This Diesel-Powered Budget-Build Ford F-100 Race Truck Is Also a Daily Driver
A slick rig built for $12,000, and used hard.
Maybe it was the vibrant blue exterior or the puff of black smoke that first caught our eye about Henry Crawn's 1968 Ford F-100, or maybe it was the competitive race truck aspect, or its daily driver qualities. No matter what, there's just something irresistible about a classic F-100.
Let's be real, there's not much F-100 to Crawn's '68 once you get beneath the body panels. It's built on a 2005 Ford Crown Vic chassis that's been modified to run 2015 Ford Mustang independent rear suspension; it retains the Crown Vic's front suspension. Under the hood is a frisky 6.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel engine, backed by a 5R110 transmission. Crawn modified the firewall and moved the engine back 29 inches to change the center of gravity for a 51/49 percent weight ratio. Corresponding to the relocated engine is a Ford Econoline doghouse tunnel. Wiring harnesses from an F-250 (perhaps the vehicle that donated its engine and transmission) were used.
As you probably noticed, Crawn tried to keep most of the products on it Ford, keeping the race-truck mashup factory-specific at least. Many of those Ford parts were repurposed parts, those that Crawn thought would fit the situation. Smart mods and the repurposing of parts allowed Crawn to claim a mere $12,000 invested in the whole truck (presumably in addition to the value of the pickup itself); some project vehicles have more than that in wheels and tires.
Crawn built the 1968 Ford F-100 for the Ultimate Street Car Association's (USCA) Ultimate Street Car Series, racing in the USCA event at Atlanta Motorsports Park in July. At 4,700 pounds, the F-100 surely carries a few more pounds than some of the other Camaros, Buicks, El Caminos and Firebirds it's up against in the GTV class, but that's what happens when you stuff a big 'ol diesel under a vintage steel truck.
Although Crawn built the truck to race, he doesn't race for a living. He doesn't have a bunch of big sponsors, nor does he have a big race truck budget. The '68 is just a low-budget build that actually doubles as a daily driver that he fires up for work during the week.
Crawn's goal is to go to the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational in Las Vegas in November. Whether success beholds him there or not, it's certain that his F-100 is the Ultimate Street Car in our truck-biased eyes, catching attention and winning the hearts of diesel-loving enthusiasts, classic truck aficionados, and aspiring race truck builders.
See the video here: Optima Batteries YouTube channel: How Much Does a Race Truck Cost?