Dedicated to NC State’s WolfpackBy Maxwell Matthewson, Photography by Dan Ward
Before playing pro ball in the NFL, Mario Williams of Houston, Texas, grew up in North Carolina. After a stellar football career at North Carolina State University, Mario was selected in the first round by the Houston Texans. From there, the Buffalo Bills picked him up, but it all started at NC State -- and Mario hasn’t forgotten his roots. He recently had MTI build him a 44-foot catamaran speed boat and had it custom-painted to pay tribute to the NC State Wolfpack. A big boat needs a big truck to pull it, so Mario picked up a 2012 Ford F-250 four-wheel-drive Super Duty with the 6.7L Power Stroke. But as we have seen with his previous trucks, Mario isn’t one to leave well enough alone, and we’re thankful for that.
Fresh off the dealer lot, Mario had his Super Duty delivered to Extreme Offroad and Performance, in Katy, Texas. Similar to his past builds, Mario wanted a truck that matched his imposing stature but had the ability to sit level while towing his boat. To achieve this, a Kelderman 8- to 10-inch air-ride four-link front and rear suspension kit was ordered. Upon arrival, however, the whole kit was disassembled and sent off to be powdercoated red and black -- matching NC State’s colors. Custom-painted 22x14 Fuel two-piece wheels were shod in 40x15.50R22 Toyo Open Country M/T rubber to finish off the rolling chassis.
The truck was looking great, but it didn’t have the curb appeal to compete with Mario’s custom-painted catamran. This meant the next stop for his Blue Oval was to the paint and body shop. Before any paint was sprayed, an RBP RX3 grille was installed along with a set of Fab Fours replacement bumpers. Then David Kinsey applied a two-tone paint scheme, white over black, with a red separator. Before sealing in the new paint with clear, Chuck Copeland applied a tear graphic to both sides and the tailgate of the Super Duty. Inside this he sprayed true fire flames and airbrushed several wolves. There’s even a Super Mario Bros. character hiding amongst the flames.
To give the Ford F-250 Super Duty a luxurious interior, the first step was new red and black leather seat covers. This was complemented by a suede headliner, suede-covered dash, and a suede-covered center console. Next, the plastic pieces were all painted red and reinstalled. This left just the audio to be handled. The core of the system lies in a JVC touch-screen head unit. This feeds audio to a quadruplet of Helix amps, which in turn power the speakers. Said speakers consist of Helix components in the doors and a pair of Rockford Fosgate subs in a blow-through box in the bed.
Mario finally had a truck worthy of hauling his custom MTI catamaran around, all while being comfortable at the same time. It is safe to say this truck successfully pays tribute to Mario’s days of playing college ball at NC State.