The guys at Pickups Limited of Orange County, California always sponsor a good show for the ever growingly popular Ford F Series truck. If you own a 1950-75 Ford truck, you should spend some time at the Canyon RV Park situated near the Santa Ana River bank for this event. We have always liked this location. It’s accessible, weather is always nice and it’s a clean park.
The show participants also have a cruise on the Friday night before the show. They visit various fabrication shops, vendors and eventually end at a venue for some good American burgers and fries. Most of these guys share a common interest in the ’53-56 Ford truck with the fat fenders and step side running boards. These body styles are a clean slate for just about any modification or customization that you can possibly create.
This show had some examples of what can be done with that old F-Series farm truck. The growing trend for swapping late model fuel injected V8’s into vintage metal is spreading into the truck scene. We saw more engine swaps than years past. You see original patina, new white wall tires and clean wheels, then the LS motor sitting above the straight axle suspension. LS or Ford Modular, depending on what is cheaply available or your blood preference, they are being used. Even with the flathead market leaning more towards the hot rod, we saw a few more Y-blocks as well. A Y-block 292 is more affordable than a flathead more often than not and they share the same firing order as the flathead which gives them the best sounds.
The 1970’s seems like yesterday but then it hits you, its been 30 years since these trucks were new. Squared off headlights, fat trim and more upholstery along with more safety features make this generation different. Expect to see the common 302 and even the Cleveland engine for these guys.
We spoke with David Gongora of Gongora Customs about his 61 Ford Econoline pickup. Though not a F-Series, it sure was cool. Ford made the Econoline pickup from 1961-1967 and equipped it with the mileage maker inine six cylinder engine. In fact, no Econoline came from the factory with a V8.Gongora swapped out the six for a 302, added a C4 transmission and 8” rearend. The bed was raised to clear the modded leaf spring perches so he could use a 10” wide rear tire. The gas inlet was reversed to the bed interior and he used Pontiac taillights in the stock rear factory surrounds. The two tone paint throughout adds just the right amount of contrast with the Lake pipes on the exterior. Sweet E-Series!
Big thanks to Ed Oe and the guys at Pickups Limited for putting on this cool, family friendly event. Hopefully we’ll get William’s ’65 F-100 out on the green next year.
On the way home, we stopped by the 401k Club Fabrication Shop in Anaheim, CA. We met with owner, Dana Manier for a quick tour of the facility. The main projects were late 50′s to 60′s domestic cars and trucks. Late model engine swaps and suspension upgrades all around. We counted 20 cars in various stages of assembly and disassembly inside the shop. Most everything is done in-house with the exception of the upholstery work. Dana has an open house once a month which is laid back and a great place to see some cool cars in the parking lot. Check him out www.the401kclub.com
Status of William’s Engine