This time the work that began on the Cobra Jet engine would be completed thanks to Richard Gray at Crack-A-Way Engine Machine. The FE was soon balanced and blueprinted and stuffed with forged Ross pistons, a Crower cam, and the stock crank. Edelbrock aluminum heads and intake seal off the top end and a massive 1,000cfm Holley feeds the thirsty 650-plus horsepower beast! Roseville R&C made the custom 3-inch stainless exhaust system using a set of Sanderson headers and two Stainless Specialties mufflers. A tidy Billet Specialties TruTrac serpentine belt system spins the accessories including the Vintage Air compressor. The stock C6 was rebuilt by John Segale for the severe duty soon to be handed out via the true Blue Oval powerplant.
This was the first high-end truck build for Roseville R&C, but anyone who has seen their custom work knows they leave no stone unturned and even though Kirk wanted to retain most of the stock proportions to the body, there was work to be done. Some of the requisite things like filling seams and shaving trim were done, but the door handles were left. Less obvious, but more striking when pointed out, is the back of the unchopped cab that was leaned forward to match the angle of the B-pillar. The front fenders were also pinched so the lines weren't interrupted where the hood falls into them, but this also meant the one-year-only '67 F-100 grille had to be narrowed slightly to match. Inside the Styleside bed there is a custom gas tank and inner fender panels that also double as storage compartments. The stock steel bed floor was ditched in favor of strips of maple and stainless steel. Another impressive piece is the tailgate. It has had another panel with the "FORD" logo welded in, but in a much more shallow position to match the plane of the taillights. On the backside is a trick lever system to open the functioning tailgate.
Joe Vaca and Terry Lyttge spent countless hours at Roseville R&C on the bodywork before blocking the whole truck with a 7-foot sanding block to make sure it was perfectly straight before Joe sprayed the F-100 top to bottom in PPG Silvertone Silver Metallic. Joe also added the GT F-100 stripes on the rocker panels, this and the other Mustang styling cues morph the Mach 1 Kirk couldn't afford as a kid into the truck he could and kept all these years.
The stock front bumper was cut up and mated with another one to form what we see here and the rear is a cut down piece from an old Econoline van. It was unanimous that the stock trim wasn't going to go back on the truck because it just seemed too bulky at this point, so they made some that would fit neatly on the Bumpside's bump. All the chrome was sent to Sherm's Plating in Sacramento to be gone over with a fine-tooth comb before being dipped in the shiny stuff.
Roseville heavily modified and split the stock steel dashboard to keep the feel and the Mustang theme going. A wood rim Shelby-style steering wheel from Tony Branda sits atop a painted ididit tilt column while the Lokar shifter sticks out of the custom center console. Roseville also made the wood grained gauge panel to hold a set of Auto Meter gauges. The bucket seats are from an Acura Legend and are covered in black leather along with the custom Shelby-esqe door panels. Dave Putnam in Orangeville, California, is responsible for the high-quality upholstery work.
It only took 30 years to get it right, but is it ever right! Kirk and Roseville R&C have put together what is probably the finest Bumpside built to date, which will no doubt change the mindset of what a classic truck is. (We'd like to think we played a small part with our (long over-due) Bumpside Build-Off.) The `68 will be shown the rest of the year across the country while it is still brand new, then Kirk plans on putting that FE motor to good use and he and his wife Shirley can really enjoy it. Hats off to everyone involved!