Before Larry and Tina Black were married, Larry’s main mode of transportation was a white ’72 Ford. As a matter of fact, they left for their honeymoon in a ’72 Ford pickup. We won’t mention just how long ago that was, but suffice it to say the ’72 was not yet considered an old truck. Like as with most folks the truck was sold and a string of cool cars and trucks filled the void in the garage. But then in 2009 there was that itch for another ’72 Ford pickup.
Finding a good truck took a little while. As a matter of fact parts from at least three trucks were used to assemble this one. Larry never did actually find a ’72, but this ’71 model proved to be close enough.
When it came time to find a builder for the pickup they didn’t have to travel far or ask for references as their son Jeramie Black is the owner/operator of a busy hot rod shop called Southern Style Customs in Snellville, Georgia.
Jeramie began with what was termed a “decent cab,” a collection of fenders, two beds, and a pair of hoods. After removing the cab and mediablasting the frame, work began to lower the truck. Up front, a set of DJM Dream Beams dropped the truck 3 inches while preserving the factory suspension geometry. Out back, Jeramie installed a DJM Flip Kit that positions the axle housing on top of the spring. This requires notching the framerails for suspension clearance. Wanting to lower the truck even more a set of 1-inch lowering springs were used for a total rear drop of 6 inches while total height reduction up front was 5 inches. The stock rear drum brakes were refurbished while up front a set of disc brakes from a ’78 Ford truck were mounted. The chassis rolls around on American Torq-Thrust II wheels that measure 17x8 and 17x11, front and rear respectively. BFGoodrich rubber wraps around the five-spoke wheels with 225/55R17 and 345/55R17 providing ample grip.
When it came time to power the pickup the Black’s turned back the clock nine years and started with a 1962 390-cubic-inch block. Engine Systems handled the machining and Guy Clarkson did the assembly of the engine. Internals include JE pistons and Competition Cams camshaft, rockers, and valvesprings. MSD ignition provides the spark while the Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake handles fuel delivery chores and Hedman headers exit the spent gas. A Griffin aluminum radiator cools the 400-horsepower motor and dress-up goodies are limited to chrome valve covers and air breather. A C6 transmission and TCI converter pass the power back to the original rear housing.
The interesting thing about this truck is at first glance you might think it is stock, but on closer review you begin to notice the subtle changes to the truck. Things like the complete absence of chrome trim are obvious, but the filled seams on the side of the bed are not so apparent. Inside, the bed floor has been raised 2 inches to allow for big tires and those wheelhouses are from a ’72 Chevrolet truck. The inner bedsides have been filled with sheetmetal, which required a tremendous about of welding but resulted in one very sanitary looking bed. Of course, Fleetside truck beds came with steel floors, but pickwick pine, salvaged from a 1940’s house, looks right at home as a bed floor.
When all the body modifications were complete and the panel refinishing work was done, Jeramie Black laid down the Ford Wimbledon White paint, and while white is not a common color on hot rod trucks in this case it seems like the perfect choice, particularly when you see inside the cab.