STRAIGHT FROM THE UNDERGROUND
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Thursday, 03 December 2015 01:23

STRAIGHT FROM THE UNDERGROUND

Written by KRISTIE BERTUCCI PHOTOS: SOLOMON LUNGER

Forgiato Wheels usually add a certain type of elegance and style to some of the world’s finest cars

from Italian supercars to German and British beauties. But you would never think twice about adding a set to an off-road vehicle…that is until you feast your eyes on Underground AutoStyling’s white Jeep that’s the first to rock a set of 26” Forgiatos in 37x13.50R26 Mark Ma Dakar M/T III tires.

Already a stunner and more-than-able off-road vehicle, the shop’s owner Jake Polubinski set out to do an out-of-the-ordinary build with the help of some eye-catching wheels and tires.

“Forgiatos have graced Jeeps before, but they’ve always been done using regular street tires. As soon as 37” mud tires were available, I jumped at the chance to be the first to use that wheel and tire combination. It’s probably one of the most hated and loved Jeeps on the planet.”

His Jeep definitely grabs your attention thanks to its clean, all-white exterior and matching interior, but off-road purists can’t get past the Forgiato wheels – something they see useless for a vehicle that’s meant to play in the dirt. “Even though the Jeep sports custom-painted 26x14” Forgiato Azioni wheels, I still take it out riding,” he confesses, adding that it’s not only used as a promo ride for the shop, but also his daily driver. “We even added an extra touch with the floating “F” center caps that add to its wow factor.”

Polubinski unveiled it at The Classic car show in Orlando, FL, where it took home “Best of Show” and beat out about a thousand other rides for the title. “There were vehicles with way more mods than the Jeep and it still won the event’s top prize,” he says proudly. “Every show it goes to it wins something. We even took it out riding on the beach to show that it not only looks good, but can handle its own, too. Ever since then it’s been killing the scene, with the word ‘clean’ always used to describe it.” Even though a set of Forgiatos may make the Jeep look less rugged, Jake made sure that it still had all the upgrades to make it look and act like an off-road machine, including the powder coated white 5” Rough Country suspension with Fox Racing shocks, Bestop front and rear bumpers and Xenon fenders. “I like the clean look more,” he says. “I think it’s more difficult to customize a white vehicle since you can make it too white. You need to have the right mixture of black and white so that everything just stands out. Even if you did an all black ride with white accents, the white will stand out a lot more than black. I usually do all of the shop’s demo cars white.”

Although he hasn’t given it a specific nickname, he has heard people refer to it as “Florida Snow,” “Siesta Key Edition” (which is the whitest beach in the world that just so happens to be located in Florida) and his personal favorite “White Girl.”

Being the first on the trend did have its challenges, and Polubinski and the shop had some problems with how wide the wheels were, so they had to modify the bumpers precisely to accommodate more clearance. “The factory fenders had to be replaced with custom fenders that were wider for the wheels so that they didn’t look like they were sticking out too far. In all, it really gave it an aggressive look that ended up being clean and just how we wanted it.”

Other highlights of the Jeep include a custom MMats Pro Audio stereo system, which includes all marine-grade equipment, and vinyl seats just in case he gets rained on with the top off in unpredictable Florida weather. And now everyone is hopping on the trend, with many of his clients requesting the same wheel and tire combo for their own Jeeps. And rumor has it that he even beat the owner of Forgiato to the punch, who was building a similar Jeep at the same time.

As his daily driver, Polubinski made sure that the Jeep sees it’s fair share of fun and doesn’t mind wheeling on the 26s on rough terrain, including dirt, sand and mud, but won’t dare do any rock crawling. “I can just clean the wheels after rolling through the other terrain, but I’m not crazy and wouldn’t push it on rocks because of the damage it can cause. But it would definitely be able to handle them!”


GEAR: 2013 Jeep Wrangler JK

Wheels & Tires
  • 26” Forgiato Azioni Wheels with custom white and black accents
  • 37x13.50R26 Mark Ma Dakar M/T III tires
Suspension
  • Rough Country 5” suspension lift kit with Fox Racing coil-over shocks
Exterior
  • Bestop front and rear bumpers
  • Xenon fenders
Lighting
  • 50” Race Sport combo LED light bar
  • Race Sport LED fog and headlight
Interior
  • Custom matte vinyl seats
  • Custom-painted roll cage trim
Audio
  • MMats Pro Audio hifi 6150
  • (4) MMats Pro Audio 6s
  • (4) MMats Pro Audio tweeters
  • 12” MMats Pro Audio Juggernaut subs

Sources
Underground Autosytling | undergroundautosytling.com • Forgiato | forgiato.com • MMats Pro Audio | mmatsproaudio.com • Race Sport | racesportinc.com • Xenon | teamxenon.com • Beststop | beststop.com • FOX | ridefox.com • Rough Country | roughcountry.com