an outdoor adventurer’s dream with green custom paint from PPG Refinish. Built by sisters and LGE-CTS co-owners Theresa Contreras and Sara Morosan with some help from their crew, it’s designed to devote a lot of its life to places off the tarmac. As the vehicle’s name might imply, Baja Forged is based on the idea of a vehicle used for desert endurance races. Specifically, it’s a chase and support truck, and it’s prepared with all the tools and equipment needed to get race vehicles back up and running again. Theresa and Sara were awarded a spot in the Ford booth at SEMA in September 2019 after submitting their proposal in April, and the project was completed within eight weeks, just in time for the biggest automotive aftermarket show on the planet.

Based in Los Angeles County in the San Gabriel Valley, LGE-CTS is located in a part of the country where desert-based performance activities are quite popular, as areas with at least some wide open landscape are pretty much everywhere to be found in the American Southwest. Theresa and Sara’s new Ford is also meant to be used for many other off-road and outdoor adventure activities, though; as an all-in-one mobile command center, workshop, and campsite, Baja Forged is basically a Swiss Army knife of everything for going off the beaten path. What’s even more impressive is LGE-CTS built the entire truck from scratch.

“It’s what we specialize in doing,” Theresa says. “We did the bodywork, paint, fabrication, suspension, installation and performance upgrades.”

Built Ford Tough

Theresa and Sara have a brand loyalty to the blue oval, because their vehicles have served them so well. Ford is one of the most trusted brands for anything that goes off-road, and because of that, it lives up to the “Built Ford Tough” slogan well.

“When we drove the new generation of Super Duty in 2017, we knew this was one of the most capable trucks Ford has built!” Theresa says. “The ride is smooth and powerful, the truck turns on a dime, and it can pull anything we put behind it without knowing it’s even there! So with a truck that capable, we started thinking what we would do to it since it was such a well-rounded vehicle for a full-size truck. Since we love off-roading and I love racing, we really wanted to build the ultimate vehicle that we could use for any off-road adventure and as a chase truck!”

In 2018, the sisters built a Ranger that they were quite impressed with, and they decided it would be a great race truck. “Since everyone loved the color and style of the Ranger, and as we needed a chase truck, we knew the Super Duty would be the perfect fit. So in staying with the same style and colors, the Baja Forged Ranger’s big brother was born...the Baja Forged Super Duty!” Theresa proudly says.


With such a harsh, relentless and sometimes unforgiving off-road environment to put up with, the Baja Forged truck does need a decently large, rugged suspension lift. To answer that need, the truck uses an Icon Vehicle Dynamics 4.5-inch lift kit. These kits are designed to increase the overall damping ability of the vehicle while also allowing for user-defined ride height adjustment. Since there is a lot of added weight on top and an offset center of gravity with all of the specialized equipment, Theresa and Sara used a set of Hellwig Big Wig air springs to help the suspension support the beefy vehicle.

Below the suspension, the truck uses 18-inch Method 305 NV HD wheels with 37-inch BFGoodrich M/T KM3 tires. The wheels feature Method’s iconic 12-window wheel design and the industry’s best lifetime structural warranty. The tires have massive tread blocks that are designed to tackle whatever the path less traveled throws their way. Camouflage tire stickers were added for extra decoration.

The stock power and torque ratings on the 2020 6.7L Power Stroke are 450hp and 935 foot-pounds, respectively. On this truck, the engine and transmission performance upgrades are modest, so they bring very little, if any, above these levels. After all, this is a chase truck, so it’s not the one racing. All it’s meant for is servicing the race vehicles and venturing off-road. Still, the horsepower and torque are impressive stock ratings. In order to be better able to keep up with the race vehicles though, the truck uses the Pedal Commander programmer to eliminate response lag from the accelerator that comes with today’s electronically-controlled vehicles. Theresa and Sara also threw on a Transfer Flow 60-gallon fuel tank so the truck can spend very long periods away from civilization on a full tank as needed.

