The Best Reason To Stay in School... Ever!
The right seat of most desert trucks sees a rotation of enthusiastic occupants. The left seat is reserved for the fortunate few. To get to sit at the controls, most of us either have to buy or build our way in. Then there’s 15-year-old Brandon Arthur. He hits the books. For Brandon, driving the F-100 you see on these pages is just a report card away.
Of course, if said report card doesn’t reflect a pre-determined level of academic excellence, Brandon’s stuck studying until his grades are up to snuff.
It’s easy to gawk at the ’72 F-100 and tell yourself that if you had that arrangement, you’d be found nowhere but the school library and the classroom. Looking back to his own high school years, yours truly knows better. I had a similar arrangement with my parents so that I could retain permission to ride my dirt bike. Studying was tough and the dirt bike was always more appealing.
This truck has been in the Arthur family for three generations, first owned by Bob Arthur, Brandon’s grandfather, who kept it stock and enjoyed its workaday utility. Brandon’s father, Todd Arthur of HRT Motorsports, is a veteran of many, many years of desert racing in a variety of two- and four-wheeled machines. Todd’s desert talents extend beyond the racecourse, stretching right into the shop.
When Brandon’s grandfather donated the truck to him, the stage was already set. Todd and Brandon set about building the truck from humble utilitarian nostalgia into a genuine desert weapon. Friends Donny Kerr, Torrey Parker, Taylor Burger, and Roger Stokes also lent their time and talents to the build.
It would have been simple to add a basic rollcage, modified stock I-beams up front, and race-tuned leaf packs out back. The simple truth is that Todd’s fabrication experience allowed him to help Brandon create a truck that was much more capable.
After you’re done drooling over this truck’s cool factor, look underneath and you’ll see that there’s not much factory frame left at all. Up front, the rails have been chopped in front of the motor to facilitate ideal steering geometry. Similarly, the frame ends just behind the cab, creating a blank slate on which to arrange rollcage tubing around ideal performance instead of around a factory frame designed to support a cargo bed.