Few pickups offer the purity of an original F-1 Ford. Today, thanks largely to their styling, F-1s are highly sought after to create a classic custom, but like so many other vintage trucks, the clocks have worked against them, and time has shown them the way to the great beyond. For Dennis Bunton of Statesville, North Carolina, his '52 Ford fell in his lap while it was on its way to the crusher. "It was on the back of a rollback bound for Gordon's Junkyard," Dennis recalls. "I decided I wanted to save it, so I bought it for $5,000.
In the nick of time, Dennis changed the course of this F-1's life and gave it a new purpose. While the price was near perfect, the work entailed wasn't exactly something to sing about. But then again, that depends on your disposition. Dennis is the owner of Bunton's Rod Shop, and he makes a living turning rusted hulks into sparkling dreams. As such, he didn't flinch too much at the sight of the old F-1, which blatantly shouted that it needed tons of cab, floorpan, bed, and fender work (read: the whole truck) just to create something of a less offensive nature, or rather, something that would look like a Ford. But Dennis wasn't worried about offending anyone, and he wasn't too interested in keeping it looking all Ford. He had other ideas in mind.
Dennis performed a major amount of the custom bodywork, but he also contracted with Wizard Customs, who spent extensive hours working, reworking, and smoothing over the body, giving it a slick, glass-like finish. With 3 inches chopped from the top, the F-1 took on a more modern, streamlined look, but it retained its original rear window. All things told, if you don't really know F-1s or old trucks, you might not even notice the chop job, but no one can miss the tinted glass' slightly greenish hue. The door handles were shaved, all four fenders were replaced with fiberglass units from Bebops Glass, the hinges were hidden, and many other extremely subtle changes were made to the body, furthering the smooth, windswept appearance. When it was all said and done, Wizards, with the help of John Black, sprayed House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl over the body, a color that pops when the sun hits it and does nothing but draw attention.
A 5.4 Ford Lightning motor...
A 5.4 Ford Lightning motor transfers grunt to an AR-100 automatic overdrive transmission with a Lokar shifter.
Scats of Hickory, NC, stitched...
Scats of Hickory, NC, stitched the bone-hued leather interior. The seats are from a '99 Camry.