This Volvo is one mean machine
JASON Ryan had a dream, and that dream was to create one tough-looking truck.
He runs an Orange County Choppers importation business in Coolum on Queensland's Sunshine Coast and Viking Mafia, a truck customisation business.
His first big project in the custom truck market isn't something you would see every day.
"The idea started with the exhaust system," he said.
With the thought that he wanted to just "go nuts", it wasn't the easiest job on a new SCR engine FH16 Volvo, but he managed to use the original exhaust canister and "every single pipe works".
Ryan admitted some of the features of the truck weren't instantly obvious like the matt black reverse paint work in the custom airbrushing done by Vicki Pattison, from CrazyPaint Airbrush Studio in Woombye, but the more you look at it, the more you see.
It took about 10 months to build with colleague AJ, who did all the body and manufacturing work.
But it wasn't a full-time job, Ryan said, and there was never a set plan.
Instead using trial and error, the boys came up with elements they liked and that worked together.
Mostly Viking Mafia is a truck buying and selling business which focuses on late model, low kilometre quality trucks.
The logo was inspiration for the Viking-themed truck and so far it has been good in achieving a whole lot of exposure.
Ryan decided to go into the customisation game because that's what he would prefer to be spending his time on and the boutique-style jobs they do usually mean one or two trucks pass through the workshop a month.
"It's something I want to do for the rest of my life," he said.
With swords for tail lights and a pogo stick from a CNC machined stainless billet that took 200 hours to create, it's definitely a truck that stands out from the rest.
"We had to reverse the concept of airbrushing, we couldn't put clear over matt. Vicky created all the original artwork using gloss black to give it depth."
Ryan said the theme was a cross over between Celtic and medieval.
Of note is the lack of LED lights on this truck, Ryan wanted to move away from bling.
From the leather-wrapped tanks and guards it's fair to say Viking Mafia wanted to steer away from what had been done before.
"We wanted to do something not usually done to a European truck."
The level of the doors and sun visor were dropped, swords added, custom raw aluminium spinners adorn the wheels. Inside is a custom leather trim, a 14-speaker sound system that will "blow your head off" and a 70-inch LED TV.
For the past six to eight months the truck has been travelling around to truck shows and, unexpectedly, has a buyer.
Ryan didn't think it would sell, that wasn't his intention in building it. He says it was just about having a crack at something different but, with all the attention it's had, there was bound to be a buyer. He estimates the truck to be worth $400,000.
Ryan has been in the truck game a long time and grew up with trucks. His parents ran a Volvo and Mack dealership in Warwick, where Ryan undertook a diesel fitter apprenticeship then, in 2001, he took over running the business for eight years.