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Humble Roots and Badass Styling

JESUS LOPEZ OF HOUSTON, Texas, is a self-made man. The process of building and maintaining his own business is a perfect analogy for his build. His 1985 Ford F-150 single-cab truck is functional with humble roots and badass styling, and his hard work over the last two years has culminated in a gorgeous example of the ’80s classic. The ’85 is increasingly popular among truck enthusiasts. This example uses Texas-sized styling and classic finishes for its signature look.

The 1985 F-150, as a part of the series’ seventh generation, got a brand-new chassis. The seventh-gen models were to first to receive a “from scratch” chassis since the fourth generation. For the most part, this new frame is still in place underneath Jesus’ truck. It’s been modified for its aggressive stance. True to “H-town” aesthetics, the stepside boasts lowered suspension and a brazen wheel setup. Its suspension modifications include a custom air-ride set up to achieve the lowering. Behind the cab, the frame has been notched. It has also been fitted with a triangulated four-link. The parallel linkbars make for comfortable and consistent performance from the Firestone airbags. It also provides more than enough articulation to tuck the billet wheels underneath the flare-side fenders. In front of the firewall, the truck received a front-clip transplant. This 1985 makes use of the common Crown Vic subframe adaptation. The many benefits include factory-made support, affordability and lowered stance. It’s further dropped by the custom mounted airbags. The four-corner air ride routs to a 5-gallon tank via threeeighths lines.

The star of the show is Jesus’ set of Billet Specialties BLVD65 wheels. The wheels measure 20×8.5 inches in the front, wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero 225/25/R20 tires. The staggered rears are 22×10 inches with P-Zero 285/30/R22 tires. Polished spike lug nuts accentuate the perfectly polished rollers. The aggressive setup contrasts with the dazzling metallic paint. Their finish sets the tone for the refreshed chrome accents throughout the truck. With the custom rear-end setup and Crown Vic swap, there are factory disk brakes in the front and rear.

 The truck was first built with the Ford 4.9L inlinesix engine. Contrary to contemporary trends, Jesus opted to keep the OEM motor in place. Here’s why that is a fantastic idea. The 4.6L inline-six is one of, not just Ford’s, but the world’s most durable engines. It’s never boasted a sporty temperament or high horsepower numbers, but it’s found its way in every conceivable application because of its unparalleled durability. By 1985, it also touted more than 250 ft-lbs of torque available at just 2,000 rpm. It’s just made to cruise. The torque-happy I6 it perfectly at home in the relatively light truck. It’s mated to an automatic overdrive transmission, perfectly suited to daily driving. The motor is livened up a bit, albeit sensually, with a Flowmaster muffler. The unique rumble of the inline motor is a welcomed accompaniment of the classically styled truck.

From the ground up (literally) this flare-side screams “custom.” But it’s an odd reality considering the exterior is largely untouched. So how does Jesus’ build achieve the understated styling? For starters, the truck is thoroughly restored. Proper restoration of paint and body is one of the most underrated components of an attractive build. OEM styling is carefully designed. When preserved and highlighted it stands out effortlessly. All of the chrome trim has been restored to its original luster. The bumpers, mirrors, windshield trim, front fascia and handles dazzle. The wheels beneath, of course, accentuate these factory features.

The paint is Jesus’ favorite part and arguably its most unique. The custom mix is proprietary metallic green. It’s so dark, it could easily be mistaken for black at first glance. It’s an effect akin to the original Bullit Mustang made famous by Steve McQueen. But this example maintains even more metallic mystery. The humble customization continues throughout the truck’s interior. The original tan color remains but was brought back to life. It complements the exterior beautifully. New tan loop carpet stretches over the floor pan. Custom vinyl upholstery wraps the bench seat and door panels. The original instrument cluster is all intact. The comfortable cabin makes for enjoyable cruising and easy upkeep. The final color scheme of green on tan, accented with chrome is timeless. This ’85 step side wears it perfectly.

 TECH SPECS

JESUS LOPEZ
1985 Ford F-150
Houston, Texas

CHASSIS/ SUSPENSION

  • Custom C-notch
  • Custom four-link
  • Crown Victoria front clip
  • Firestone airbags
  • KYB shocks

POWERTRAIN

  • OEM 4.9L Strait-6
  • AOD transmission
  • Flowmaster muffler

WHEELS/BRAKES

  • Billet Specialties BLVD65 Wheels: 20×8.5 inches, 22×10 inches
  • Polished spike lugs
  • Pirelli P-Zero tires
  • Disc brakes

BODY/PAINT

  • Custom mix, Midnight Green
  • Re-chromed trim

ACCESSORIES/ INTERIOR

  • OEM tan color
  • Reupholstered vinyl bench seat and door panels

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