In life, everything lives on a spectrum – there is a range of how nice something can be or the amount of effort someone can put forth in a project. That same spectrum is applied to prerunners; on the low end, you have garage-built Ford Rangers that were built on a budget to the high end of the spectrum are full-blown tube chassis race trucks with a cab on them. This HM Racing Design’s Prerunner is an exceptional build utilizing an already capable platform the Ford Raptor and pushing it to the limits. While center-mounted tube chassis trucks are often referred to as the holy grail of all prerunners, sometimes that isn’t needed; sometimes, you rock out with what you got, utilizing factory components and engineering. Ryan Gaumer’s prerunner is a perfect example of how far you can take a Raptor Platform without having to cut the front end off, and the results are nothing short of spectacular.
HM Racing Design has been building prerunners and race trucks for well over 20 years now, as they have solidified themselves as a Ford-based premier fabrication shop in the off-road racing industry. It was no surprise when they got their hands on this truck it would turn into something extraordinary. What started out as a 2014 Ford F150 Raptor commissioned by Cory Lewis in 2018 turned into a full-fledge prerunner built to withstand the most extreme terrain.
What is a prerunner without a great roll cage? That is when legendary fabricator Morgan Clarke designed and fabricated the roll cage that integrated into the chassis and engine cage. From there HM handled the rest of the build, but it is much more than just a Raptor with a good roll cage and bolt-on long travel kit. Upfront is a race-long travel kit where the 4wd system was ditched to make room for a swingset steering system instead of the traditional steering rack. With this combination, the 2wd system allows for 21 inches of wheel travel using factory pivot points and has the added benefit of the steering system to help ease those massive 40-inch BFG tires as well as allowing for the elimination of all potential bump steer. While some may see the loss of 4wd can be a negative but with the new steering solution and increased travel numbers. It is a win all around.
In the rear, the entire truck was back halved for a four-link suspension system that is good for a remarkable 29 inches of wheel travel to cycle the Currie 10-inch rear end. It has an integrated cooling system with a rear mount radiator and cooling fans, 74-weld sway bars, and a storage box for all your adventure necessities.
The 6.2L V8 has a Livernois oil pump, rocker braces, and long tube headers but for the most part, it was pretty much left stock for reliability, especially for prerunning in Baja. With the help of a 65-gallon fuel cell, this truck gets a pretty decent range, even though it might only get 7 MPG. This goes back to the original build ethos; HM designed this truck to be reliable and work when needed. This can be seen throughout the truck as you look at the details on the inside, it still retains many factory components. It still has cruise control of all things to have.
This is the first generation Raptor but utilizes the McNeil Racing fiberglass 1-piece front end and bedsides to look like the second-generation Raptor. A clean and beautiful look that is one of the best fiberglass designs available on the market. At a glance, this truck looks like it could have come like this from the factory as it compliments the original body lines of the truck without having to make it too bulgy and bubbly.
This truck is about as extreme as you can possibly take a Ford Raptor platform before you go full tilt, cutting it in half and building a tube chassis. HM Racing Design has been known to build exceptional vehicles on the Ford platform, and this one is just another incredible example proving that these trucks remain the benchmark of off-road. From the swingset steering to the four-link rear and incredible chassis work, this Raptor truly is incredible. While some may daydream of center-mounted prerunners and Trophy Trucks this truck is all you need to prerun the Baja 1000 – because that is exactly what Ryan did with it.
Ryan has been around the off-road space for some time now, as he built his previous Raptor into a full prerunner; he recently purchased a 2nd generation Brenthel truck that he raced in VORRA. As he continues to become more and more involved in off-road racing, he will be using this truck as a tool along the way. Whether it is prerunning for a race or going on an epic four-day Baja trip, this Raptor is built for the harshest conditions without any compromise. We know he will have a good time using it wherever Ryan takes it.
Chassis: 2014 Ford F150 Raptor Built by HM Racing Design
Weight: 6,300 lbs
Engine: 6.2L V8 Ford
Transmission: 6 speed, 6R80
Fuel Cell: 65 Gallon Fuel Cell
Tires: 40″ BF Goodrich Baja T/A
Wheels: Innov8 Wheels
Front Suspension: HM 2wd Race Kit FOX 2.5 Coilover and 3.5 Bypass shocks, 21″ wheel travel
Rear Suspension: 4-link King 3.5 Coilover and 4.5 Bypass Shocks, 29″ wheel travel
Axle: Currie 10inch, 40 spline Spidertrax axles
Gearing: 5.14 gearing Spool
Steering: Swingset Steering Saginaw Steering Box
Radio: PCI Radios and coms
Seats: PRP Seats