KAO Auto Styling has been building custom vehicles in Sin City since 1989, so they know a thing or two about what makes a ride stop you in your tracks and gawk at its beauty. When the Jeep Wrangler JK first dropped back in 2007, they knew they now had an amazing platform for off-road builds that would challenge their customization skills and creativity to new heights. “They have become one of our most popular vehicles that we upfit,” mentions Joel Baker, President of KAO Auto Styling. “Prior to Jeeps, we were very big in Hummers. Now there is never a day that we don’t have at least two Jeeps in the shop being worked on.”



Over the years, Jeeps have become the hottest off-road vehicle at SEMA Show, with KAO  actually modifying seven different Jeeps for the 2014 SEMA Show in their hometown of Las Vegas, NV. “Each Jeep had a different style and theme to it, with this particular red and white JK built for Red Dirt Road Wheels. We also created a bespoke ATV with matching wheels to complement it.”



Even though Red Dirt Road Wheels were behind the build, the shop didn’t let them see the Jeep until they were completely finished building it, despite describing what was being done throughout the duration of the project. “We told them to trust us and that they would get a lot of bang for their buck, as well as a great response at the show.” KAO lived up to their claim and delivered a unique and head-turning JK to the SEMA Show. Fully-built with some of the best components to complement the 20” RDR RD01 wheels were 37” tall Toyo Open Country R/Ts, BDS Suspension lift kit, Borla exhaust system and a slew of other parts and accessories.



Originally, the Jeep was supposed to be all black with red accents, but it looked too common for Baker and his team. They eventually decided to strip and powder coat the wheels white and also opted to paint the Jeep and accessories to flow with the design that Baker came up with. “Normally, I’ll sit with a vehicle for a few hours prior to a build and walk around it over and over again, while drawing different designs. I’ll sometimes also lay pinstripe tape all over the vehicle until I get a design that excites me.” Then, the fun starts as the whole shop starts to brainstorm ideas on how to create the most unique vehicle possible. “In the beginning, no one really liked the red and white idea, and everyone thought that the white wheels were a mistake, but as it got further and further along, it turned out to be a shop favorite!”



“As weird as it sounds, we were really excited about the tires. Last year was the debut for the new Toyo Open Country R/T tires, and they are an awesome tire for mud, dirt, snow or whatever you want to drive on. We were really hyped to be one of the first to get a set of the new tires to pair with the RDR wheels on this Jeep. We also went a bit crazy with the lighting on the JEEP with LED, HID and Halogen lights from KC Hilites, which made all our night testing excursions a breeze!”



No build is really without its challenges and the fact that the shop had to complete 38 one-off rides for the 2014 SEMA Show put some pressure on the crew to get the Jeep done on time and looking it’s best. “We had a total of 45 days to build all 38 vehicles, so everyone in the shop worked non-stop, seven days a week with long hours to get everything done on time. We were actually at the show the day before it opened until 4 a.m putting finishing touches on the Jeep since we got some last minute parts. There’s a ton of blood, sweat and tears in this build.”



KAO also did six other Jeep builds for last year’s SEMA show and took all seven of them out to the desert right after the show to test out their builds and to “beat the crap out of them in the dirt and sand.” As one of the Jeeps was getting photographed, the others were being piloted by a different KAO employee. “We went on a mad dash all through the desert, chasing this red and white Jeep,” Baker describes. “It started as a little game of follow the leader and turned into a crazy game of chicken. We even had one guy in a Jeep filming the fun, which made for some great video footage. Other than one muffler flying off, all seven of our Jeeps did spectacular out there!”



Specs
SUSPENSION
BDS SUSPENSION LIFT

WHEELS & TIRES
37X12.50R20 TOYO OPEN COUNTRY R/T tires
20x12 RED DIRT ROAD RD01 wheels

PERFORMANCE
BORLA EXHAUST CAT-BACK EXHAUST SYSTEM

EXTERIOR
ARIES OFF ROAD MODULAR FRONT BUMPER CUSTOM COLOR MATCHED
JAREK OFF ROAD FRONT HEADLIGHTS
INPROCARWEAR TAILLIGHTS
ORACLE LIGHTING LED HALOS
KC HILITES BUMPER MOUNTED LED SPOT LIGHTS
ORACLE UNDERGLO GRILL AND FOOTWELL ACCENTS
KAO OFFROAD BESPOKE  MESH GRILLE
BUSHWACKER FLAT PANEL FENDER FLARES
CUSTOM PAINT BY KAO AND DUPONT FINISHES
PARAMOUNT OFF ROAD ROCK SLIDERS
GARVIN INDUSTRIES WILDERNESS RACK
THULE OF SWEDEN STORAGE POD
CUSTOM BODY ARMOR CAGE DOORS
KC HILITES UNDERHOOD LED LIGHT
KC HILITES SIDE AND ROOF MOUNT LED LIGHTING AND HALOGEN SPOTS
VPR 4X4 REAR BUMPER WITH CUSTOM- MOUNTED SWING ARM

