WE ALL dream of a cool daily driver that is reliable, practical and fast, but building something to tick all those boxes ain’t easy. Street Machine scribe and noted deep thinker Iain ‘Marv’ Kelly has a radical solution with his vision for a pro-touring daily: this audacious bumpside F100.
First published in the February 2022 issue of Street Machine
To make it easier to incorporate modern smarts in an old shell, Iain’s idea is to merge two of FoMoCo’s most divergent models. “I’d start with a 1967-72 bumpside F100 and a smashed Mustang GT S550, fit the independent front and rear suspension cradles from the Mustang, and then box the remaining chassis in,” says Marv. “The 5.0-litre Coyote and six-speed manual would get the nod, as would a Truetrac in the diff. Plus I’d add coil-over suspension, fat sway-bars, big brakes off a Shelby model, and maybe even a Harrop 2650 blower.”
Having established that the ‘Pro-Runner’ would go fast, next we needed to make it look fast. Covering the wider S550 wheel track requires flared guards of some form, so Iain looked completely outside the box (and off the blacktop) for a solution: “I love pre-runner and trophy trucks that blast through North American deserts at ridiculous speeds, so I figured this would be the best way of having a tough, good-looking wide-body.”
After plenty of discussion about the styling of the build, Iain’s passion for European road racing classics provided the perfect styling cues to fill out the rest of the Effy, shedding unnecessary parts and reducing weight.
The wheel-and-tyre combo really dictates the exterior theme of a build like this, especially when taking on styling cues and parts from different eras and race categories. With classic touring car styling and modern engineering being the main aspects of the build’s design (along with the widened guards), we settled on 19×8.5- and 19×13-inch Forgeline RS6 wheels, which slightly resemble a Mk1 GT40 wheel, including the centre-lock mounting, stepped lip and three-bar knock-off, but with slightly modernised styling. To match the rest of the Mustang underpinnings, the Forgelines bolt to late-model GT350 Brembo brakes front and rear.
After extensive research into bumpside pre-runner guards, a lot of options looked great, but not quite nice enough for a pro touring street car with smaller diameter rollers and a much lower ride height. So, after giving a stock ’68 a serious altitude adjustment and fitting the Forgelines with chunky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber, I took inspiration from these pre-runners and added my own ideas, designing all-new guards around the remaining panels and new rolling stock.
The ‘bump’ that runs through the side of the truck is integral to its styling, so care was taken to preserve as much of it as possible while rounding out the guards and raising the wheelarches. I found the stock guard lip profile to be a bit thin and didn’t look right once flared out, so I added thicker, squarer profiles, inspired by the later ’73-79 models.
The influence from the next generation didn’t end there, with the ‘stepped’ lower body line added to the area between the rear wheelarch and back of the tray. This ensures it flows nicely throughout the side of the truck while bringing it to a point at the rear for a bit of attitude. With the wider composite guards in place, I modified the bonnet and cowl to suit, making sure the new guard package flows with the existing car.
The rest of the body remains fairly stock, although the front and rear bumpers were discarded and replaced with dimple-died panels. Neat side-exit exhaust cut-outs and a ducktail spoiler complete the race theme.
Since nobody in their right mind would own a truck this quick and not want to race it, throwing in a rollcage was a necessity. I designed a simple rollcage inside the cabin, including a harness bar for race track shenanigans, and some neat, dimple-died A-pillar gussets to tie it all into the exterior. Bars also extend from the rear of the cab and into the tray, positioned as wide as possible to allow for maximum tray space and functionality, and the cross-bracing between them was positioned to keep the driver’s rear-facing view as unobstructed as possible. The rest of the tray remains fairly stock, other than the widened and raised factory tubs. With the Mustang IRS, we can keep the tray floor at stock height, too, so the Pro-Runner still functions really well as a pick-up.
A pro touring, daily driver pick-up that can do the Bunnings run and then punch out a solid lap time at the track? Talk about having your cake, and eating it too!
- Ford 5.0L Coyote V8
- Custom pre-runner-style guards
- Side-exit exhaust
- Mustang S550 IFS & IRS
- Forgeline RS6 centre-lock wheels
Got a cool idea for a build that you’d like to see brought to life in Expression Session? Email us at [email protected] with a detailed explanation.