Being a highly skilled machinist as well as an accomplished fabricator, it's no wonder that when Scott Gifford put his talents to work building an early Ford pickup it'd end up being one of the coolest classic Fords out there. Scott's soft spot for the '68 F-100 was the result of growing up as a frequent passenger in his dad's pickup. Years later, Scott decided he'd like to have an old Ford just like his dad's. Well, not quite like his dad's ... but almost. Scott's version of the venerable F-100 is a heck of a lot more powerful, a lot better handling, and surely better looking.
According to Scott, the pickup was found at a local recycling yard (first in line for the following morning's crushing routine). After saving the less-than-pristine hulk, Scott dragged it back home and proceeded to strip it down to its bare frame, tossing every unusable/undesirable component. The original frame was stripped, filled, boxed, and outfitted with a trio of crossmembers he'd designed and fabricated himself. The forward most crossmember was designed to convert the frontend into a rack-and-pinion-style IFS unit to which Scott added a pair of Heidts dropped spindles, a pair of QA1 coilovers, and a T-bird rack-and-pinion assembly.
Scott decided to fabricate all new inner fender panels rather than modify the stock components to fit the pickup's much-lower ...
At the rear, Scott utilized stock-style springs and a 9-inch rearend that he swapped the mounting points from below the springs to above. As a finishing touch, Scott fabricated and installed a custom trans crossmember as well. With the pickup's foundation completed, Scott decided to use a quartet of American Racing Shelby wheels wrapped in low-profile Nitto rubber. It was at this point Scott's machining skills came into play. Since his plan for the truck was for a G-machine-inspired build, he designed and machined a set of billet knock-off style center caps that really enhanced the Shelby design.
With the chassis mods complete and the big ol' 360 V-8 and C6 being built, he turned his sights to the pickup's cab and bed. The sheetmetal was massaged back into perfect shape and then prepped and readied for a custom-mixed blue PPG urethane finish. Since the chassis had been modified, Scott decided to fabricate all new inner fender panels rather than modify the stock components to fit the pickup's much-lower stance.
Once the engine and trans were back from their respective builders and installed in the chassis, Scott continued working away plumbing brake and fuel lines (as well as installing a custom fuel tank of his own design). Speaking of his own design, Scott sharpened up a fistful of pencils and conceived his own unique hood hinges, exterior door handles, outside rearview mirror bases, A/C and defroster vents, foot pedals, and steering wheel horn button. Once he was done, he then fired up his milling machine and transformed all those drawings into the beautiful billet work you see on and in the truck.
After final assembly and wiring, Scott turned his attention to the pickup's interior. A pair of Saab bucket seats and other interior trim was upholstered in toffee-colored leather by Wilson Brothers, then Scott proceeded to install a set of Auto Meter gauges in the customized dash, a Vintage Air A/C unit for comfy cruising, and a high-end stereo system for the few times he may tire of the throaty rumble of the big 360.
As talented a craftsman as he is, Scott's the first to tell all who'll listen that he had a lot of help building the pickup, and first on the list is his beautiful wife Suzan, followed closely by a long list which includes (in no certain order) Neil Lea, Austin, Brody, and Preslie Gifford, Shane Young, and the guys at Wilson Bros. And help or no help, I'm convinced that Scott is one heck of a talented craftsman and can barely wait to see what rolls out of his shop next.
1968 Ford F-100
Scott and Suzan Gifford
Valley Head, Alabama
Frame: owner-modified stock, boxed, filled, notched, custom crossmembers
Rearend / Ratio: Ford 9-inch / 3.73:1
Rear suspension: modified stock
Rear brakes: Wilwood disc
Front suspension: owner-fabricated crossmember, Heidts spindles, QA1 coilovers
Front brakes: Wilwood disc
Steering box: Ford rack-and-pinion
Front wheels: American Racing Shelby, owner-machined knock-offs
Rear wheels: American Racing Shelby, owner-machined knock-offs
Front tires: Nitto 235/45ZR17
Rear tires: Nitto 285/50ZR18
Gas tank: custom, owner-fabricated
Engine: '68 Ford 360ci, machined by Arrow, Chattanooga, TN, assembly by Donald Ratliff, End of the World, MT
Valve covers: custom, owner-machined
Manifold / Induction: FoMoCo / Holley 690-cfm
Ignition: FoMoCo HE
Exhaust / Mufflers: custom bent, aluminized
Transmission: '70 Ford C6, Hughes converter
Shifter: custom, owner-fabricated
Style: F-100 pickup
Modifications: shaved driprails, filled seams, owner-fabricated inner fenders, custom raised bed floor, owner-fabricated body moldings
Fenders front / rear: modified stock
Hood: modified stock, owner designed/machined hinges
Bodywork and paint by: Scott Gifford and Shane Young
Paint type / Color: PPG / custom-mix blue
Headlights / Taillights: Summit Racing / Dennis Carpenter
Outside mirrors: owner-fabricated bases, aftermarket heads
Bumpers: front is an owner-modified '80 Ford van back bumper, rear is custom owner-fabricated
Dashboard: owner-modified stock
Gauges: Auto Meter
Air conditioning: Vintage Air
Steering wheel: Jegs, owner-machined horn button
Steering column: stock
Seats: Saab buckets
Upholstery by: Wilson Bros., Rockmart, GA
Material / Color: vinyl / light brown distressed
Carpet: cut pile