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A Vintage F100 Goes From Junk to Jumps

Posted in Features on September 27, 2015
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When Chris McCoy first saw this 1971 Ford F100, it was a cab and frame only sitting in a San Dimas CA. backyard with weeds growing through it. McCoy says that he loves the older F100 body style so when he saw it he knew he had found his next project.

Having grown up off-roading with his family, he wanted to raise my girl's in the world of off-roading as well. In fact, one of his daughters will be racing the Ford in an upcoming MORE series Powder Puff race, but McCoy says that his goal is to race the Baja 1000. The NORRA Mexican 1000 may be a better fit for the vintage F100, but who's to say?

Being a mechanic, McCoy did the majority of the work on the truck, be he did have some of the work done by reputable shops. One of them was Solo Motorsports in Covina CA. who did the suspension. Now, the Ford front suspension system is totally unlike the newer A-arm style that most are use to seeing. No, this system uses what's called a Twin Traction Beam, or Twin I Beam system, that goes across the front of the truck. Many feel that it's an odd design, but one that many others swear they can make work, and work well. Solo Motor Sports is one of those who think that they have the answers with their system. They conservatively say that the front suspension has 20-inches of travel. The system includes a swing set steering by Solo, too.

Kurt Young at DC Shocks helped get the shocks tuned perfectly. A pair of Fox shocks adorns each front corner, as the 2.5 Bypass utilizes a remote reservoir while the 3.0 coilover has been fitted with 450/500 springs. Stopping power comes from a set of Wilwood 4-piston calipers clamping Wilwood rotors. They are also used on the rearend, as are the 17-inch Ultra wheels that are shod with Cooper SST tires (37x12.50x17).

A pair of Solo's long links arms gives the Ford nearly 30-inches of travel for the Ford 9-inch rearend. That rearend has been equipped with a spool and 5:13 gears along with the Wilwood brake system. While the same Ultra/Cooper combination can be found, the shock package is now a combination of 3.0 Kings and 2.5 Fox's.

If Ford ever made a tougher, better all around engine than the Ford 351 Windsor, we're not sure what it is. This 1985 vintage unit has been upgraded with the usual suspects: Edelbrock, Holley, TRW, K&N and Comp Cams. Producing a solid 400 horses, the engine was done by CJM automotive of Glendora, CA, first by adding in the forged TRW pistons (11:1 compression ratio) and Comp roller cam. Then on went the aluminum Edelbrock heads, the Air Grabber intake manifold, 750cfm Holley carburetor and K&N air cleaner.

Spark to light the fire comes from a Pertronix electronic ignition system while the Flowmaster headers and exhaust system routes out the spent fuel. The Ford C6 transmission was built by Harrell's Transmission in Covina, CA while Drive Shaft Specialist in Azusa, CA spun up the shaft.

If you think that the Ford is purpose built for off-road, then you won't be surprised that the interior is all business, too. The Beard seats have been equipped with ARP harnesses while the no frills MOMO steering wheel gives a modicum of control over the Effie.

The custom console holds the PCI Race Radios communications system, Art Carr shifter and the switches for the various electrical components, one of which is the K&N fresh air system. The dash panel has been replaced with an aluminum sheet that houses the Auto Meter gauges and the 7-inch Lowrance GPS unit connects to it

Once McCoy removed all the weeds, spider webs and things we'd rather not mention, he had Solo install a full in cab cage to the stock Ford cab before adding the Autofab fiberglass hood and front fenders along with the Glassworks bedsides. A JAZ fuel cell resides the bed along with a Stewart's Raceworks jack mount, a pair of wheels/tires and an extra driveshaft. There's also a large Solo built aluminum compartment for tools, extra oil and whatnot. After pulling out the small dents and generally prepping the body, J and S Auto Body in Glendora, CA applied the custom orange paint. Going old school, McCoy outfitted his Ford with five 7-inch RuffStuff HID lights mounted into a huge attitude adjustable frame. To let those he passes know if he hits the binders, a RuffStuff's Brake Light Bar has been fitted with LED's and attached to the cage.

While McCoy wants to say a special Thank You to Bobby at Solo Motorsports for all of their support with the truck, the salute the 45 year old mechanic for taking what was trashed and turning it into a truck who's time has come.

Bold doesn't begin to describe this 1971 Ford F100.

A venerable 351 Windsor engine powers the Effie, and thanks to upgrades such as Edelbrock aluminum heads, a 750 Holley carb, TRW pistons, Comp Cam's valve train components and a K&N air filter, it produces 400 horses.

Sporting what Solo considers a conservative 20-inches of travel, the Twin Traction Beam front suspension system is odd, but works well given the design is nearly 50 years old.

A big reason the suspension works well is the two per side Fox shocks. A 2.5 Bypass utilizes a remote reservoir while the 3.0 coilover features 450/500 springs.

There's plenty of room for the huge, aluminum center console. It houses the PCI Race Radios communications system, Art Carr shifter and the electrical switches. The Lowrance GPS unit hangs from the all-metal dash.

Auto Meter gauges sit in the aluminum dash panel.

A set of Beard racing seats combine with the PRP harnesses to keep everyone in place and safe; even if the truck were to land on its side.

A nod to newer is better are the Ultra wheels that have been shod with Cooper SST tires.

No LED on this vintage Effie as five big RuffStuff lights adorn the mount. They are HID, though.

With not much room to spare, the bed is filled with everything that you'll need on the track or trail.

The Solo trailing arms combine with a Fox/King shock duo to get the travel up to a full 30-inches!

A beefed-up Ford 9-inch rearend has been equipped with a spool and 5:13 gears. As with the front, a Wilwood braking system has been installed.

Looking great from any angle, this 1971 Ford F100 is both a testament to what was, and in the case of McCoy and family, what is going to be.


Auto Meter
Sycamore, IL 60178
Cooper Tire
Findlay, OH 45840
Wilwood Brakes
Camarillo, CA 93012
Ruff Stuff Specialties
Stewart’s Race Works
King Off-Road Racing Shocks
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Torrance, CA 90503
Solo Motorsports

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