Specialists are everywhere in these modern times. When was the last time we saw a two-way starter in the NFL, both an offensive and defensive star, who played regularly? Yes, Deion Sanders was fast enough to catch a few passes as a receiver, but he was deployed primarily as a defensive back. Remember when pro baseball's Jose Canseco was conked on the head while trying to catch a pop fly? Towards the end of his career, the only task he could accomplish with any consistency was to hit monstrous homeruns, so he became the team's designated hitter. Mr. Canseco once attempted pitching in a major league game, pulling a muscle in the process.

Hot-rod hobbyists who possess the wide variety of skills to single-handedly build their rides are a rare breed indeed. When we discover a vintage vehicle that's as well built as Joe Eckstein's '52 Ford F-1 and learn he built it himself, we're amazed and impressed.

A mechanical engineer by profession, Joe's metal fabrication skills enabled him to perform all of the pickup's design and fabrication. After establishing the build's blueprint, the intrepid engineer/hobbyist constructed a custom chassis from 2x4-inch, 3/8-inch-thick square tube steel to the original Ford factory dimensions. For rigidity, Joe Z'ed the front and rear framerails. Joe secured the oft-used IFS from a '74 Mustang II. He welded the front clip on, using its spindles and factory disc brakes. Apart from custom stainless steel coilover shock absorbers, the frontend was kept Mustang II stock, including the manual rack-and-pinion steering system. Narrowing the '65 Ford 9-inch differential came next. Joe then installed the 11-inch drum brake-equipped third member with four-link tubes and brackets he created and used Koni shocks to dampen the rear axle. Stainless steel and braided steel brake lines, as well as the fuel lines, were plumbed by the generalist, after he located the power brake booster under the cab and a 16-gallon fuel cell under the bed.

Since the custom chassis was purpose-built for Pro Street performance, Joe figured he'd better build a potent mill worthy of its platform. He sourced a 350ci Chevy small-block, which he bored 0.030 inches over. Producing an enhanced displacement of 383 ci, Sealed Power Rings and Keith Black pistons were used with stroker rods. Joe also installed a Lunati hydraulic camshaft and a Pete Jackson geardrive, before porting the stock heads. An HEI ignition was installed to achieve a robust, reliable spark. In terms of induction, Holley and Edelbrock teamed up - a Holley 700-cfm double-pumper atop an Edelbrock Performer RPM four-barrel aluminum intake manifold. The TH400 GM transmission was optimized with a 3,250-stall converter, as well as a trans cooler and a B&M shifter.