BDS Suspensions, a subsidiary of Fox Shocks and a long-time builder of custom Fords, were commissioned to create an off-road ‘first responder’ vehicle, based on a new Bronco, for the 2021 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in the US.
After being forced to run as a virtual event in 2020 due to the pandemic, SEMA was back as a live show in 2021, presenting the newest and best from the global automotive aftermarket industry. That meant there were lots of custom creations to see and touch in the metal as stallholders presented all manner of custom vehicles to demonstrate the parts they sell.
More often than not, the hot new vehicle of the moment gets the most attention from the aftermarket industry at SEMA. In 2021, that vehicle was Ford’s all-new Bronco.
In addition to the abundance of new Broncos on show at the Las Vegas Convention Centre that had been accessorised by various aftermarket companies, Ford had six of their own, created by trusted partners like BDS Suspensions, to showcase Ford Performance Parts and Ford Licensed Accessories.
“We designed Ford vehicles to be easier to customise, with installation points and aftermarket accessories engineered from the start of the design process,” said Eric Cin, Ford global director, vehicle personalisation, accessories and licensing.
“We work actively with the aftermarket to share our product designs so customers can personalise and put the finishing touches on their vehicle to make it all their own.”
Applying almost half a century of suspension experience, BDS Suspensions decided to build the ultimate fire truck to help rescue crews take on the trails.
Based on a 2021 two-door Black Diamond series Bronco, the BDS creation featured aftermarket parts inside and out, starting with suspension upgrades that turned the already capable Bronco into an ultra-capable machine. BDS gear included their 4-inch UCA System with Fox 2.5 PES coilovers, adjustable rear control arms and track bar, plus a rear swaybar disconnect.
The Bronco’s factory bumpers were replaced with units from CrawlTek Revolution that include a recessed winch mount, recovery hooks and belly skid plate up front, plus winch mount and recovery hooks at the rear. WARN Industries ZEON 10S winches were used at each end.
Other updates and modifications included 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 tyres, a modified half-truck hardtop, CrawlTek slider steps, a CargoGlide custom CG1000XL slideout tray for all the firefighting gear and an ARB TwinAir air compressor under the bonnet.
At the SEMA Awards that recognise the best new vehicles for personalisation and customisation, Ford did exceptionally well last year, winning the 4x4/SUV of the Year for the Bronco, as well as the Car of the Year for the Mustang and the Full-Size Truck of the Year for their F-Series.
“Bronco and Bronco Sport customers love parts and accessories that emphasise performance and off-road lifestyle, so we worked closely with Bronco design and vehicle engineering to deliver the products to match their individual lifestyle,” Cin added.