When Art Hernandez's father gave him this '70 Ford F-100 longbed as a gift for his 16th birthday, it was love at first sight. The Garland, Texas, native drove the truck for a number of years, using it for both work and play, until times got hard and dad got sick with cancer. Sadly, his father succumbed to the cancer. But within a few years Art met and married his wife, Nancy, and they have two boys of their own, Mark, now 11, and Allen, 14. Throughout the years, Art hung on to the old Ford, working as a house painter and remodeler trying to stretch a buck to make ends meet and earn a few extra dollars to toss towards the truck.
Working in a 12x20-foot garage, Art disassembled the Ford and detailed the chassis first with black enamel. The stock I-beams were swapped out with 3-inch dropped units and shortened coils from DJM. Out back, the rearend was taken apart and rebuilt with 3.73:1 gears and painted to match the chassis. It was relocated on top of the springs and 1-inch lowering blocks were used to bring it down to a respectable level. New drum brakes were installed at all four corners, along with 15-inch Centerline wheels, 7s up front and 8s out back, wrapped in Hankook rubber.
Power comes via a 390ci Ford engine that has been punched 0.030-over with a 280/282 split duration cam and lifter kit from E.T. Automotive. A cast-iron intake topped with a 600-cfm Carter carb provides induction while Cobra LeMans aluminum valve covers provide dress up. Behind the Ford engine sits a C6 automatic beefed up with a 1,500-stall converter and a shift kit built by Clay Winchester. An aftermarket Sanden A/C compressor mated to the original aftermarket dealer add-on A/C underdash unit allows Art to cruise in comfort.
When it came time to bodywork the truck, Art handled that aspect as well, removing some of the stock emblems and trim and relocating the gas tank to between the rear framerails. The original fuel filler neck on the cab was removed and the bed stake pockets and tailgate were smoothed clean. When the final guidecoats were done, Art sprayed the '96 Ford Cayman Green in his home garage before reassembling the entire pickup.
The stock seat was stitched up by McGees Auto Upholstery before Art and Nancy brought it home and bolted it back in place. A new Haneline instrument panel was installed in the dash along with a Kenwood CD player with a custom cover over the original plate. From there, new glass was installed in the cab before the finished truck was taken down to Triple A Muffler Shop where it received dual exhausts with Flo Pro mufflers. The last thing the Hernadez's F-100 received was the CraigsList scored bedcover that Art painted to match the truck.
Built by a truck enthusiast family of four living on a budget with one income, the Hernandez family sure turned out a low-budget gem that stands out from the rest.
Editor's Note: Getting your truck into Readers' Trucks is a snap, of the camera, that is. All it takes are a few good-quality photos of your ride that are in focus and well lit. High-resolution digital photos can be sent in via email to: email@example.com. Traditional prints are also acceptable and should be sent to: CCT, c/o Readers' Trucks, 774 S. Placentia Ave., Placentia, CA, 92870. It is important that you include a detailed description of the modifications you have made to your truck, including any interesting stories behind it. Due to the volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot return photographs.