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No, Not That Red Ranger

At some point in life, you become exposed to a classic truck and it just stays with you. Whatever it first was—a family affair or some random farm truck in a parking lot—something just ignites an internal spark. From an early age, Joey Thigpen, owner of this 1970 Ford F-150 Ranger Lariat, has been around classic trucks. His father got him hooked as a kid early on, from toy trucks to the real-life thing. Joey knew that one day he would turn his childhood dreams into reality and continue to pass the torch to the next generation through his kids.

Joey and his son JD set out to build a project truck together, something to get JD excited about classic Fords just like Joey’s father did for him. Joey’s favorite body style has been the “Dentside” as the late ’70s and early ’80s truck styling stuck with him and sticks out as the truck he remembers most from his childhood. So, the model was decided, and the hunt was on. Joey found a decent $1,800 project truck with good bones and quickly got down to business. He enlisted the help of David Knecht, and they got it all stripped apart, tore it down to bare frame and accounted for every nut and bolt. They had the frame sandblasted and powder coated after a few slight modifications. When it came time to reassemble, all new mounts and polyurethane bushings were purchased along with new hardware for assembly. A Dana 44 up front and a Dana 60 out back give the 4×4 a beefy yet classic appearance that Joey was after. Sitting on 15x10s Pacer Wheels with 33-inch Toyo tires, this truck is more than capable. Powered by a Ford Racing 400ci C6 combo to move the upgraded rollers, there is more than enough power at all fours.

Putting together this “Father & Son” dream truck was no simple task. From making sure the chrome and brightwork were restored to choosing the perfect complementing colors, a well-thought-out and complete restoration takes a good eye. Driving past a Ford dealership, Joey saw a new F-250 on the lot draped in the most amazing metallic color. He went in and found out it was Ford Ruby Red, so he nabbed the paint code knowing it was the color that the truck had to wear. He entrusted Lucky 13 Customs to bring that vision to life.

A classic truck restoration just isn’t complete without a comfortable interior cabin upgrade along with some added creature comforts. Continuing with the factory-style restoration, Joey had D&L Upholstery remake the bench seat with a two-tone scheme. The truck has quite the sound system, from the Pioneer head unit to the full Rockford Fosgate surround. Joey entrusted his buddies over at Cruisin’ Tunes to bring it to life.

Now the Thigpens enjoy this truck every chance they get cruising around sunny South Florida. Going to the beach, taking in the occasional truck show … Joey and JD will be creating father-son memories to last a lifetime. We’re glad to be able to showcase crazy high-dollar and high-end shop builds, but also really enjoy featuring homegrown and family-built memory machines!

There’s just something special about a father/son project that will be creating memories for generations to come.

Tech Specs

Joey Thigpen
1970 Ford F-150 Ranger
Saint John, Florida

Chassis/Suspension

  • Dana 44 front
  • Rough country shocks
  • All new polyurethane bushings, mounts, etc.
  • Dana 60 back
  • Wheels/Tires
  • Pacer Wheels 15×10 all around
  • Toyo 33×12.50r15 tires

Body/Paint

  • Smoother and painted Ford Ruby Red from a new F-250
  • Painted by Lucky 13 Customs

Interior/Stereo

  • Original bench seat wrapped with a two-tone scheme by D&L Upholstery
  • Pioneer head unit
  • 6×9 Rockford Fosgate, 12-inch Rockford Fosgate sub with Fosgate amps
  • Installed by Cruisin’ Tunes

Engine/Performance

  • Ford Racing 400 with Ford c6 trans
  • Custom headers/exhaust
  • Built by owner

Thanks from Owner:
“My wife for supporting this crazy custom truck addiction.”

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