Kirk Johnson's Spare Parts-Built '71 F-100
I f you have made it this far in the pages of the magazine you are holding most likely you've laid your eyes on Kirk Johnson's silver '68 F-100, which also graces the cover. What you may or may not have noticed on the cover is this lowly flat black F-100. Yes, Kirk owns both trucks and this '71 is the juvenile delinquent, younger brother to what is probably the finest Bumpside built to date.
Kirk found the '71 in a lot and after checking out how straight and clean the original body was, he thought It'd be smart to have it as a parts truck for the '68 that was under construction at Roseville Rod & Custom in the Northern California town from which the shop gets its name. As Kirk inquired about the parts truck the deal got better--it was free. There wasn't any paperwork or an engine or trans, so Kirk hauled it home and stuck it out back should the team at Roseville R&C need any parts.
As time went by, no pieces were needed from the '71 plus Kirk had amassed even more extra parts from things changing on the '68. One day Kirk got a call from Rick at Crack-A-Way Engine Machine, who was building the 428 Cobra Jet in the show truck, and wanted to know his plans for a spare engine that was left over and untouched. Kirk told him he'd be by to pick it up the next weekend, but got to thinking that he had an extra truck with a straight, rust-free body and enough spare parts to build a second truck--a fun truck. So he called Rick back and told him to build the other engine for this truck.
Once Crack-A-Way got into the supposed second 428 Cobra Jet it turned out to be a '69 390 FE which didn't really matter at this point, it was still gonna be stout! The engine was soon balanced and blueprinted, fitted with a Clay Smith cam, and capped with iron heads. An Edelbrock Performer manifold and an 850cfm Proform sit atop the motor and are flanked by a pair of Ford Racing valve covers and an MSD distributor. Coated Sanderson headers lead to a custom 2 1/2-inch exhaust system that incorporate a set of Dynaflow mufflers, which provide plenty of bark. The one thing Kirk had to buy was a transmission and naturally it had to be heavy-duty, so a built C6 was ordered.
The '71 received all of the suspension parts originally slated for the '68 when it was supposed to be getting a mild refresh that went to full custom. A set of 4-inch dropped I-beams and coils were swapped for the stockers and disc brakes from a '76 F-100 were used in place of the stock drums. The stock 9-inch was flipped to the top side of the leaf springs to lower the rearend and a new 3.73:1 posi was put in for optimal burnouts. The rest of the chassis is basically stock.
Obviously the body is nothing exciting to look at, but is in quite good shape. Some of you (if you made it this far) might even be wondering what we're doing featuring this truck, but it is more of a compare-and-contrast piece than anything. Flip back and forth between this and the '68 and see if you can spot all the little details that have been slightly changed from this stocker. If the '68 was shown alone most people wouldn't have any idea the amount of work that's gone into it.
Inside the truck is basic, but comfortable enough. Kirk had the seat redone through a friend of a friend, which is probably the high point of the interior. A few pieces of insulation and Wal-Mart carpet help keep the Sacramento heat out, but Kirk has plans for air conditioning coming soon so those burnouts can be sweat free. The 18- and 20-inch American Racing Torq-Thrust II's were slated for the silver truck, but again the direction changed and the '71 proudly wears them now.
All it took was a mere six months and a fraction of what's tied up in the '68 for the '71 to hit the streets. Kirk tries to drive the 450-plus horsepower "beater" every weekend and does so carefree. He doesn't worry about scratches, nicks, kids, dogs, rocks, birds, or shopping carts, he just keeps up on tires and gas. He saves all those worries for the other truck.