To complete the project, the truck needed some new threads inside, so Ric brought it over to P&B Custom Upholstery in Minneola, Florida, to work their magic, laying down yards of rolled orange marine vinyl accented by off-white trim and orange loop carpeting. So as to add a final touch of class, Ric fabbed up a custom dash insert polished to perfection and filled with both Stewart Warner and Auto Meter gauges to keep track of any vitals, while a Southern Air unit keeps everything inside extra cool.
Ric was able to use the truck as his daily driver for some 40,000 miles till an unfortunate accident wrecked it. It was time for another redo, this time with the help of Tazz Customizing (also in Minneola), who gave it another life, reshot the original decadent coating, and topped it with ghost flames, giving it even more personality. With the odometer fast approaching 50,000 miles, we couldn't think of a better daily driver with a great story to tell in our recent memory...dig it!
So the truck would handle like it was glued to the pavement, he made a call to Fatman Fabrications for one of their IFS setups and combined it with a Chassis Engineering antiroll bar and Carrera coilover shocks. Out back, he added a fresh set of Chassis Engineering leaf springs to the mix, complemented by a matching antiroll bar and Gabriel shocks to smooth out the bumps.
To add plenty of neck-snapping "go" to the mix, Ric decided to keep a Ford in a Ford when he was joined by Dan Erminger and Randy Eckenroth, who helped nail a 302-inch SVO V-8 between the 'rails, with plenty of heavy breathing thanks to Edelbrock and shifting from a modified Ford AOD tranny. Putting the power to a limited-slip Ford 8-inch rear, there had to be plenty of whoa when duty called, so he updated the brakes with an ECI 11-inch front disc setup and 10-inch Ford drums out back, while Wheel Vintiques steelies shod with Diamond Back wide whites bring it all home. To give the truck some mellow tones, he then fabbed up a 2 1/4-inch exhaust with a set of Flowmasters to keep it all legal, even though he really wanted it to sound like his old Altered!
When it came time to address the body, Ric pulled out all the stops by doing a full restoration himself, which included replacing all the floors, adding a new firewall and a rolled rear pan, repairing any nagging rust, and blocking the body to perfection. To add the vibrancy he always wanted, he contacted RM to mix up some of their eye-searing Dino Russo Red, which has a really killer orange vibe that he laid down to give the truck its signature look.