Last Man Standing

Golden Customs claims victory on the automotive battlefield.

When a big-dog pit bull like Funkmaster Flex taps you for automotive work, you can’t get gassed…you just gotta be ready to tussle. That’s the basis behind Flex’s Car Wars on ESPN2: to find out who’s got bite and who’s just barkin’. In partnership with Castrol SYNTEC, the build-off style program pits four custom shops against one another to see who can build out the chosen platform in the freshest manner. To kick off the first season, competing shops headed to NYC’s Manhattan Ford to cop their canvas, a 2007 Ford Expedition. And after six grueling weeks of heavyweight hustling, a new grand champ was crowned: Golden Customs of Nanuet, New York, and their Big Apple–inspired black-on-silver intimidation machine.

Borrowing front-end design cues from a 1930s-era Ford Greyhound, Golden’s child of labor boasts a monstrous grille running from the hood damn near down to the ground, thanks to the truck’s adjustable Air Ride suspension. While bags were a given to achieve the desired look, they almost threw the fight for Ed and his crew. “The day before we were supposed to ship the truck out, it blew an air line as we were moving it out the shop,” says Mike Garcia, Ed’s right-hand man. “It literally sat halfway inside the shop with the nose on the ground that night.” Down but not out, the suspension was quickly fixed, and the contender was sent off to its title bout. “My team really pulled it off,” says Golden. “I told them to think like the other guys are coming with something great, ’cause if you think they’re coming mediocre, you’re gonna slack. They listened.” And the war was won. Willie G.