1974 Ford F-100 - Homebuilt Ranger
Irreplaceable Memories for Father & Son
Championship teams put long hours into practice, working hard during the offseason, and always believing in one core philosophy—teamwork. The bond between a father and son could easily be considered the ultimate in teamwork, as learned by Kevin Harrell of Yorktown, Virginia, the love a father has for his son is unconditional. His son Richard, teamed up with Kevin to rebuild this work-in-progress ’74 Ford F-100 Ranger. One year and endless memories later, the father and son duo have a clean, custom driver that both can be proud of.
Picking up the old Ford in April of 2010, the paint and body was mostly done but was still in need of some TLC. Built inside the Harrell garage, they quickly got to work stripping the frame and painting it flat black. Using the stock spindles and I-beams, a pair of Firestone airbags were bolted in place and plumbed with ½-inch air line and Ride Tech Big Red valves. Toxic shocks help smooth out the bumps, while the factory brakes bring everything to a halt. Gone are the 14-inch factory wheels, and in their place are 20-inch Bullitt replica wheels with 255/35R20 Toyo Proxes 4 tires. Out back, a C-notch was cut and a pair of Firestone ‘bags bolted over the leaf springs for a quick and easy drop. For a grippy, performance contact patch, wider 20x10-inch Bullitt wheels are wrapped in 295/30R20 Toyo tires.
Tires with grip are needed thanks to the Jasper-sourced 5.0L V-8 from a '94 Mustang. After trying to make an intake and fuel injection from an ’88 F-150 work properly, the Harrell team turned to Josh Tonski of Horsepower Solutions for a full EFI kit and polished ’93 Mustang Cobra intake manifold. Mustang exhaust manifolds, custom 2½-inch exhaust tubing, and Flowmaster mufflers provide the rumble. Keeping the engine compartment looking its best, the fellas stripped and painted the engine bay, then added a chrome alternator, brake master cylinder, A/C compressor, and cool-air intake. A Ford four-speed manual trans and positraction with 3.50 gears sends the estimated 265 hp to the ground.
When it came time to address the body concerns, one call was made to LMC Truck for new front fenders, chrome-plated steel grille shell, and front and rear chrome-plated steel bumpers. Ernie Moore of Stateline Collision in Kingsport, Tennessee, painted the Ranger light smoke grey, and then the Harrell duo added the factory trim, also from LMC Truck. One last piece was needed to make the Ford a daily driver, and Kevin and Richard replaced the gummed-up gas tank with an LMC Truck OEM gas tank.
We all know that tunes are required to make a country back road drive a pleasurable one, so the Harrells partnered up with Larry Moorelock, to wire up the Custom Auto Sound Digital head unit ordered from LMC Truck. The stock steel dash was painted body color, while Kingsport Trim Shop covered the bench seat in two-tone tweed. A Grant steering wheel, Ride Tech switches, and Super Pro tach keep the Ranger looking good while still being cruise-friendly when the sun is shining. During those hot and humid days, a Vintage Air A/C setup cools down the cabin.
Talking with Kevin, he told us, "My son and I have used this project to become much closer and we really enjoyed the time arguing in the garage (like all father and sons do), but we especially enjoy the time spent cruising the truck and taking it to shows." Listening to that, we can’t wait until our own sons are old enough to help us build a cool project.