Unibody Heaven in Missouri
EVERYONE HAS A PASSION OR A HOBBY OF SOME kind; it’s what keeps us from going crazy. Some always dream about being able to follow their passion or actually get some time to enjoy their hobby more and more as the years go by. Jason St. Onge is a man who is truly passionate about F-100s and specifically the ’61-’63 Unibody trucks. Over the years, he has built, modified and tinkered with so many that he’s lost count. He has developed a very distinct style in his builds, and they are generally restored quite tastefully.
When Jason came across this ’62 F-100 on Craigslist in Tampa, he knew it was something special. This Unibody was bought brand new in 1962 and kept in a garage its entire life. The original owner had passed away, and it then was passed onto his son who enjoyed it a little but ended up wanting to part with it after a while. Jason saw this truck and how solid it was, and he knew it would be his next project.
Once he got the truck back home to Missouri, he started to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together. The first thing he did (and has done to many in the past) was ditch the solid front axle in favor of a Jaguar IFS. The Jag style IFS has a lot of advantages over the more common Crown Vic IFS. The main thing is that it’s a narrower package, so you have more space for custom wheel options. In the back, Jason C-notched the frame and kept the original 9-inch rear but lowered the suspension down to a much more respectable cruising altitude.
Next up was the drivetrain. Jason picked up a 1993 Ford 5.0 302/AOD combo, which would be perfect for the build. The 302 got a little hopped up with a Ford Racing F Cam, GT40 iron heads, and a Ford Racing intake manifold topped with an Edelbrock 1405 carburetor. To let the motor breathe better, he added some shorty headers and built a 2.5-inch inch Flowmaster dual chamber exhaust.
Once the truck was set up proper, Jason moved to the outside and started to clean up the exterior. Bringing back to life the original turquoise and white paint was the first order of business. Wanting to restore the Uni but not take away too much, Jason kept everything on the truck original but cleaned up and restored it as good as new.
The last thing on the list was some custom wheels and tires. Jason has a thing for the old gasser-looking wheels, so he went with a set of American Racing 20-inch Gassers that have a classic look but still a modern vibe. He wrapped the American Racing wheels in Desert Hawk tires pushing 245s up front and 315s out back.
Just like all projects, this one is never going to be 100% finished. Jason still wants to paint the inside of the bed, add the chrome trim on the windshield and throw in some beefy 4.11 gears in the rear. The truck is a blast to drive and he uses it as often as he can, enjoying the truck with his son and father for years to come. This definitely won’t be the last time we see or hear from Jason—as you guys can see in some of the photos in his shop, he already has some other great projects already in the works. We are keeping a close eye on his crew cab Unibody and will bring you updates firsthand!