Words: Phil Gordon
Photos: Phil Gordon
Going Hollywood” is usually a phrase given when someone makes it to the big time. Known for the bright lights and lavish lifestyles, Hollywood is the Mecca for success and fame, but it can also be an aura that changes the way you look at things, and makes everything just a little bit sweeter. Michael Rivera from Odessa, Texas, grew up on the Western edge of Texas in Fort Stockton, but ventured to Odessa with his family. While his two older brothers were heavily involved in the automotive lifestyle, Michael focused on working on an oil rig.
But around that time, he noticed that the lifted truck scene was just getting started and that everyone at the oil fields had lifted trucks that were being utilized for work. It was there that he met Eden Gonzalez, who had all the connections in the truck scene and helped him get started with his own customizing journey. After he began picking Eden’s brain on what he wanted to do, he was introduced to Cesar Olivas known in the community as “Tweety” and owner of Tweety’s Truck and Tire, a shop responsible for some of the baddest trucks in the Texas area. With his newfound interested, Michael inquired about a build of his own and got the ball rolling.
Michael purchased a Dodge 3500 welding rig and had it lifted modestly, but his love for the utility truck wore off and it was time for something better. He then went out and bought a new Dodge Mega Cab, but it still wasn’t big enough. Finally, he chose a brand new 2017 Ford pickup and a 1997 Ford F-350 as a two-for-one buy.
Despite loving the Dodge brand, Michael couldn’t resist having both a new Ford body style and OBS at the same time. The trucks, 20 years apart, became like brothers and he carefully added custom parts to each given they were now special members of his family. But Michael saw something extra special in the OBS and knew it was destined for something greater.
Michael took the classic Ford to Tweety’s to add a Rough Country lift that was powder coated Lollipop Red with Fox shocks. The build wasn’t intricate by any means, but looked good for Michael at the time. About seven months later, Michael went to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas where his vision changed. “It was like I was in a different world out there,” Michael adds. “It was the very best of the best, and I wanted to be there with them.” Once he arrived back home, he wasted no time making plans to change the OBS.
Because he knew he needed to step up his game if he ever wanted to turn heads at SEMA, Michael contacted RYD MotorSports in Vancouver, BC, because of their reputation of building some of the best rigs around. The builders at RYD manufactured a 14” lift for the front and back, along with the 4-link setup they custom built in house. Some 2008 Super Duty axles were fabricated and 3.0 triple bypass bags over King Shocks with full high steer and dual steering stabilizers were built and sent to Michael to install. Tweety’s was enlisted to mount the new massive lift with the adjustable heights.
When it came time to add some exterior additions, Michael opted for Bodyguard Bumpers front and back with Royal Hooks and lights from Outlaw LED. Originally, he chose a brown and gold paint scheme and dubbed the build Gold $chlager. But then changed the colors and had Lozoya Graphics and Painting coat the entire OBS in Blue Dove that set off the new gold lift components. However, Gold $chlager was already what everyone was calling the truck so he kept it. The good people at Hornblasters added a set of train horns powder coated in Dove Blue and gold to match. To help Michael getting in and out of the newly raised Ford, AMP power side-steps were mounted and painted to match.
Michael’s next step was refreshing the vintage interior. We all know that the interior is the most used portion of any vehicle and where we spend most of the time, so it needed to be upgraded and updated. Michael found a small shop in Dallas and had them add white leather bucket electric seats from a 2010 Ford truck and add blue piping, while fiberglass blue accents were added to the door panels. Even the seat belts were dyed blue to match the new interior color scheme. The rear bench seat was removed and replaced with bucket seats for added space. Blue carpeting was added throughout the entire cabin to bring together the cohesive look.
Once completed, Michael took the freshly built Ford classic OBS to the 2018 SEMA show and was able to fulfill his dream to be among the elite. Michael wishes to thank his beautiful wife Ashley and their little boy Michael Peyton for their support and patience watching him fulfill his dream. A special thanks to his two older brothers and his parents for instilling in him the dedication and fortitude to keep pushing forward when it seemed impossible. He also sends a big thanks to Eden Gonzalez and Tweety from Tweety’s Tire for always being there to help and to construct one of the best OBS Fords on the planet. It took three trucks and great connections for Michael to reach Hollywood status, and now “Hollywood Mike” has set the bar in the OBS game.
GEAR: 1997 FORD F-350 DUALLY
AKA “GOLD $CHLAGER”
WHEELS / TIRES
- 28×16 American Force Siege Super Dually Series wheels
- 42×15.50R28 Fury Country Hunter M/T tires
- RYD Motorsports 14” front and rear 4-Link setup custom built to utilize 2008 Super Duty axles
- 3.0 triple bypass bags over King Shocks with full highsteer with dual steering stabilizers
- Torsion rear anti-sway bar
- TS Performance Switchable 6 Position chip
- S&B Cold Air Intake kit
- Straight Pipe
- SSBC Performance Brake System kit
EXTERIOR / ACCESSORIES
- Dove blue paint
- Bodyguard Bumpers A2L front and A2 series rear bumpers
- Gravel Empire Grill
- Custom “Tweety’s Tire” mud flaps
- Smoothed mirrors and color matched paint
- Royal Hooks
- AMP Research PowerStep running boards
- Hornblasters train horn
- Gen-Y drop hitch
- Custom built one piece OBS headlights with two tone Platinum series rock lights with full RGBW light output options
- Custom matching tail lights
- Smoked Cab lights
- Custom color matched pods and light bars by
- Custom white leather with blue stitching power bucket seats from 2010 Super Duty
- Fiberglass dash with custom speedometer
- Custom color matching seat belts custom color bezel from King Ranch Edition
- Apple iPad in dash
- Phoenix Gold amplifiers
- (4) sets Infinity Kappa component speakers
- (4) 8” DB Drive subwoofers in custom enclosure AudioControl Epicenter processor Stinger wiring
- Wet Sounds STEALTH-6 SURGE-B 6 speaker amplified sound bar hidden in front bumper