We Build Our Next “Shop Truck”

It’s a story as old as time (especially magazine time!). You want to get a classic truck for cruising around town, maybe a weekend cruiser paired with shop truck/parts runner. Nothing over the top … no wild show truck build. Just a good ol’ truck truck! We wanted to kick off a magazine build for our dedicated F-100 readers that is just that, so let us introduce our next project—Budget Minded Bumpside (or BMB as we so affectionately have been calling her!). 

We’re starting with a 1968 Ford F-100 longbed. This truck lived out most of her life in Washington state, and the owner used this ol’ girl as a truck but really took good care of her. She’s Holley Green and Wimbledon White with the perfect amount of patina for her age. Under the hood is the original 360ci V-8, and behind that is the four-on-the-floor that we all know and love. When we got the truck, she was running and driving (kinda … haha—not something you would want to hop in for a Power Tour or anything quite yet), but she drove and stopped under her own power at the time of purchase.

Built to Work

Like the name of this article suggests, we wanted to get the right things done to this truck to make her reliable and fun to drive—but also still put her to work.

Of course, you can go several ways with a classic truck build. You can lift it, lower it, 4×4 swap it, slam it and ‘bag it—the possibilities are truly endless. For this build, the direction is a simple DIY “shop truck” style build. We didn’t want to go crazy and dive into suspension, full custom paint, and the
like. We want to make her a reliable weekend cruiser.

We reached out to Detroit Steel Wheels for that classic but custom 22-inch D-Town’s look and wrapped them in Toyo Proxes ST3s. They will give us the clean look we are going for using the factory hubcaps that will just set it off proper. We then put on a set of Dapper Lighting OE7s, a direct replacement 7-inch headlights that make it 10 times easier for us to drive at night.

These changes are mostly purposeful, DIY-style mods that anyone can do in their garage with simple hand tools.

Nuts and Bolts

Getting into the mechanical side of things, the truck ran OK, but we still needed to up her reliability a bit. Nobody likes to get in and pump the pedal on a cold morning trying to get her to fire or jumping out after a cruise wreaking of gas.

We opted to go EFI and reached out to Holley to review the company’s Sniper EFI setup. We are also using an MSD Performance pro-billet distributor and ignition, along with a variety of fuel parts to get our stock tank ready for EFI. But we aren’t stopping there. Painless Performance makes a complete plug-and-play wiring harness so you can modernize and clean up the mess of wiring that the truck currently has.

Fancy Shmancy

Moving inside, we might just get a bit more fancy. After all, that’s where you spend your time! We want it to be as nice and comfortable as possible. With that in mind, we will be doing a complete interior overhaul.

We got with TMI Products—a company that makes out-of-the-box interiors that will blow your mind. We have its bench seat and door panels custom matched with the distressed brown and patterned inserts that will truly complement the current natural patina. We even sprung for the matching door panels. Holley Classic Trucks provided us sun visors and a headliner. We also will be installing a set of Dakota Digital RTX Series gauges, which help keep that original look of the factory gauges but with all of the modern amenities that we are after on this build.

With an interior that is going to be that comfortable, we definitely want to enjoy being inside, so we teamed up with Vintage Air to install a complete Vintage Air Surefit system to keep us cool on these warm summer days. To keep all of the A/C inside the truck, we will be replacing the weatherstripping and making the cab watertight.

One Bite at a Time

We have some plans for the exterior and possibly bigger plans down the line, but let’s eat what’s on our plate first before we bite off more than we can chew (per usual haha).

In the next issue of “F-100 Builder’s Guide,” you will see how easily we are able to transform this basic pickup into a Budget Friendly Badass cruiser. Stay tuned!