To get power to the 3.55:1-geared Ford 9-inch rearend, narrowed 4 inches and packed with Moser 31-spline axles, BJ located a '70 Ford C6 trans he rebuilt and beefed up with a B&M tranny kit, then topped off with a Hurst quarter stick shifter.
Moving on to the '68's bodywork, BJ plunked down the cash to buy a used MIG welder, and after a few quick lessons from his friend Nathan Reffitt, he began the process of cutting out cardboard templates, transferring the needed shapes for body alterations to the sheetmetal, and then welding the pieces together to get the body lines just right. The '68's cab came from BJ's grandfather's old F-100, which had been resting in the corner of the garage. Steve Lowe chopped the top on Grandpa's cab by 4 inches. With that completed, BJ sectioned, widened, and smoothed the steps on the Flareside bed. He also shaved the door handles, cut out the cowl panel, shaved the stock holes and vents, and installed a one-off louvered panel he created. The finishing touch was to smooth and fill all the seams. Paragraph Inside the bed, BJ installed a Dan Carpenter kit with a pair of 3-inch widened BeBop fiberglass fenders on the outside. The tailgate is another of BJ's creations; he used '48 Ford taillights to french into the rear bumper. Before he installed the motor, BJ convinced his dad that a smoothed firewall would be really cool, so while BJ was off at the Kentucky Dept. of Justice Academy, his father kept the project rolling by creating the templates for the last-minute body mods.
For paint, the '68 was turned over to BJ's good friend Bud Bradley, who handled the final prep work before spraying the DuPont Tequila Sunrise Orange paint in his two-bay shop in Hueysville, Kentucky, that's heated by a rustic yet efficient potbelly stove. The truck's graphics feature tri-coat tribal flames with pinstriping handled by Lil' Jack Graphics.
With the paintjob completed, work turned to the interior, which was transformed by Hall's Custom Upholstery in Hindman, Kentucky. Hall's handled stitching the '99 Nissan Maxima seats in dark grey leather and fitting them with Peak Racing Equipment five-point seatbelts. To clean up the dashboard, BJ shaved the ashtray, heater controls, and choke knob. For sound, BJ installed a Pioneer sound system featuring two 10-inch Jensen subs in an enclosure BJ constructed and hid behind the seats. There's also a pair of 6x9 Jensens in the custom console and two 4-inch tweeters that help deliver the full range of audio to the cab. To keep track of the truck's vitals, BJ built a custom dash filled with a full complement of Auto Meter gauges, including a 5-inch tach. The final touch inside the cab is a Lecarra leather and billet steering wheel atop the steering column.
BJ told us that "trucks have been a major part of my life; I guess it's a passion. This truck is my hunting, fishing, golf, and anything-else-you-can-mention truck. Thanks to my girlfriend, mom and dad, along with my friends, my dream has come true.