Custom 1967 Ford F-100 Ranger Longbed Truck - The Long Ranger Rides Again
When not cruisin' the local boulevard, many of us have been guilty of cruisin' the internet, shopping for truck parts on eBay. Well, that's what Dave Osborn was doing when he came across a '67 Ford F-100 Ranger longbed. He clicked on it and got the particulars; there wasn't much. But he was going to eliminate most of it and start from scratch anyway. So he keyed in a lowball bid thinking he wouldn't get it. Well, he did! After a 26-hour round-trip from his home in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Arkansas to pick up the truck, it was rolled off the trailer and into his shop, where it sat for a couple of weeks before he ever turned a wrench on it.
While photographing Dave's '67 Ford, it was brought to my attention that the reason he bought it was because he was sick and tired of seeing so many '67-'72 Chevy C10s featured in magazines. That was his inspiration for building this cool '67 Ford Ranger longbed.
Before the project was begun, some baseline stance measurements were recorded. The team at Scott's Hot Rods & Customs fabricated a pair of Mustang II upper and lower tubular A-arms, which were bolted to a pair of 2-inch drop spindles. A beefy Hellwig sway bar was bolted up to help flatten out any corner. Up front, a pair of Firestone 2500 pneumatic bags were installed, with Monroe gas-filled shocks allowing the front suspension its vertical athleticism. The deceleration is provided with a pair of Wilwood four-piston calipers with 13-inch rotors. A pair of BFGoodrich g-Force 245/40R20 tires were mounted on a pair of Boyd Coddington Timeless II 20x8-1/2-inch polished billet aluminum wheels. Jim Henning fabricated a triangulated four-link with a Panhard bar to locate the Ford 9-inch rearend. The rear framerails were step-notched to allow enough rearend housing clearance when the rear suspension is dropped. To obtain the intimidating stance, Dave mounted some chubby BFGoodrich 295/40R20 rubber onto a pair of Boyd Coddington Timeless II 20x10-inch polished billet aluminum spools. With the suspension modification finished, Dave re-measured the truck's stance and it was 15 inches lower than stock ride height.
The robust Blue Oval 429ci Cobra Jet powerplant came from between the framerails of a '70 Grand Torino. After being extracted, the worn 429ci was delivered to A&R Engine Service in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where it was torn down, machined, and reassembled with upgraded internal performance components. An Edelbrock air gap intake manifold was capped with a Barry Grant Speed Demon 750-cfm carburetor. A pair of Sanderson headers were bolted up to the cylinder heads that exhaust the burnt gases. Travis Davidson at Merlin Mufflers in Kalamazoo, Michigan, bent up the 2-1/2-inch exhaust tubes, which flow into a pair of Flowmaster 70-series mufflers. After assembly and final adjustments the potent Cobra Jet was bolted up to the dyno and broken in properly. The engine repeatedly ran respectable dyno numbers of 375 hp. A rebuilt '70 Ford C-6 trans was bolted up behind the Cobra Jet and then linked to the Ford 9-inch rearend, which had been stuffed with a new ring 'n' pinion gear set, bearings, and axles.
Dave performed some mild body mods by shaving the antenna and gas filler neck. The hood was smoothed, and the stake pockets were filled. The trim moldings were removed and then refurbished. The original glass was also removed, then reinstalled with all new rubber moldings. After Dave completed his body mods he trailered it over to Bob Miller at Hillbilly Hot Rods in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for some color. With the final prep work completed, Bob applied three coats of Sherwin-Williams '05 Ford Speed Yellow, then buried it in three coats of clear. The grille, trim moldings, and bumpers were powdercoated white-silver by the team at Toughcoat Custom Powder Coating in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The audio entertainment consists of a Pioneer head unit powered by an Alpine amplifier wired to a pair of Alpine 12-inch subwoofers that were mounted in a custom enclosure, which Dave designed and constructed and then located behind the seat. A pair of custom kick panels house the mid and separate speakers. Dave wired the entire system himself.
The stock dash was filled and smoothed, then coated with the body's color, Sherwin-Williams '05 Ford Speed Yellow. The factory-style gauge cluster was engine-turned from aluminum and then given a smoked tint. The gauge cluster was then stuffed with Auto Meter whiteface gauges. The stitchwork was performed by the crew at KTS Enterprises in Lawton, Michigan. The factory bench seat, headliner, and door panels were covered in black leather. DynaMat sound-deadening material was applied to the bare floor, then covered with plush looped-wool black carpet.
Who would have thought that a '67 Ford F-100 would turn heads and draw attention to itself? But at this year's '06 Ford F-100 Super Nationals Show at Knoxville, Tennessee, Dave's '67 had showgoers spinnin'. As more of these Blue Oval haulers are built, the Bow Tie C10 brigade will be taking notice for sure.