To handle planting the power out back, a Currie 9-inch rear filled with 3.0:1 gears and 31-spline axles was suspended in place by a combination of TCI Engineering parallel leaf springs complemented by a matching antiroll bar, and Monroe tube shocks. To set the nose in the dirt and add razor-sharp handling a TCI Engineering IFS was set in place up front, featuring custom tubular upper and lower control arms with coil springs and Monroe tube shocks deftly matched to TCI Engineering 2-inch drop spindles and an antiroll bar all linked to a power rack-and-pinion box.
When it comes time to tame the beast, custom swing pedals by Beau Wilkins at the Hot Rod Garage push fluid through a Master Power 8-inch dual master cylinder via stainless lines to 11-inch Ford drums out back and TCI Engineering 11-inch vented discs and calipers up front. To add plenty of allure, a set of Billet Specialties Rival G wheels in 17x7-inch front and 17x8-inch rear diameters were shod with Goodyear RSA rubber to stick the F-1 to the road.
There’s something to be said about maintaining the purity of a build by installing a matching driveline. Dick made the decision to keep his project all Ford and contacted Proformance Unlimited in Freehold, New Jersey, to build a wicked 408ci small-block V-8. Starting with 351ci Windsor block as a base, the team bored the block, added a 4.00-inch stroke, and blueprinted and balanced the entire rotating assembly. An Eagle forged stroker crank was linked to matching I-beam rods wearing SRP slugs, while a COMP Cams stick sets the pace.
Up top a set of Dart aluminum heads filled with stainless valves were matched to an Edelbrock Air-Gap RPM intake, breathing deep through a Holley 750-cfm carb. For dazzle, a Mooneyes finned air cleaner with matching valve covers were plated by Jon Wright’s Custom Chrome Plating and treated to gold accents. An MSD ignition lights the fire, dumping spent gasses through Sanderson headers to a custom Hot Rod Garage-designed 2½-inch exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers. Sending the power rearward, a TCI Automotive Street Fighter Ford C4 trans and torque converter was matched to a custom driveshaft by A1 Driveshafts of Baltimore, Maryland.
With the loaded chassis complete, The Hot Rod Garage continued working their magic with all of the subtle enhancements to the exterior sheetmetal of the truck. To add a well-balanced feel they first raised the front and rear fender wheel openings 1 inch and re-radiused the areas followed by lengthening the bottom of the front fenders, doors, and cab corners by 1 inch to cover the rocker panels and to also line up with the bottom of the running boards.
Continuing on, the team then sectioned the rearmost area of the back fenders by 1½ inches and followed by fabbing a custom rear roll pan. The bumpers are artwork in and of themselves with the front using a modified ’48 Ford passenger car unit, while out back a ’69 Ford van bumper was narrowed 5 inches and re-contoured to accent the rear fenders. Looking for more subtlety, the cowl vent was filled, ’55 Ford F-100 door handles were added, the hood received custom one-piece stainless side molding as well as one-piece D-moldings and turn signals that were shaved and incorporated into the headlights. Once all the metalwork was completed the truck was handed over to team member Jason Lester to make every panel razor sharp followed by filling his spray gun with plenty of PPG custom-blended root beer vibe to lay down the luster.
Rounding the corner it was time to focus on the interior and add just as much elegance inside. Team leader Dean Alexander pulled out all the stops and started by fitting a modified ’55 Ford F-100 dash in place, complete with a custom gauge insert by Beau Wilkins packed with dials by Classic Instruments. Alexander continued on by covering a modified Glide Engineering seat frame with plenty of butter soft fawn leather along with the door and kick panels, and complete headliner, while the floors were accented in chocolate wool cut-pile carpet.
At the same time, wiring was handed over to team member Henry Steward with cool breezes courtesy of Vintage Air and a custom covered Lecarra steering wheel linked to a Flaming River tilt column with a column shifter that plots the course. The completed truck is nothing short of breathtaking and it’s great to hear that Dick has already laid down the first 2,500 miles without a hint of slowing down. To us that’s just plain bitchin’!