As a youngster growing up in Kentucky, Billy Joe Caudill had the kind of childhood every motorsports fan would have enjoyed. You see, BJ's dad was a drag racer and imbued a strong sense of family in his young son by including all the kinfolk in his passion, racing and rodding. So close-knit was the young family that they served as the race team's pit crew as early as BJ can remember, garnering a Best Appearing Crew at the IHRA Spring Nats when BJ was only 2 years old.
As a teen, BJ built his first street machine, a '68 Ford F-100, and it was at this point that he began his love affair with customized classic trucks. That first pickup was just the start, as pride in his ride struck him like lightning. He enjoyed that Ford immensely, showing it at Pigeon Forge. The truck garnered enough attention to set the hook pretty deep in the young customizer. As a few years passed, BJ's idea of a fresh dream ride took shape, so he parted company with his first '68 F-100 and used the money to finance his next F-100.
While keeping his eyes open for a fresh truck chassis, BJ began making the first purchases for the new project. For starters, he procured a new 514-inch crate motor from Ford Motorsports, saving BJ the hassle of tearing into an old V-8. The engine was set up with C429 aluminum Cobra Jet heads that receive fuel via a Demon 850 carb. The motor came outfitted with a .647-lift cam to allow plenty of mixture into the cylinders. BJ also budgeted funds for a set of Sanderson headers that dump into a pair of 3-inch Flowmasters. A Ford Racing distributor delivers the properly timed spark, with full advance occurring at 30 degrees.
Next on his mid-summer Christmas list was a Fatman IFS front suspension and a Fatman Pro Street four-link setup to handle the rear. Shortly after the boxes of parts began arriving from Fatman Fabrications, BJ found a '68 donor truck with a frame that was in pretty good shape. The donor was the first in a handful of Bulletside Fords that BJ hauled home and parted out.
The chassis from the first truck was stripped bare, with the 'rails boxed and then ultimately painted by BJ and his dad. Once ready, the pair then spent many hours setting up the frame and suspension using Air Ride Shockwaves front and rear and spindles from a retired Pinto to hang the front GM disc brake rotors. They robbed the rear drum brakes from a junked Mustang. The pair chose Classic Cragar Street Lite wheels to mount Cooper Cobra tires up front, with Hoosier Pro-Street radials providing bite in the rear.