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Written by Eddie Maloney | Photos: Brian McGee

Originally founded in 1969, A.R.E. made its industry footprint in engineering aluminum truck caps and storage buildings. From then on, they’ve become an industry leader for thousands of different truck accessories.

interior image of gold standard

With custom truck builds soaring to new heights, the folks at A.R.E. knew they needed something to set them apart at the world’s largest automotive showcase, the SEMA Show.

external image of gold standard

“We didn’t just want to do another project build, we wanted something more,” mentions Bryan Mutchler, A.R.E.’s marketing manager. “With this intent, we partnered with companies and products that radiate the gold standard to bring our Ford F-150 to life.”

image of gold standards interior

The initial process started in July 2016 and veteran builder Trent Van Arsdalen of Trent’s Trick Upholstery in Baltimore, Ohio, was unanimously chosen to lead this project. The 2016 Gold Standard Ford F-150 project truck built by A.R.E. Accessories brings the best products in the industry together in one build. But Trent had some different inspiration in mind for the project. “I wanted the truck to have a pro touring style, with air vents in the bumpers and a unique style of wheel choice. I didn’t want this build to be your standard four-wheel drive truck with run-of-the-mill accessories. I have had a feature vehicle in the SEMA show since the mid-’90s, I needed to build a game changer for A.R.E.”

random close up images of gold standard

And that game-changer for Trent was the custom gold tonal paint job that immediately reaches out and grabs your attention. But that’s just the beginning since this truck is built up from bumper to bumper to show off the gold standard of products, on a gold standard truck – the Ford F-150. The bumpers, suspension, and all the exterior trim were painted to match the body for a smooth appearance. They also mounted fog lights in the exterior side mirrors, which is actually a never seen before trick! The A.R.E. CX Revo cap with TopperEZLift system protects the TVs, storage system and charging station located in the bed of the truck, showcasing A.R.E.’s latest products. The entire interior was done in Alea leather, extremely high-end and durable. Trent then fabricated billet aluminum inverted speaker pods, along with exterior badging custom machined and the large A.R.E. emblem in the bed. The chassis was also completely repainted, and a Corsa stainless steel exhaust system was installed for added performance. One of Trent’s favorite parts of the build was the cap lift system. “I designed a two-pin plug for the third brake light so there are no wires showing when the cap is all the way up,” he describes.

The Gold Standard build was the epitome of the industry known “SEMA crunch,” completed in just over eight weeks from start to finish. First, Trent installed the cap and the front bumper. Then he mocked up all customized pieces, and bed structure. Once the customization was complete, he sent the truck to paint so he worked on the interior pieces and custom upholstery. When the truck returned from paint, Trent didn’t have much time left before the trip to Vegas. All the custom pieces were then installed along with the suspension and wheels and tires.

random internal and external images of gold standard

The build was completed just a few days shy of the 2016 SEMA Show and was the focal point of the Ford booth. It gained so much popularity, A.R.E. decided it will return for its second year in row at the 2017 SEMA Show!

external night image of gold standard with lights on

gear: 2016 ford f-150 “gold Standard”
    Wheels & Tires
  • 24x12 Fuel Forged wheels
  • 35x13.50R24 Fuel MT Gripper tires

  • Suspension
  • Skyjacker Suspensions 6” lift kit
  • Air Lift Load Lifter
  • Fox 2.0 coilover shocks

  • Performance
  • Corsa intake and exhaust
  • Reikken Performance battery cells
  • Bully Dog tuner

  • Exterior/Armor
  • Trent's Trick Upholstery vehicle execution
  • Axalta paint
  • Paint by Lynch Concepts
  • Trent's Trick Upholstery custom grille
  • Reflexxion hood
  • Lizard Skin Spray on insulation
  • Tint Works window tint
  • N-Fab Pre-Runner steps and bumpers
  • Bushwacker fender flares

  • Lighting
  • (4) A.R.E Rival LED lighting cubes
  • (2) A.R.E Rival LED lighting flush mounts
  • (1) A.R.E Rival LED 30" light bar
  • Redline Lumtronix bed lighting

  • Accessories
  • Trent's Trick Upholstery custom TV and storage stand
  • A.R.E CX Revo truck cap
  • TopperEXlift 12v cap lift system

  • Interior
  • Alea leather
  • Trent’s Trick Upholstery custom interior accents

  • Entertainment/Electronics
  • (1) Kicker IQ amplifier
  • (4) Kicker KS Series component speakers
  • (2) Kicker Comp RT subwoofers

A.R.E. Accessories | Trent's Trick Upholstery