Not a day goes by when you can log onto a forum dedicated to a particular truck brand without having to look too hard to find the rants posted by a self-described purist who has transplanted an engine made by his favorite manufacturer of choice into his truck. Ford in a Ford, Chevy in Chevy, or even a Gruman Olsen stuffed into a Gruman whatever else Gruman made, these guys are usually real proud that they stuck pretty close to what their truck came from the factory with.
For Russell Hayse of McCordsville, Indiana, and the '69 Ford F-100 that he bought from a good friend for $1,300 in 1973, all the hoopla folks make these days about keeping a truck completely pure really didn't matter, it was just the way things turned out that caused him to one up them all. You see, back when Russell bought the F-100, it was his first truck, and he bought it because he needed it for work. Russell drove the Ford to work every day up until 1985, when he turned it over to his son Reggie to drive to school. The F-100 lasted Reggie about one year before "the kingpins locked up" and Russell retired the Ford inside the barn. The trusty old Ford rested in the barn for about 10 years until sometime in '95, when Russell pulled the truck out of storage and decided he was "going to make it a hot rod truck."
Not to rub it in too much for the "Ford LTD car motor in a Ford truck" or "F-250 engine transplanted into a F-100" guys, but Russell stayed pure Ford in the truest sense. He hopped up the original 302-inch small-block V-8 the '69 came from the factory with, and kept the original transmission as well. At the core of things, the 302 block was punched out .030 over, and Trick Flow pistons with Speed-Pro rings were installed. The stock heads were reworked with 2.02 intake valves and 1.60 exhaust. Valve timing is handled by an Edelbrock Performer RPM camshaft twisted via a Cloyes double-roller timing chain. Sitting on top of the 302 is an Edelbrock 600-cfm four-barrel carburetor resting on an Edelbrock Performer intake manifold. For ignition, the 302 relies on an MSD distributor and accessories to convert gasoline into spent gases that exit through Hedman headers into a pair of Flowmaster mufflers. The engine in Russell's '69 was built by Holley Automotive in Fortville, Indiana, but when it came time to handle the bodywork, Russell took care of over 90 percent of it by himself. Of course, due simply to a truck's cumbersomeness, no one works on one completely alone. Russell said his sons Reggie, Jason, and Brad jumped in whenever he needed help on the 3 1/2-year project.
Once Russell had the bodywork pretty much aced out (as in replacing the rusty floors and cab corners), the truck went for final prep and paint to Mark Barnett and Eric Faulkner at Top Coat Refinishing in Knightstown, Indiana. Top Coat shot the '69 Ford in a PPG basecoat clearcoat red robbed from a '85 Corvette color chart. When the guys at Top Coat finished their job, the '69 went to Elwood Upholstery in Fortville to stitch up the interior. Elwood wrapped the cab in black tweed and didn't stop until even the stock '69 bench seat had been reupholstered. With the interior done, the '69 was on its way back home, where Russell used an aluminum dash panel to house a full set of Stewart-Warner gauges tied into a wiring harness Russell installed. The final touch for the cab's interior was a black-rimmed steering wheel from Grant.