Bagged Ford Flex | Domestic VIP
The Ford Flex has always caught my eye, its unlike any other cars on the market. So starting with a car that already gets a great deal with attention gives you an open canvas for creativity in your tuning style. Sam, the owner of this Flex decided to step it up a notch, he bagged it, put a Saleen Body Kit on it and hooked it up with some dope wheels. Now, personally I have never liked chrome wheels, but honestly they look absolutely perfect on this car, I don’t know of any other wheels that would look right on a bagged Flex. Now, everyone knows in the car scene there will always be haters, but at a recent meet when Sam pulled in I didn’t hear a single negative comment, all I heard was a variety of ways to say “Holy Shit!”, etc etc etc I saw more jaws dropping than a dentist see’s in a week. That is something I have never seen before, every time a car pulls in there is always that one guy that yells “Ricer!” or “Get a real car!” etc but not one person had a single negative thing to say when Sam pulled in, EVEN though he rolled in with one side dropped all the way down and the other side lifted up like a gangsta’!
When I asked Sam what brought him to the decision to buy and tune a Flex he said “Most of the cars I own are very different from what you usually see other people modifying. The flex just stood out. I never saw commercials for the flex, hardly ever saw any on the road and it had been out for two years so i knew that was a good sign. Coming home from work one day, I Heard something spool up behind me and a twin turbo ecoboost flex ripped past me. Even though i didnt end up buying the twin turbo version, that was what first got me looking at flex’s.” After purchasing the Flex came the hard part, deciding which style to go with when tuning it. He was sick of the typical import scene at the time, and everyone building up “drift cars” that never left the road, He wanted to go back to one of his favorite styles of cars to build- slammed to the ground, and rat rodded out. Obviously that’s not what happened with this, but he still utilized the whole slammed idea, but went VIP. It’s quite rare to see a Domestic VIP, and Sam has done an excellent job of setting the standards high.
Sam has had quite the history of cars; “Ive owned a lot of cars….. about 20+cars have passed through my hands in the past 3 years, not counting bikes ive built. Almost all of my cars have been slammed…. From the airbagged cobalt I built for my first car when I was 17, to a static slammed mini cooper S, boosted 1rst and 2nd gen DSM’s, a sleeper Saab 9-3 sedan boosting 16psi, a rat rodded 68′ Chevy c10, shaved and bagged s-10, Rat rodded 89′ lincoln towncar that road with its oil pan less than half an inch off the ground, to my straight piped G8GT, and my streetported mazda RX7 Fc Vert.” Now that his suspension and exterior aesthetics are where he wants them to look he is moving to the inside. He is currently trying to find a place to re-upholster his seats, he wants to go with purple/black diamond stitched suede stitched into his leather. He said he wants to get rid of his headliner and put a sound system back in. The next big thing he want to do, probably not for a year or so, is to chop the roof down about 6 inches. His main concern is all of the side curtain airbags and such he is going to run into. He wants to change-up the exhaust a little bit and throw an intake on it. He is not really looking to do much in terms of performance until he owns the car long enough to decide whether to boost it or something that will make enough of a difference to justify power feeding a minivan.
I asked Sam what got him into the Car Scene in the first place and he said “I just have always loved cars. Since I was about 10, I would count the years until I was 16 and could get my permit. In highschool my auto teacher Mr. Luek tought me everything I needed to know. Real down to earth kind of “pay attention or get the F**k” out of my class” kind of guy haha. The biggest inspiration was that at first I didn’t have much support from family, they saw it as wasting my time and money. My dad started liking the work I was doing and he came around haha. He realized “At least he’s not out dyeing his hair, getting tattoos, and piercing his face”….. ironically enough that happened too. It then turned into, well at least he’s staying out of trouble……but then the moving violations started to add up haha…. It’s just a lifestyle, You meet another auto enthusiast and you can instantly relate like your family. As long as they are true enthusiast.”
In terms of the actual work on his car he doesn’t let anyone touch his cars unless it comes to welding, paint, or window tinting. He doesn’t have a shop, or any fancy tools aside from his fender roller, he just uses the garage at his parents house. He does get help from a couple close friends though….. Cory Hibbard is his second-hand man. Sam said “I couldn’t tell you how many times this kid would be right next to me under the hood of my projects until 4am when we both have to work at 7:30 the next morning, wrenching, chugging monster and smoking Marlboros. I also couldnt have done the air suspension without the help of Eric Ruhlin, and Vince Galasso who helped in cutting/welding the rear bag mounts. Zach Harvey was a major help in getting the paint perfect on this thing. We were in my garage from 10pm until 4:30 am reconditioning the paint the night before the photo shoot, he had to be at work at 6:30am. Working on everyone else’s cars helps major when they are right there to help you back when you need it. Last but not least is my girlfriend Mandy Epp, shes the one driving an hour to give me rides when the flex is down, putting up with my BS when im stressed over something not working on it, and understanding when we have no way to get to a date because my dumbass forgot to order the part I need to make the car drive again. Guys if you land a girl that puts up with your modding addiction to the point where coming home at 4am for a week straight because your stuck in the shop getting your car ready for a car show is ok as long as she can come with, keep her haha.”
- Saleen 10pc. Body kit
- Saleen spoiler
- Rolled/Pulled front fenders
- Tinted taillights
- Double layered window tint (5% over 20%)
- Self made custom headlights (black housings,
eyelids, and smoked ambers all from inside)
- Blacked out grill
- Chrome dipped 20”X9.5 MRR H3 wheels wrapped in
Stretched 235/35/20 Pirelli rubber
- 30mm rear spacers
- Airbagit custom built front air struts
- Airbagit rear bags
- Dual Viair 380C compressors
- Custom built tank
- 1/4 line all around
- Air Lift “autopilot” air management and controller
- Dual Numatics brand water separators
- Custom made hardwood floor and 3rd row seat delete
Words and Photographs by: Alex Nagy
Check out my work at Facebook.com/NagyPhotography.