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Hip-Hop Star Nelly Shows Customized 2009 Ford Flex at SEMA

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Ford Flex - Customized By Nelly

Ford Flex - Customized By Nelly

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Wow, Ford is really pulling out all the stops in attempts to sell station wagons crossovers to a whole new set of playas. In a cleverly eponymous marketing move, Ford had already partnered with DJ/producer Funkmaster Flex on--you guessed it--a Ford Flex.

Flex's buddy Nelly saw the new Ford vehicle in Atlanta, expressed interest--"Yo, that’s hot!"--and a savvy Ford marketing manager, Usha Raghavachari, seized the opportunity to create a 2009 Ford Flex custom-tailored to Nelly's sensibilities. And so, we present to you, Nelly's very own 2009 Ford Flex, displayed yesterday at SEMA in Las Vegas.

Nelly knew he wanted blue paint, 22-inch wheels, a white roof, an exhaust system with "a little bit of rumble," a killer sound system, and a personalized interior. Using those guidelines, Ford designer Melvin Betancourt began creating a unique Flex that he topped with a bird applique on the vehicle's roof, which he found to be "an art form that we feel reflects Nelly’s personality." It's just a bit more menacing than the the Road Runner affixed to Plymouth's beloved musclecar of the same name.

Inside, Ford's new SYNC technology partners with a CIM LIIV wireless Internet entertainment system, allowing passengers to surf the Web, play online games, e-mail, and download entertainment. "When you can have a vehicle that both can rock their own way, I think you have something there that’s very special," explained Nelly discussing the new parent-and-kid appeal of family cars like the Flex. Inside, Nelly's Flex features a black Tuscany leather interior with Katzkin seats, blue stitching that matches the vehicle's exterior, and more bird applique in place of the simulated wood grain on the standard vehicle.--Colin Mathews
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