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Ford Crew Cab Wonders

THE FIRST CREW-CAB TRUCK introduced to the U.S. market was surprisingly not from one of the Big Three automotive corps. It was actually from International way back in 1957. In fact, it would be several more years before Ford Motor Company would debut its own four-door work truck to its consumers. You have to remember that when these trucks were presented to us in the late ’50s through the early ’70s, they were marketed as heavy-duty work trucks, trucks meant to carry a load, haul a load and hold a “crew” inside its cabin. Groups such as the military, forestry and the railroad took interest in these trucks capable of carrying extra payload and extra people to use them to their advantage. However, the early standards of these trucks were basic—and so was their design.

Well, we’ve come a long way since then and it shows. Ronald Bibey is the owner of this beautiful 1977 F-250 XLT and has proven to us that classic styling and modern ingenuity is a great mix when done tastefully. As we look around his truck, we can see where he updated and mixed in some important upgrades to make this a great driver any day of the week.

We always say the chassis on any automobile is the foundation of a build, so let’s take a peek at the undercarriage and chassis first. After all, with a 6-inch suspension lift by Skyjacker Suspension and the additional 3-inch body lift, it makes that an easy task. Ronald installed the suspension upgrades himself and decided to go with the Skyjacker Soft Ride leaf springs and corresponding Hydro 7000 shocks, a definite upgrade to the original stiff leaves from the factory.

Additional upgrades to the chassis include a Red Head steering box attached to the high steering system by Chris Holick of Offroad Design and dampened by the dual shock stabilizer from Skyjacker.

Powering this truck is the upgraded original 400 small-block Ford V-8 backed by a C6 transmission. The engine is upgraded with an Edelbrock Performance intake and Truck Avenger carburetor by Holley. The exhaust flows through a dual system utilizing two 40-series Flowmaster mufflers all through 2.5-inch pipe. Transferring the power to all four corners is a Ford NP 205 transfer case and a pair of Dana-60 axle housings with 4.10 gears to move that large wheelbase with ease. Inversely, a set of disc brakes, powered by a hydro-boost setup from Speed Manufacturing, are found at every corner allowing this rig to come to a safe stop.

Now that we know this F-250 has a good foundation, it is time to look at some of the aesthetics. To be proportional to the large body and suspension lift, Ronald decided to go with a set of chrome 20×12-inch wheels by Fuel. These Fuels have painted accents to match the body color and are wrapped in massive Toyo rubber measuring 40×15.5 inches. Perhaps the most stunning part of this truck is the overall look of its exterior.

When FoMoCo designed these crew cabs, they did one hell of a job. The roofline is crisp, the mirrors are proportional, the pull handles are trick and, most of all, the rear doors and B-pillars just look right.

We’ve seen a few wild lifted classic Fords come across our desk, but Ronald’s “Hillbilly Deluxe” might just be our favorite so far, crew cab and all!

To enhance the design a bit further, Ronald upgraded the bumpers. The front is a Warn Classic retaining the large Warn winch for those off-road days, while the rear is a Fab Fours unit originally for a 2011 F-250. Then he hired up Steve Starnes from The Paint Shop and Brent of Brent Pless Restorations to handle the paint and body work. The entire truck is coated in a beautiful Flame Blue Metallic from Ford.

We touched earlier on how these trucks were built sort of basic and utilitarian. Well, Ronald had a few ideas on how to change that up a bit. One of the more skillful ideas he had was to integrate a set of AMP Research power steps onto his old bumpside truck. With some custom brackets and custom wiring, the mod looks perfectly factory.

The interior is where you’ll find more modern amenities mixed in with stock design. The focal point of the interior are the seats, using 2005 F-250 buckets with center console for the front and the bench seat for the rear. Custom door panels were built to match the modern seats, along with an integrated late-model overhead console. To modernize the rest of the interior, power windows, a power sliding rear window, locks and heated seats were all wired in, all of which were expertly integrated by Scott Moore Upholstery. Dakota Digital updates the instrumentation and cleans up the dash quite well. The entire interior flows by matching the old with the new, and keeping the same black, tan, and woodgrain look throughout.

Even the interior is swapped over from a 2005 F-250 with working power everything, including a rear power slider!

Although Ford did a great job designing the Crew Cab, it’s always fun to see the way an individual owner will put their own personality into their project. After all, that individuality and personal custom cues are what makes this truck scene so great!

TECH SPECS

RONALD BIBEY
1977 F-250 Crew Cab
Hickory, North Carolina

CHASSIS/SUSPENSION

  • Stock frame
  • Custom bumpers
  • 6-inch Skyjacker lift
  • Skyjacker Soft Ride leaf springs
  • Skyjacker Hydro 7000 shocks
  • Dual steering stabilizer
  • Red Head Steering
  • Crossover high steering by Offroad Design

ENGINE/DRIVETRAIN/PERFORMANCE

  • 400ci Ford V-8
  • 770 cfm Holley
  • C6 automatic transmission
  • Ford NP 205 transfer case
  • Dana 60 front and rear axle
  • 4.10 gears
  • 4-wheel disc brakes
  • 2.5-inch custom exhaust

WHEELS/TIRES/BRAKES

  • Fuel – Krank
  • 20×12 front / 20×12 rear
  • Toyo Open Country
  • 40×15.50-20
  • Upgraded stock disc brakes
  • Wilwood master cylinder
  • Speed Manufacturing hydro-boost kit

BODY/PAINT

  • Flame Blue Metallic
  • Warn Classic front bumper
  • Fab Fours rear bumper
  • Dennis Carpenter trim/grille
  • Custom AMP Research electric steps
  • Warn winch

INTERIOR

  • 2005 F-250 buckets/bench seat
  • Black and tan leather
  • Custom door panels to match modern seats
  • Dakota Digital instrumentation
  • Late model integrated overhead console
  • Rear power sliding window
  • Power windows, locks, seats

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