2008-11-05 - NellyNelly saw his customized 2009 Ford Flex for the first time during the Sema Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday (November 4), where it was unveiled to the public also for the first time.

The 34-year-old rapper says Ford’s newest crossover vehicle caught his eye for the first time in July when it was on display at a Ford-sponsored event in Atlanta.

“When I saw it, I said ‘Yo, that’s hot! How can I get one of those?’ ” he recalled. “I thought it was a real unique vehicle.”

After seeing it, the rapper talked to music industry friend DJ Funkmaster Flex — who already has a customized Flex of his own — and that’s when the DJ made the introduction for Nelly.

“I’ve been partnering with Ford on some amazing vehicles since 2005,” said Funkmaster Flex. “When Nelly reached out on wanting a custom Flex of his own, I knew it was going to be ‘on and poppin.’ From our initial meeting with him at my warehouse in the Bronx to follow-up conversations that we had about this vehicle, there was no doubt that we could deliver something that would ultimately be true to Nelly and his own style.”

Ford was excited about Nelly’s interest, and says his enthusiastic about the Flex proves they’ve created something worth while.

“He is a huge hip-hop star who transcends the traditional audience. The fact that he is attracted to Flex is testament to its head-turning design,” said Usha Raghavachari, Ford’s Crossover Marketing Communications Manager.

After working out details, Nelly hooked up with a Ford designer, who helped bring his vision to life. The result was a Flex with black Tuscany leather interior; Katzkin seats with blue stitching; NC Forged 22-inch 6 Spoke 3-piece aluminum wheels with NC floating center caps; and they replaced all the wood grain trim inside the car with the same artwork featured on the roof, which Nelly helped pick. It’s a bird, which is a symbol of freedom, said Ford.

Additionally, Nelly’s Flex features the SYNC technology, and a wireless internet entertainment system, which enables passengers to enjoy web surfing, online games, e-mail, downloaded movies, music and live television.

While in Vegas for the unveiling, Ford also threw the rapper a party for his 34th birthday at Las Vegas’s Lavo restaurant.