Every cool truck needs a hot motor and Jerry pursued the special edition theme once more, using a totaled Lincoln Mark VIII as a donor car. He salvaged the 4.6L DOHC, 32-valve V-8 and AOD transmission. The Mod motor was chosen as much for its aggressive good looks as for its considerable power, but removing the big V-8 became the first challenge since the entire Lincoln front suspension had to go first. Jerry's truck was already equipped with a Chrysler torsion bar front suspension, 10-inch disc brakes, and Monroe shocks. A new Ford 9-inch upgraded the rear with 3.50 gears and Monroe air shocks. The 15x8 Cragar Mags, matched up with 60-series Firestone Firehawk rubber, got the truck rolling. The suspension upgrades rejuvenated the old farm truck, now capable of some serious sports car moves!
The engine installation was fairly straightforward, with the huge heads on the big V-8 clearing the inner fender panels with just inches to spare. Jerry kept the engine fairly stock with the exception of porting the heads, adding a custom cold-air kit with K&N filter, and bolting on Ford Motorsport aluminized headers that dump into a 2.25-inch system with Dynomax mufflers. Although the engine went in without incident, the wiring harness was another story. Since new ones cost approximately $1,500, Jerry decided he would tackle the rewiring job himself. He smiles when he says it was a very bad decision. "I've never seen so many wires in my life! The Mark VIII harness weighed more than 90 pounds!" Fortunately, his good friend Jim Smart volunteered to assist, reviewing the schematics and deciding which wires needed to be cut, spliced, or discarded. Once the wiring tasks were complete, two external fuel pumps were plumbed into the system to ensure an adequate supply of fuel and the Lincoln radiator with a pair of electric fans handled coolant issues. The coil packs were moved to the rear of the engine and the intake was polished to a mirror-like shine. The highly detailed V-8, loaded with chrome valve covers and lots of additional chrome accessories, fired up and ran beautifully.
Moving inside, the truck got the final blend of special edition upgrades, beginning with the distinctive set of plush Chrysler power bucket seats separated by an unusual foldout Taurus center console. The seats and console were wrapped in charcoal leather with the door panels and headliner using a combination of dark and light gray vinyl, accented with stainless steel strips. For a satisfying, hands-on connection, a new Grant stainless Banjo wheel sits on a '73 Ford tilt column. A six-pack of white-face VDO gauges in an engine-turned panel dress up the dash while monitoring the big V-8. Creature comforts include a Vintage Air A/C that makes hot Florida summers cool. The JVC stereo, nestled alongside of the driver's seat, fills the cab with music using four speakers on the rear cab wall.
The three-year build has been complete for about four years now and the accumulation of ‘Best of' awards is a testament to Jerry's talents. A great family fun truck, the F-100 regularly transports Jerry and his wife, Jean, to shows as far away as Tennessee with the journey always as much fun as the destination.