Now this is my kind of truck. Not only are F-1s one of my personal favorites, but the fact that it's the result of a young man's very first home garage project is just icing on the cake.
I ran across this neat F-1 while wandering the grounds at this past season's NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. The two-tone black and silver caught my eye so I headed in its direction to get a better look. The closer I got the more I liked it, and when I finally arrived I was pleased to find that it was a homebuilt driver-one that I'd be proud to have in my driveway any day.
This truck is the pride and joy of a young man by the name of Matt Shotton and is the culmination of nine long years of elbow grease and penny pinching. Matt's a youngster in his early 20s and the F-1 was his very first project. Matt says the truck had belonged to his grandfather and was passed on to him when he was 14. When he first got his hands on it it was a relatively solid old work truck sporting no interior and a rolled-on latex paint job that he said took him nearly a year's worth of spare time to remove. Matt says aside from being a learning experience the hardest part of the build was juggling high school, a part-time job, and scraping up the dough for parts and material as he went along (welcome to the hobby Matt).
The F-1 rodstoration began in the typical fashion. Matt began by upgrading the chassis with the installation of a Fat Man M-II crossmember and IFS components. From there he worked his way rearward installing a 9-inch rearend hung by a pair of airbags and a two-link he'd fashioned himself. For motorvation, Matt chose an '87 302 that he rebuilt and fitted with Edelbrock camshaft, a set of forged pistons, an Edelbrock aluminum intake topped with a 600-cfm Holley four-barrel, a Mallory HEI ignition and a pair of Ford Racing valve covers and block-hugger headers. He then backed the fresh small-block with a C6 automatic and dropped the combo between the truck's framerails. With the frame freshened, and a suspension and driveline installed, he bolted on a set of steel wheels wrapped in wide-white radials and lowered it to the garage floor.
The next step was getting the body into presentable condition. To this end he did his utmost to whip it into shape as best he could before handing it off to Creative Classics for the final pre-paint finish work. After the pros at the body shop did their thing and it was ready for paint, Matt installed a new LMC bed cover before he enlisted Tom O. to spray the truck in its final two-tone paint combination. With its fresh bodywork and paint handled, Matt moved inside to finish up the pickup's cockpit. There he installed a set of new Auto Meter gauges in the stock dash, an ididit column and Lecarra wheels came next as did a pair of Mustang buckets, homebuilt door panels, and the ever important (with the youngsters anyway) ear-pounding stereo system. Matt was quick to say that he'd had a bunch of help along the way. And lest I forget, Matt credits his stepdad, Larry, and brother-in-law Elliott for their helping hands and support throughout the process, and his better half for her patience too.
Well, as you can see Matt did a fine job on his very first project-and I'd bet my bottom dollar that this cool F-1 is just the first in a long line of classic truck projects in his future. Hopefully we'll be lucky enough to feature some of 'em when he does!