Much More Than a Restore
Picture this—you just purchased a freshly restored 1968 Ford F-100. It has shiny factory colored paint, a decked out interior, a reliable V-8 engine, and it starts and drives with no problem whatsoever. It looks exactly like a bone stock brand new truck would have 54 years ago (with a few customizations, of course). With a gem of a pickup in this exact condition sitting in your driveway, what would be your first move?
Now, most guys would most likely answer “take it for a cruise,” “take it to a show,” “park it in the garage, wipe it down with the softest diaper money can buy and safely tuck it away for the winter,” or some other rational response along those lines. There’s a very specific type of individual, however, who would do the complete opposite of all these options and choose to have the truck cut up and taken apart for further “restoration.”
Marcos Chavez, of Houston, Texas, is a member of the truck owning minority who would vote to cut. Actually, he already did choose to have his factory looking ’68 Ford F-100 completely dissected, but he didn’t trust just anybody to handle the job. Enter Bill Carlton of Houston’s own Ekstensive Metal Works. Marcos and Bill go way back actually. Ekstensive has been the official home for all the badass vehicles Marcos has had customized in the past, so naturally Bill and crew would be his go-to for his first classic pickup project.
There was nothing wrong with the F-100; it just was just a little too factory looking for Marcos. He likes his vehicles to be fast and unique, and Bill Carlton already understands this. Bill’s years of experience building one-of-a-kind, museum-piece custom trucks led to a plan of action being prepared almost immediately. What he envisioned for the ’68 Ford was a full custom chassis that could fit big billet wheels and withstand an injection of big horsepower. But to reap these benefits, as well as all the other bonus points they had in mind, the seemingly flawless truck had to first be ripped apart.
Bill, along with Ekstensive general manager Tim Donelson and fabricator John Villarreal-Vega, began the task of removing the cab and bed from the unneeded factory frame so they could get down to the real task at hand—fabricating the custom frame comprised of 2×4 and 2×3 sections. For guys like these, there’s nothing they can’t accomplish, so they were able to make quick work of the scratch-built chassis before sending it out for a powdercoated finish. Since the plan was to introduce the F-100 to the floor, the chassis was outfitted with Air Lift ‘bags and a 3P air management system, and then equipped with 24×9 Dropstar billet wheels up front with a staggering rear 24×15 set to match at the rear. This is what this crew specializes in and this is why Marcos has been a loyal Ekstensive customer throughout the years.
Tough Frame for a 5.0L Coyote
The F-100’s new frame was built to be extra tough and as rigid as could be for good reason. While the cab was removed from the old factory frame, the existing vintage V-8 engine was also placed aside to make room for another very special addition to the project. A 5.0L Coyote crate engine would soon be planted between the fresh front frame rails, but even though these things put out impressive performance numbers right out of the box, Bill and crew figured it would be better to slap on a supercharger straight away. With the 750-800hp output expected of this particular configuration, the guys thought it would be best to brace their already bulletproof frame to be able to withstand the level of torque and horsepower to come.
What he asked for is exactly what he received. His first classic truck project is now complete, and by the highest level of expertise in the game.
Next, the guys had to address the situation with the bed. To make enough room to house the rear end and extra wide meats, the bed floor would have to be cut and raised, and a set of custom wheel tubs would have to be fabricated to keep the new floor to keep it looking as tidy as can be. The F-100 now had the desirable low stance and big wheel combo with all appropriate bodywork to allow it to function in harmony. The only other thing Marcos could ask would be an updated interior.
Coming into the shop, Marcos’ Ford truck had already been cleaned up and customized to an extent. The cab space had been previously treated with some paint and upholstery work, but there was still a lot of room left for improvement. John Burgess of Twisted Interiors was sourced to perform an entire overhaul featuring new upholstery work, featuring one-off door and kick panels and a slick center console. Of course, one important thing the truck didn’t have when it rolled in was any kind of air conditioning system, which the guys made sure to add to beat the brutal Texas heat.
In only four months, Bill Carlson and the Ekstensive team successfully took a great truck and made it even greater. Nobody will mistake this Ford for being a surviving factory-condition ’68 truck anymore, and that’s just fine with Marcos. What he asked for is exactly what he received. His first classic truck project is now complete, and by the highest level of expertise in the game.
Marcos now has to make the choice of what to do with the truck next since it has already been cut and sewn back up. We hope to see his truck out on the Texas highways or at events this upcoming show season, but if he decides to spend some quiet time at home with his new ride, that’s just fine too.
- Marcos Chavez
- 1968 Ford F-100
- Houston, TX
- Power By The Hour Performance (PBH) 5.0L supercharged Coyote crate engine
- PBH Performance 6R80 transmission
- Icebox radiator
- All hardline hoses
- Ekstensive Metal Works full custom chassis
- Air Lift 3P air management system, 2600 ‘bags
- Viair 485c compressor
- Seamless 5-gallon air tank
- Shortened driveshaft
- Moser Fab 9 rearend
Wheels, Tires & Brakes
- 24×9 and 24×15 Dropstar billet wheels
- 275/30R24 Pirelli tires
- Wilwood 16-inch braking system w/ 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers
- OE green color with PPG paint
- Factory grille and bumpers
- Shop: Full custom interior by Twisted Interiors
- Seats, doors, dash and console
- Dakota Digital gauges
- Billet half wrap steering wheel
- Rockford Fosgate head unit, Power Series 6.5-inch components
- Lokar floor shifter