Jimmy Elkins loves to tell how back in 1952 his father purchased two brand-new Ford F-1 pickups to use in his "business" of making moonshine. The one truck used to carry the white lightening was modified; the other remained stock and was used as a decoy with young Jimmy at the wheel. While this F-1 isn’t the one used to run from the revenuers, Jimmy has owned it for 40 years and he decided to build it in the spirit of those haulers from the past.
The half-ton was delivered to TAJ Motorsports in Union, Mississippi, and they transformed it from beater to beauty. Starting from the ground up, the stock frame was sandblasted, boxed, and a Heidts IFS with 2-inch drop spindles, GM disc brakes, and a Unisteer power rack were installed. In the rear, a ’79 Lincoln Versailles rearend with 3.55:1 Trac-Loc centersection and disc brakes was hung with QA1 coilovers. A fresh 289 Ford V-8 and an AOD complete the updated underpinnings.
When it came to body mods, TAJ didn’t miss a trick. From stem to stern the truck was smoothed—all the body seams were filled, the body lines on the fender were removed, and a custom fiberglass hood replaced the original. The pickup bed was raised 3 inches, LEDs were installed in the ends of the bedrails, and a rocker switch for the power tailgate and tonneau cover is in the rear bed pillar. Another unique feature are the exhaust outlets exiting from the smoothed running boards.
With all the bodywork done, Ben Duke of TAJ was responsible for the perfect House of Kolor Candy Apple Red over a white basecoat. Inside, Russell Wood of Meridian, Mississippi, stitched the gray vinyl with ostrich skin inserts.
Jimmy drives his truck regularly and he’s said his goal is to have a million miles on it if he can live long enough—he wouldn’t say if that also meant he had to stay ahead of the revenuers.