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The Whole Enchilada

CUSTOM-BUILT TRUCKS have always been about self-expression. Each truck is a reflection of its owner and allows them to connect with the world in an extremely visceral way comprised of steel, rubber and fire. For Tony Leal, the process of self-expression through custom projects is engrained. Even so, with each new adventure, unique opportunities to accomplish his goals always present themselves. For his latest design, he chose to blend rebellious styling, modern innovation and old-school patina for one hell of a unibody Ford F-100.

“The Ford began its life as a modest blue truck with a clean and simple design. Having aged more than half a century, however, it has been transformed into a wicked icon of self-expression.”

The slammed unibody (SLMDUNI) is an impressive show from the ground up. The plan began with a complete Porterbuilt V7 Extreme chassis kit. The front suspension uses CPP’s C-10 drop spindles paired with Air Lift Dominator airbags and KYB shocks. The rear is obviously a Porterbuilt setup with a step-notch bridge and a watts-link configuration that makes use of Firestone ’bags and KYB shocks. The ’bags are fed and pressurized by Air Lift Performance’s state-of-the-art 3H air management system. The system operates the height and pressure of the airbags for unparalleled control and consistent monitoring. One thing that really sets off the trick suspension and chassis is the Wet Stone Copper powder-coat, which stands out gloriously against the natural patina.

Sticking with a classic theme and a few modern twists, SLMDUNI features a mostly stock interior with Classic Instruments gauges and a custommounted Air Lift 3H controller within arm’s reach.

Thanks to the extreme chassis and suspension work, 22×8.5inch Coy’s Smoothies virtually disappear underneath the fenders. Yet, the wheels demonstrate an aggressively unapologetic attitude, much like Tony does himself. The killer rollers are paired with sticky Nitto NT555 255/30R22 tires for a slick profile, and a monstrous CPP big brake kit backs them for modern stopping power at every corner.

Though each component seems wilder than the next, perhaps the most unique element of Tony’s truck is his choice of power plant. Beneath the bluish hood is a complete powertrain swap from a Lincoln Mark VIII. The modern 4.6L DOHC V-8 is perfectly at home in the classic Ford pickup, bringing some contemporary heat to the table. A California Driveline-built twopiece driveshaft carries power to a Ford 8.8-inch rearend equipped with 3.73 gears and a limited slip differential. The motor is accessorized by MSD coils and wires, as well as a custom ECU and wiring setup by Ron Francis. The engine breathes through a K&N intake and a custom Black Widow exhaust, which uses Widow Maker catalytic converters.

Stuffing a huge set of 22×8.5-inch Coy smoothies both front and rear is made possible by custom Porterbuilt goodies.

Tony was serious about preserving the hard-won patina of his truck, and it shows.

Naturally, the powder-coated chassis sits on the ground with a complementary exterior of equally outlandish proportions. The SLMDUNI is completely coated in natural patina, showing hints of its once sky-blue paint through attractive wear and tear. The finely curated patina is near perfection in its imperfection. To preserve its beautifully aged style, Tony coated the truck in Hot Rod Flatz satin clear. The grille and original bumpers all boast a patina of their own for a fully realized rebel exterior. The only modern amenities are the retrofit Hella H4 conversion headlights and Precision Replacement Parts seal.

Doing something a little different, Tony opted to swap in a complete Lincoln Mark VIII drivetrain with a few tricks.

The interior sings much the same song as the rest of the truck, with an in-your-face approach to styling. The exterior’s signature patina creeps its way into the cabin, while the factory-original bench seat has been reupholstered by Luis Customs with a Mexican serape. The brightly adorned bench is perfectly at home in the frame-laying Ford. On the dash, beautifully updated elements include Classic Instrument gauges and black anodized air vents fed by a RestoMod Air custom AC system.

In stark contrast to the weathered exterior, a fully powder-coated Porterbuilt frame and suspension add a bit of modern tech and handling to the total package.

Tony’s slammed unibody does something special; it wakes up all five senses with myriad textures, sounds and sights. The Ford began its life as a modest blue truck with a clean and simple design. Having aged more than half a century, however, it has been transformed into a wicked icon of self-expression. Refusing to settle for just one unique quality, Tony’s build combines perfectly paired highquality parts for an extravagant and fiery package. Tony’s SLMDUNI really is the whole enchilada.

TECH SPECS

TONY LEAL
1961 Ford F-100
Unibody Orange, CA

ENGINE

  • Complete Lincoln Mark VIII swap
  • 4.6L DOHC V-8
  • MSD wires and coils
  • Black Widow 2.5-inch exhaust
  • Widow Maker catalytic converters
  • K&N intake
  • Automatic trans
  • Custom two-piece driveshaft
  • Ford 8.8 rearend
  • 3.73 gears with LSD

CHASSIS & SUSPENSION

  • Porterbuilt V7 Chassis
  • Custom C-notch and Watts-link
  • Air Lift Dominator ’bags up front and Firestone rears
  • Air Lift Performance 3H air management system
  • KYB shocks, front and back
  • CPP C-10 spindles
  • Chassis powder-coated Wet Stone Copper

WHEELS & TIRES

  • 15×8 and 15×10-inch Rocket Racing wheels with gold powder-coated finish
  • 255/60R15 and 285/70R15 BF Goodrich Silvertown tires

BODY & PAINT

  • All original body and patina
  • Hella H4 conversion headlights
  • Hot Rod Flatz satin clearcoat
  • OG door handles
  • Precision Replacement Parts seals

INTERIOR & STEREO

  • Mexican serape-upholstered bench
  • Classic Instruments gauges
  • Custom-mounted Air Lift 3H controller
  • Black anodized air vents
  • RestoMod Air custom AC system

Special Thanks From the Owner: “Porterbuilt, Air Lift, Preceision Replacment Parts, Classic Instruments, Black Widow Exhaust and everyone who helps support my builds.”

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