I'll start this one with a few interesting facts I learnt while researching the F-Truck. Ford introduced the F-series in 1948, it was the first post-war truck designed for the workman who still required a family friendly car. Back then loans would only be granted for "work vehicles" not luxury vehicles. So Ford caught the market hook line and sinker with a tough but appealing front end, a large cabin space and a single bench seat for the whole family to enjoy a Sunday cruise comfortably. A strong built truck with a staggering 6+ foot tray capable of handling work load, it's easy to see how the F-truck obsession began.
Simon's truck is a RHD, designed by Ford America and imported into Australia. This had me researching for DAYS!!!
Ok so I was under the impression from a young age that Ford and Holden were Australian owned, born and bred. Negative....
The amount of banter going on through your childhood especially with the V8's, every Aussie kid from the age of 5 is generally asked who they go for? Holden or Ford? Now actually thinking about it I understand the big F-trucks in America are Ford, Ash's Mk1 escort is Ford, from England! Ok my girl brain came out here but I couldn't get my head around it all and was truly blown away that a team I go for was not actually "Australian" (I honestly go for both by the way, I have a driver preference when it comes to it but appreciate many vehicles by both car manufacturers).
With 64 years of history, Simon's F-truck has now started a new chapter with OC Motorsports at the creative hands of Daniel, Sam and Paul.
If you havent read my recent post about my first visit to OC, to sum it up I put a post out there a while back that i was wanting to cover the build of something. A mate messaged through with a guy's number he went to gym with. He was about to begin the build of an old F-truck. After exchanging details I quickly worked out that Simon was in fact my former Arts teacher at High School. I had actually done my yr 12 major work based on photography so it's weird that 7 years later here I am covering the build of his truck. As an added bonus the builder turned out to be good family friend Daniel Hallam, small world hey...
Well fast forward a few months it was the 15th of February when the tilt tray turned up to OC Motorsports. Dan got straight into things fabricating a brand new chassis from the motor back. The rear guards were tubbed and dummy wheels set in place to ensure it would sit flush with 22x12" rear, 22x8.5" Simmons wheels complimented by vf gts brakes.
Simon want this truck slammed to the road, rat rod style, aided by no other then Accu Air suspension.
Above: A beautifully crafted crossmember | I see why Simon want's it left bare!
Simon has built this truck for his own pleasure. He wants it to be comfortable, reliable and easily maintained with off the shelf products. Going with an LSA heart, following that down to the mustang front steering rack and arms leading to Holden stub axles. Separating the front from the 9" diff with a custom 4-link rear end, is a beautifully crafted custom made crossmember. He wants all metal left bare with the tig welds left on show. (Lucky Sam CAN weld!). The desire is to drive it to QLD in comfort and style hassle free. For his wife to be able to take it out with no issues whatsoever.
A lot of feathers will be ruffled, understandably a lot of opinions will be had. But honestly I love the fact Simon is doing what he wants, not what he thinks will be cool. He is not after e-fame nor anyone's approval, he purely wants to build something that is his own...
Above: Custom tunnel to fit the LSA conversion
Above: Dan has made the side steps along with the guards removable with ease | The amount of bracing that goes into it to keep everything aligned is crazy | Rust cut out of the floor with new floor pans, ready for a custom tunnel to fit the LSA | Custom fabricated engine mounts along with a custom 4-link set up
So every Friday for the last 3 months I have been venturing out to visit the guys at OC, ALWAYS greeted with warmth these guys love what they do and answer all my silly questions. Every time I turn up there is always something new being given the OC treatment.
The guys are really passionate about what they do and its evident after just minutes in their presence. I have to do a day in the life of OC video, it would be hilarious!
Trying to branch myself away from intense event coverage I am loving every minute in a workshop, watching them work on a project while I in turn work on mine. I have learnt/understood so much in these 3 month I am addicted to the workshop environment, I want to know everything! All the tricks of the trade! From watching Dan design a support on the computer followed by the plasma cutter cutting it out, to welding and fabrication techniques I am excited for my own future. I definitely think I will need to build something classic, very soon! But what to build? Isn't that the million dollar question?
Rear guards have been raised 50mm and brought forward an inch as well as being extended 50mm so she will sit flush on the ground with the sideskirts. I often found myself there when Simon would turn up for his weekly visits, sometimes going two weeks without seeing his truck. It was a pleasure to see the excitement on the owner's face each time he walked in. It's a real good feeling I can tell you that!
Mustang front end kit with a practical Holden stub axle to fit the vf gts brakes and Simmons wheels
She's finally coming off the jig!
So it was time for the F-truck to come off the jig and meet the ground. A moment I will never forget. I arrived just after 3 and the guys were working their butts off to get it sitting on the wheels when Simon arrived at 5! Helping where I could while taking photos the time FLEW! The truck was 5 mins from meeting the ground when Simon arrived, he was EARLY! But he wanted to see the progress underneath anyway so it worked out. Excitedly snapping photos of his ride on his phone it was time to lower her to ground level. Sitting low and stealthy we all had a moment of silence while we took it in.
The outside wont change much at all, keeping that rad rod vibe so we could really get a feel for the completed look.
Smiles all round cameras rose and snapped it's new chapter in history.
Photography and write up by Jasmynne Tudor