Everyone knows the old saying "two heads are better than one." Rob McKeown will tell you "two trucks are better than one," but don't tell that to his wife. Rob owns a Snap-on route in the Santa Paula, Fillmore, and Ventura, California, area, where he sells tools to various auto shops. The story starts out with Rob building a '65 Ford F-100. Only halfway complete, Rob picked up our magazine for inspiration and was reading a tech article on the Fatman Fabrications suspension build. Shortly after he spotted a '67 F-100 at John Meadows' Deuces Wild, Hot Rods and Customs in Fillmore. Rob inquired about the truck but it was not for sale. After a few months of nagging, Meadows called Rob. At this point, Rob was not ready to take on another project. Lets face it, its hard enough building one truck, let alone two at one time.
Two weeks went by and Rob was losing sleep thinking about the '67 Ford. As luck would have it the truck was still for sale. Now the only thing was letting his wife, Lisa, know. "I told her about the truck and promised her I wouldn't work on it or spend anymore money on it until the '65 was complete. She told me to go ahead and get the darn thing," he says (only those were not her exact words). From the sound of things Lisa is a very understanding wife. For the most part, she let Rob off the hook.
So with the go-ahead from the missus Rob completed his '65 and immediately got working on the '67. He didn't want a showstopper but more of a track-worthy driver. After reading the Fatman Fabrications install article, Rob placed an order for their Mustang II Stage 3 IFS kit and had it installed by Meadows at Deuces Wild. Next up was to install the 3.73 gears and mono leaf rear springs followed by Pro Shocks all the way around.
The stance was looking really good, but now Rob had the tough decision of what motor he wanted to install. Soon, however, he found a big-block Ford 390 for sale. The motor needed a little freshening up so he sent it to Precision Cylinder Head & Machine Shop in Santa Paula. The machining began on the block, bored .020 over, and Hepolite pistons installed. A low-profile Canton oil pan was important to help free up some space to move the motor down and closer to the firewall. Since the truck was going to be driven at the Del Mar Goodguys autocross track Bob Jennings Dyno Shop in North Hills tuned the motor.
At first Rob installed a C6 trans but after driving it on the freeway at high rpm he wanted something that was going to reduce engine rpm and increase gas millage. He turned to Jose's Transmission in Santa Paula to rebuild a Ford AOD with Transtar high-stall torque converter. With the new trans he headed back out on the freeway and was very happy with the results-plus the engine was not revving to the moon.
What are Rob's plans for the two trucks? "The '67 I can beat up on at the track and put stuff in the back, and the '65 is the showstopper I try to keep nice, but one day it will hit the track," he says. Rob also says that both trucks get driven to the auto shows but the '65 gets a green tape treatment on the front end before hitting the freeway. Here at CLASSIC TRUCKS we would like to see more trucks hit the autocross track and would like to thank Rob for entering the Goodguys Truck class. We need some more competition for this '67 F-100 so start building some track-ready drivers.