The buzz we've been hearing lately has been a little odd, to say the least. Actually, it's more along the lines of shock and awe. But just like everything, one must check the validity of the rumor. True or not, there is talk of Chevy and Ford merging to form one big superpower, and after seeing Rick Knapp's '61 Ford Unibody, it got us thinking: Is this what a cross between a Bow Tie and a Blue Oval might look like?
Rick's '61 Unibody has been in the family for 35 years. What started out as an everyday truck eventually traveled around the family, where it picked up a little bit of personality from each individual; however, no family member gave the truck quite the persona that Uncle Ralph did. The truck turned out so rad that Rick couldn't help but buy it three years ago. If you ask Rick, what enticed him about the truck the most is the sheer fact of controversy and shock and awe that surrounds the '61. Why is that, you might wonder? Well, here's the scoop.
When it was time for Ralph to inherit the Ford, he had big plans in the works. Act one of the plan started with a hybrid chassis. When it came time to figure out what to do with the stock straight-axle frontend, Ralph turned to the Bow Tie. Wanting something with independent suspension, disc brakes, rack-and-pinion, and good drivability, one thing came to mind: a Camaro clip. Ralph got a hold of a '75 Camaro and pirated the front clip from the F-body. He grafted the clip to the frame using everything Chevy intended to.
To escape nosebleeds, Ralph cut a few coils out of the springs, which alleviated the need to carry Kleenexes in the truck at all times. In the rear, a Ford 9-inch was narrowed, and the springs were re-arched to bring the back end down. Ralph narrowed the rearend because he stuffed 15x12-inch Weld rims under the truck's bed. Up front, things were kept simple with 15x7-inch Weld rollers.