Not many of us had the sense to keep things from when we were teenagers--especially the things with wheels. Maybe it was a now-priceless muscle car, ultra-cool hot rod, custom, motorcycle, or even an old truck. But not too many people wish they'd hung onto a '67-72 F-100--except Kirk Johnson.
Now 47 years old, Kirk wanted a set of wheels in high school like any young man worth his salt, but he'd only saved about $1,000 toward the $1,800 '70 Mach 1 Mustang he wanted. This was in 1979 and Kirk's dad said he'd loan him $200 on top of what he had for a decent '68 Ford truck they'd found. It was no Mach 1, but it was the ticket to freedom for the 17 year old.
Kirk wound up being the second person to sign the title of the F-100 that was home to a sluggish 360 V-8 backed by a C6 trans. The surprisingly clean truck only had about 89K miles on it, but Kirk's dad said as soon as the 360 bit the dust, they'd replace it with a 390. Well, after an additional 300,000 miles of running every possible teenage errand, cruising downtown Sacramento each weekend, helping friends move, and just plain old driving once adulthood set in, the timing chain finally stretched beyond its limits and the truck was parked in 1986. Everyone said, "That's it; just send it to the scrapper because it'll never live again," but he wasn't ready to let go.
After five years of hibernation, Kirk had "Old Blue" painted and started looking for a buildable 428 Cobra Jet FE engine for it. A suitable core was located a while later and work began on it, but in 1996 Kirk's house burnt to the ground while he was at work. One of his neighbors happened to be home and while the fire department was on their way, he somehow got into Kirk's garage and pushed the truck out, which was on jackstands until a few days prior. The '68 wound up being the only thing saved from the fire, but it would have to wait for another time as Kirk had to rebuild the rest of his life first.
Another five years went by and Kirk started messing with the engine for the F-100 a little and noticed the practically new, but old paintjob was blistering. After a few more years of tinkering is when he finally called the fine folks at Roseville Rod & Custom. Originally--like many builds--he just wanted to freshen the Ford up and turn it into a nice driver with plenty of Ford power. In 2005, Kirk and Roseville R&C came up with a plan to do what had never been done with a '68 F-100--but not in radical terms.
Roseville R&C took the stock frame and grafted in a TCI frontend and rear four link. The rear `rails were kicked up to set the truck low on coilovers since Kirk wanted to keep that aspect of the chassis simple. Because the truck was still slated to get the 428, a stout Currie 9-inch rearend was ordered with a limited-slip 3.73:1 centersection. The frame was partially boxed after all the mods were done, then the 12-inch Wilwood disc brakes were installed at each corner. One-off billet 18- and 20-inch wheels by EVOD Industries wrapped in BFGoodrich g-Force rubber replace the Torq-Thrust IIs that were on the truck last.