Author Topic: "King Kong"  (Read 1444 times)

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Offline pinmonkey001

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"King Kong"
« on: May 07, 2008, 12:35:34 PM »

If your vehicle suddenly is swamped by a large shadow, it may just be Dereiq McCalister driving beside you.

About a year ago, he welded together the front of a Ford F650 to the back of a Ford Excursion. Fittingly named "King Kong" on the license plate, the charcoal gray-colored truck is more than 8 feet tall, about 20 feet wide and about 25 feet long.

The Monroe resident had a Michigan company perform the welding job after he came up with the concept.

"I had no idea how big it actually was until I drove it," he said. "But I love it. It's a lot of fun to drive."

The truck is not only big, but loaded as well. It boasts 50-inch tires, two 50-gallon diesel fuel tanks, air-ride suspension and a Caterpillar diesel engine.

"Truck drivers love it. They will give me a thumbs up … it's crazy," he said.

The vehicle's interior accessories are just as impressive. The eight-passenger truck includes leather seating, two 13-inch TV monitors for DVDs and Playstation video games, and a 42-inch plasma television in the rear of the truck, adjacent to a bar and refrigerator.

It also includes a JL Audio stereo system with W7 speakers and 1,000-watt amplifiers.

When cruising around in his truck, he's not worried about the rising gas prices. It costs about $400 to fill both 50-gallon diesel fuel tanks.

"Diesel burns slower than regular gasoline so it's not as bad as you would think. I don't have to fill it up for a long time," he said.

Besides owning real estate in Monroe, Mr. McCalister owns a transportation company in California. His West Coast business gives him a chance to test King Kong's gas mileage.

"I only stopped twice for gas when I drove from California to Monroe," he said.

Since the truck is so big, he installed a camera in the back of the vehicle to help him see the sides and rear of the truck. A monitor displays traffic in his blind spots.

"The camera makes it really easy to see all around. The only hard part is getting in and out of the truck," he said, smiling.

It is other people's cameras that cause him problems.

"People like to take pictures of the truck. If they take a picture at night while we're on the road, the camera catches the flash and the screen goes white," he said. "It caught me by surprise when it first started happening. I didn't know what was going on."

Mr. McCalister is getting used to strangers snapping photos of his super-sized truck.

"When I'm driving, people will usually take pictures of the truck or honk their horn in approval. Other people will give me a thumbs up," he said.

The local celebrity status is something he still is getting accustomed to when driving around town.

"I went to McDonald's and a whole bunch of people came out of the restaurant to check it out. They were like, ‘What is that?' Some of them asked to take pictures of it," he said.

Another time, he had to run to the grocery store. He told his girlfriend, Laronda Jackson, he would be back in a short time but gawkers slowed him down.

"I was in a rush but people kept stopping me in the parking lot," he said. "Laronda called and asked what was taking so long. I don't mind it, though. It's fun to see how people react to it."

Offline Jim

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Re: "King Kong"
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 02:42:51 PM »
That thing is a monster.


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