Special Equipment & Extras

Special equipment is something this truck is absolutely loaded with. As soon as the sisters got the brand-new truck, they pulled off the stock bed and added a custom Pronghorn modular utility flatbed. The flatbed can open up to create a mobile workshop; it’s decked with Rigid Industries A-lights to illuminate the workspace. In fact, this vehicle is covered in Rigid LED lights from bumper to bumper. An ARB awning can be used for covering the bed to keep the sun and rain out. While the flatbed is not something they fully fabricated themselves, they did put a lot of their own work into it.

“We purchased the flatbed from Hi-Road, but we modified it as well with fender flares and the modular rail/rack system to make it fit our vision,” Theresa says.

For camping out, the green Super Duty has a Tepui Hybox rooftop tent and cargo box mounted on a custom roof rack, as well as a weatherproof refrigerator, an awning light kit, and touring camp chairs. One of the largest components to help the truck serve its purpose as a chase truck, the Kaeser air compressor, sits behind the cab.

“The air compressor is used for everything from airing up tires to using tools, especially in our workshops,” says Theresa. Additional service equipment includes BOXO tools, a Pro Eagle jack, and tool racks from BuiltRight Industries. Inside the cab, the truck also has comfy and luxurious leather seat covers from Katzkin Leather.

In case the truck gets stuck out on the soft terrain, Theresa and Sara take some ARB TRED Pro rugged recovery pads with them. Also, in case of being stuck as well as to help other vehicles that may get stuck out there, the green monster has a WARN Industries 10S winch.

“We haven’t used our winch yet, but it’s always important to be prepared for anything!” Theresa says. “Having a winch has so many advantages. From helping yourself get out of a bind, to helping others, so we always recommend one! You never know when you are going to need it.”

The winch is also a great addition to the custom LGE-CTS front bumper’s fierce looks.

Current & Future Use

The Baja Forged F250 grabbed a lot of attention at SEMA in the Ford Booth, but now the LGE-CTS sisters plan on using it for its actual purpose now the show is behind them.

“It’s because of the events it needs to attend, but we build EVERYTHING to be used,” Theresa says. Her company is dedicated to making full-potential use out of all they fabricate. “At the Mint 400, we used it to run our workshops for Real Deal Revolution out of to-do welding, painting, and leatherwork demos,” she adds. Within a year, she and Sara plan to start using the truck as a camper and mobile command center; they’ll be doing that and much more. They have, however, used the vehicle to tow their Ranger and their Escape. “We made it modular so we could tow a fifth wheel trailer, or a flat bed,” Theresa says. A gooseneck/turnover ball hitch kit from B&W Hitches takes care of much the towing for now.

Theresa and Sara are beyond excited to actually start using their truck now, but they can’t lower their intention of creating good-looking show vehicles, especially for SEMA, because it’s their best way of showing off what they’re about as a company as well as their all-round outdoor lifestyle. Baja Forged is the hallmark of the LGE-CTS mission.

“I think someone will be highly surprised how easy these new trucks are to drive and how easy the rest of the vehicle is to use as well!” Theresa adds. A vehicle that’s easier to drive is important for an adventurous lifestyle, because we all want to have more fun than hassle with our vehicles.

“Setting up for workshops, we can fit all of our gear and use the awnings of the workshop area,” the LGE-CTS co-owner says. “If we just want to drive it around as a regular everyday truck, the rack is removable, and we can take off the rooftop tent, or we can strap down our mountain bikes in the back, and take off for the weekend for a quick get away.”

Despite not really having any performance upgrades, this truck still packs a punch, but in a different way. It’s loaded with character, so we can assure you Baja Forged is not just a show vehicle; it’s guaranteed to see full-potential use that will continue for a long time.



BFGoodrich Tires


BuiltRight Industries

B&W Hitches

Hellwig Products


Kaeser Compressors

Katzkin Leather

LGE-CTS Motorsports

Method Race Wheels

Pedal Commander

PPG Refinish

Pro Eagle

Pronghorn Flatbeds

Rigid Industries

Tepui Tents

Transfer Flow, Inc.

WARN Industries

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