It's a sad story often heard about many a poor old person whose kids showed up one day at their house and told them to pick out their favorite chair, because they were going to sell off everything else they owned, load them and their chair into the minivan, and haul them off to the old folks' home.
"Spawn of the godless" would be what most of us would call offspring like that, but thankfully for Manuel Cardoza and his '49 Ford F-1, his son Joe made sure the 75-year-old man saw his radical custom pickup project completed. "I started this quest in January 2001 and completed it in January 2007. It took me 10,000-plus hours to complete this truck, and during this period I had two back surgeries, renal failure, and four-way bypass open-heart surgery with a valve replacement. Being able to complete this truck was a real blessing to me. I owe my son Joe many thanks for helping me assemble the truck after my heart surgery. I don't think I could have finished the Wild Portugee without him."
Manuel found his '49 Ford F-1 in San Juan Bautista, California, where it had been sitting in a field since '68. Time had taken its toll on the old F-1, leaving a piece of the cab and the '49 Ford chassis as the only original parts on the F-1 by the time he and Joe had seen the project to the end. Manuel ended up using a cab from an F-1 given to him by his friend Bill Robinson, who was using it as a parts truck.
The very first thing Manuel did to transform his F-1 into a full custom was to chop the top. With the F-1's roofline in gear, Manuel moved on to updating his stock Effie frame with a frontend clip from a '78 Camaro providing a modern double A-arm independent suspension complete with power steering.
From here, things moved back into the Ford groove with the purchase of an '86 Lincoln Mark VII donor car. The Lincoln's 302 H.O. engine and AOD transmission along with the 8-inch Ford rearend were installed into the F-1's chassis. Not content with Ford's better idea, Manuel had Reggie Jackson's High-Performance Shop swap the stock 302 heads for a pair of high-performance heads from Holley. Ditto for the stock Ford cam; a hotter profile from Lunati was slipped into place to extract more power from the Lincoln's EFI setup. To exit spent gases, the 302 is equipped with a set of Ford Racing headers dumping into a pair of Borla stainless steel mufflers with tailpipes custom-routed to allow for the '49's slammed ride height.