INTERIOR
CUSTOM LEATHER FROM PECCA LEATHER INTERIORS
Sources
KAO Auto Styling
Red Dirt Road Wheels
BDS SUSPENSION
TOYO TIRES
BORLA
ORACLE
KC HILITES
BUSHWACKER
PARAMOUNT
GARVIN INDUSTRIES
THULE OF SWEDEN
PECCA LEATHER INTERIORS
BODY ARMOR
VPR 4X4
Watch the DUB Garage Team trick out TEAM TWO's Trunk with Custom Storage Racks and some of our hard hitting woofers & amps from DUB Audio by Jensen. Deandre Jordan talks about why having a solid audio system is crucial to him.

Stay Tuned For the Finishing Touches at DUBMAGAZINE.COM!

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 23:23

Ty Dolla $ign

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R&B is making a comeback after years of being shadowed by hip-hop and Ty Dolla $ign is leading the pack. As the go-to guy for R&B hooks and features, Ty (born Tyrone Griffin Jr.) is gearing up for a huge summer before he drops his highly anticipated debut album Free TC. His latest single “Drop That Kitty (feat. Charli XCX and Tinashe) is already slated to be one of summer’s top jams, and he’s going to be touring the world, performing at various summer concerts and festivals. Earlier this year, he was honored by MTV and included in their “Artist To Watch,” lineup for 2015, joining the likes of other up-and-coming acts like Rae Sremmurd, with a yearlong campaign and promotion across the network’s various platforms.
Baja winner BJ Baldwin puts his Chevy Custom truck through it’s paces. Not in Baja, but at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2015.
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 00:26

Toyota Tundra: Face Lift

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Andy Canaza is no stranger to modifying cars...afterall, he is the magazine’s Mobile Electronics Director and has helped build countless project vehicles over the years. But after working on other people’s projects, Andy wanted to create his own masterpiece and finally got the chance to turn his already mildly modded 2012 Toyota Tundra into the head turning ride that he wanted but never had the chance to put together.
The DUB Team's skills are being put to the test - Watch us finish the completely custom body kit for LRG and Sonny's RAV4!
Stay Tuned For Future Updates on Both Teams at DUBMAGAZINE.COM
Thursday, 25 June 2015 22:27

Toyota's Offroad ready "UUV" Sienna

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What do you get when you fuse a Toyota Tacoma truck chassis and a Toyota Sienna body on a lifted suspension and TIS Off-Road Wheels? A killer mash-up Toyota calls the Ulitmate Utility Vehicle. It's headed to be featured at this year's SEMA Show and y ou can bet that we'll have a full on feature of the car in the near future, right here.

Novitec Rosso introduces the N-LARGO, a carbon-fiber widebody version of the Ferrari California T. The conversion also includes three-piece high-tech forged wheels with diameters of 21 and 22 inches, as well as engine tuning that bumps the rated output to 491 kW / 668 HP allowing for a top speed of 325 km/h.

Full Press Release and gallery after the jump

The all-new Bentley GT V8 S roars with power thanks to its 4.0-liter V8 engine, allowing this sporty and luxurious new GT an agility you’ll definitely feel while behind the wheel. Outside, the new Bentley adds a new front bumper and lip-style spoiler that adorns its rear, while a newly designed iconic Bentley “B” fender vent rests behind each front wheel. And speaking of wheels, a fresh set of Black di Forza BM12 22×9 front and 22×10.5 rear wheels, in machined black finish, enhance its exceptional styling cues.
Saturday, 20 June 2015 00:17

Monster Energy: Dallas DUB Show 2015

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The DUB Show took over Dallas June 14th and had over 30,000+ attendees! Here are some highlights from the show featuring hundreds of the hottest custom rides/trucks + Live Performances by: Future, August Alsina, Kevin Gates, Mike Jones & More. Brought to you by: 97.9 The Beat, Fueled by Nitto Tire and sponsored by TIS Wheels, Dropstars , MetroPCS, #‎UFC , Motiv Wheels, Gear Alloy Wheels , Ez Rimz 4 Rent, DUB Edition Audio by #‎Jensen and DUB Developed By Meguiar's line of car care products now available at Walmart.

The 2014 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV may have started out like any other year, but it ended with “the crunch heard around the world,” according to Shaun Freilich of Texas-based Complete Customs. Jeep fans may have already heard about what will be one of SEMA’s most talked about incidents in the history of the aftermarket specialty show. For those who aren’t in the know, that crunch Freilich is referring to is the moment his Jeep accidently rear-ended Liberty Walk’s $250K-plus widebody Ferrari 458 near the DUB Live area during the exit parade for the SEMA Cruise.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 18:50

NITTO'S Auto Enthusiast Day returns to Cali

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After a successful event in Texas, Nitto Tire’s Auto Enthusiast Day is returning to Southern California August 1st, 2015 and promises to be the series’ best event yet.

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