Words: KRISTIE REAL
Photos: DALE MARTIN
In medieval lore, Excalibur is the legendary sword of King Arthur, which is sometimes attributed with magical powers bestowed upon it by the storied wizard Merlin. The rare and elusive sword’s tale struck a chord with Cesar Olivas of Tweety’s Tire & Welding in Midland, TX when he needed to come up with a name for his Ford build.
According to him, the ’79 Ford F-250 Crew Cab Short Bed is a “very rare truck,” which is what enticed him to find one and build it up with modern amenities for an old school to new school feel. Another driving factor was the desire to be different from the hordes of other truck builders that have been dressing up newer truck models. “I pictured this old, rare truck done up with a modern suspension, wheels and tires,” he describes.
Carlos admits that he had a difficult time finding it, but was determined to look far and wide until he got a lead. And when he did, he felt as triumphant as Arthur must have when he finally pulled Excalibur from the stone after countless others continuously failed. In fact, the lead was under his nose the entire time, coming from one of his shop’s customers.
“I PICTURED THIS OLD, RARE TRUCK DONE UP WITH A MODERN SUSPENSION, WHEELS AND TIRES.”
With his prized Ford in his possession, it was finally time for the magic to happen and create the truck he had first envisioned in his mind so long before. Given he customizes every truck he owns, Carlos knew Excalibur needed only the best upgrades he could find in order to keep its nostalgic essence, but also update it for modern times. Scheduled to be unveiled at the 2021 Lonestar Throwdown, he and his crew made sure to hit the ground running to complete it all in time.
First up was changing the heart of the truck as it was still the original motor. Carlos decided on a Cummins Diesel engine swap with upgraded turbo for more power, performance and reliability. Next was giving it more height, and given his shop specializes in custom fabrication, he pushed the limits to create the one-off 22” lift that included a 2018 F-250 axle swap. The result was a skyscraping OBS with a menacing stance when coupled with 30×16 American Force Sidewinder wheels that were paired with 42×16.50R30 Fury MT Tires. SSBC 8-Piston calipers were added on all four corners to bolster safety and stopping power.
The exterior of the F-250 was already clean and classy, so Carlos didn’t want to mess up a good thing and left it stock. He felt the old-school look provided a clean base for his Excalibur silver sword on four wheels. He did, however, give it a shiny new coat of armor in silver so that it could reflect the sun’s rays when displaced at LST. The interior was finished off in black leather with carbon fiber trim.
While the challenge of finding it didn’t deter him from creating a badass OBS, a severe snowstorm in Texas during the build process did threaten the entire project. “We had a five-day storm in West Texas in February of 2020, right before the show,” he details. “The power was out at my shop for five days, which pushed me back on the completion schedule. I had to then work on the build for the last six days until the show and had to stay up until 3 a.m. to get it all done in time.”
But like Arthur in the magical tale, he overcame his obstacles and debuted his OBS masterpiece to much acclaim at the show. “Everyone was impressed how it all turned out,” he mentions. And now that he’s got his dream rig under wraps that’s thoroughly enjoyed by his family, Carlos is working on something similar – a 1985 Chevy Crew Cab short bed, which he says is another rare rig. However, for Carlos, rare is where his customizing magic really pops!