Blown Coyote-powered Ford F100 pre-runner in the build

Fekete Fabrications’ pre-runner-inspired off-road racer made its debut in a semi-finished state at MotorEx in May

Photographers: Shaun Tanner

Robi Fekete of Fekete Fabrications is forever pushing his own limits – and those of what’s legally possible – with his car builds, and this 1970 F100 pre-runner is right at the forefront of that ethos. You see, Robi fully intends to have this thing 100 per cent certified, engineered and VASS-legal with full registration in Victoria.

First published in the June 2024 issue of Street Machine

You might think that this goal can only be achieved under the Individually Constructed Vehicle (ICV) rules, which normally apply to replicas (think Shelby Cobra clones and the like). However, thanks to the new chassis replacement laws in Victoria, Robi intends to engineer and register the pre-runner as a 1970 Ford F100.

“The new laws allow you to replace the chassis as long as it replicates the original rail design, which we do to around 80 per cent,” Robi says. “So, in this case, the basic rails are the same as they were originally. All the bar work is built on top of that, rather than instead of.”

That includes all the necessary points of the rollcage that need to be removable for road use, and because this F-truck is a 1970 model, it only needs to comply with the standards of that period in terms of crumple zones, emissions, ABS, retractable seatbelts, airbags and such – most of which didn’t even exist back then.

“It’s basically pushing the limits of what’s possible within the rules, showing everyone something like this can be done legally if all the right processes are followed,” says Robi. “It’s really important to have a good engineer and people working with you to make a build like this happen, which I can’t stress enough. It took nearly two years just to get this project approved through VicRoads. It’s a comprehensive process that takes time, and it’ll likely have a 50-page engineering report when it’s done.”

A fully forged Coyote V8 has been shoved deep into the chassis and wears an Edelbrock blower. “That’s for weight balance and to keep room for the suspension in the front; it’s the first time I’ve seen one of these Coyotes mounted this far back in an F100,” Robi says. “Usually, they’re all the way forward.” The mill is paired to a T56 Magnum, which’ll be sequentially shifted. Robi has recently partnered with Haltech, so the F100 will use that company’s Nexus R5 VCU and PDM suites to control everything.

The shocks and springs are top-end Fox stuff, using arms Robi designed himself and had CNC machined. The rear-end bar work makes a home for a 300-litre fuel cell, along with the spare wheel.

Speaking of wheels, Robi has designed his own beadlock rollers, which, like the rest of the car, have been built to adhere to every rule possible for legality. “They’re JWL, VIA and DOT compliant, and I still haven’t found any legislation in Victoria that says certified beadlock wheels are illegal,” he says.

They’ll be wrapped in 39-inch tyres that are also fully road compliant. “When we do all the testing and reporting, it’ll be done on 40-inch tyres,” Robi says. “It’s no different to when a brand-new car or chassis is tested for a maximum rolling diameter size that goes on the tyre placard. We’ll just be doing it with the 40-inch rolling diameter, and then downsizing slightly to 39s.”

We’ve been following the progress of the pre-runner for close to a year now, and Robi had the thing in public for the first time at this year’s Meguiar’s MotorEx in Melbourne. “I talked to so many people about it that I actually lost my voice, but it was great to speak to people and run them through these processes,” he says.

“I’m doing this for the wider industry, so we can all push the boundaries and open up a whole new innovative category in the Australian automotive industry.”