Since he planned on driving the revived pickup, Mark needed to build it to handle. He boxed the framerails with a 13/4-inch-tube inner structure, and added an '84 C4 Corvette front suspension and '82 Corvette rear. Front C4 suspension components include spindles, brakes, and antisway bar, in addition to rack-and-pinion steering. The rear includes transverse leaf springs, and four-piston disc brakes, along with 3.08:1 gears. Mark added Billstein shocks all around. The setup lowers the truck six inches front and rear. The tires and wheels have to keep up, so P235/55R18 and P255/50R20 Goodyear Eagle RS-A high-performance radials were mounted on 18x8- and 20x8-inch American Racing Torq Thrusts.
The just-finished pickup had about 400 miles on the odometer when Mark drove it to Nashville to show it off and to find out how it handled. He took it easy at first, getting used to the cone course, and getting the feel of the fresh Corvette suspension. After each run, he pulled right back into line for another go at it, pushing the '53 harder and harder with each subsequent run, and the truck keeping up. "It's a real blast to drive, and I sometimes get a little carried away," he told us. Eventually, he said, he was "running it for the folks in the bleachers." When Mark was done running, he had won the class and said he "cleaned out the bleachers" with spectators flocking to the truck, crawling underneath to see what made the thing handle so well.
In addition to the pride in knowing that his F-100 can hold its own in the AutoCross, Mark takes pride in the fact that his timeless silver cone carver was built at home with help from sons AJ and Jesse, and from Richard Vaughn.