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An F-100 Gets a Big Boost

THIS VERY TRICK, UNIQUE TRUCK IS OWNED BY ARMAN SARKISSIAN OF CORSA VELOCITA, WHICH MANUFACTURES CUSTOM STEEL WHEELS FOR MANY PERFORMANCE APPLICATIONS, MOST NOTABLY FOR EUROPEAN CARS. So, you might think it’s a tad strange that a truck that is in many ways the polar opposite of a small, lightweight Euro performance car is sitting on such a set of wheels. Well, we think it’s weird, too—but we dig it.

The 17×8 and 17×10 Corsa Velocita GT-Series two-piece wheels look just right sitting in the Ford’s minuscule fender openings, and they really let you know that the truck isn’t still sporting its original straight-six engine. Arman definitely had the vision to build something out of the box, which is the whole point when you’re trying to stand out from the crowd.

As you may be able to tell at a quick glance, the truck sits extremely low without the aid of airbags or hydraulics, but it’s no simple drop job. A completely new chassis was fabricated by Porterbuilt, with upper and lower control arms in place of the original beam front suspension (along with a four-link out back to replace the leaf springs). RideTech coilovers were then installed at each corner for maximum performance while achieving a killer stance. Completing the chassis upgrade are a Porterbuilt steering rack and a 5x120mm BMW lug pattern conversion to allow the wheels to bolt on without the need for adapters.

ARMAN’S CLAIM TO FAME IS CORSA VELOCITA, HIS COMPANY THAT MAKES CUSTOM STEEL WHEELS IN AGGRESSIVE SIZES. HIS F-100 ROLLS ON 17X8 AND 17X10 GT-SERIES TWO-PIECE WHEELS.

When it came time to choose the powerplant, we’re sure that Arman briefly considered the popular LS route, but in the end he decided that a modest yet mighty diesel would be the way to go. The 4BT is definitely an unusual choice for a lowered old E e to be sure, but it’s also a very practical choice for a few reasons. Decent power, gobs of torque and straight-forward installation devoid of complicated electronics make for a totally winning combination.

An ATC 80mm turbo mounted to a modified 6BT manifold provides the boost, with 4-inch tubing throughout for maximum fl ow. Larger injectors and modified fuel governor allow for a lot more fun, to the tune of 45-psi at 2,000-RPM.

“There’s almost no lag and a crazy spooling noise when you let o ,” Arman tells us.

To maintain reliability, the engine itself was left stock internally, although it was resealed and an extra oil canister was installed to keep things cool.

Another odd choice for the drivetrain came in the form of a revalved GM 700R4 tranny, which obviously had to be adapted to work with the Cummins block. Known for its fortitude, the original 9-inch rear end was retained, but it was re-geared to get the truck to cruise at 85 mph at just below 2,000 rpm.

OH, A 4BT IN A LOWERED UNIBODY F-100? YES, PLEASE! THE ENGINE FOR ARMAN’S FORD ACTUALLY CAME OUT OF A MID-’90S FEDEX TRUCK, BUT IT STILL HAS PLENTY OF LIFE LEFT AND GETS FED 45-PSI FROM THE ATC 80-MM TURBO ON THE DAILY!

The body remains mostly original, right down to the worn paint and black California license plates. The interior is mostly stock as well, except for added boost and oil pressure gauges, as well as tilt steering column and a CNC-machined steering wheel with wood ring, which Arman made himself.

THE VERY VINTAGE LOOKING STEERING WHEEL WAS ACTUALLY CRAFTED BY ARMAN HIMSELF, WHO MACHINED THE WHEEL AND ADDED WOOD TRIM AROUND THE PERIMETER.

Mission completed, Arman’s F-100 now cruises the Santa Fernando Valley in California with a style all its own, ready to spool up at a second’s notice. And we’ve never wanted a unibody F-100 more badly than we do now.

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