Having lived in Apple Valley, California, for most of his 50 years, Tommy Kirkmeyer knows a thing or two about the desert. He’s been spending time playing in it with various vehicles, but he may have reached the pinnacle with this ’92 Ford F-150.
This fine ride has more in common with a Trophy Truck than it does with an F-150, and since there’s a lot to talk about, let’s begin with the frame. It’s a custom unit built by RJ Fabrication—who built the Ford into what it is today. It utilizes a Blitzkrieg Motorsports F-150 Long-Travel front-end system that has seen the kingpin kit modified by RJ Fabrication. The front spindles are Blitzkrieg F-150, while Jamar Trophy Truck, six-piston calipers put the clamp onto 14-inch rotors. Rounding things off are the King shocks. A 16-inch 4.0 five-tube bypass joins with the Eibach Springs-equipped (400/550) King 2.5 coilover to give the Ford somewhere around 20-plus inches of wheel travel.
The rear suspension is based around a set of 60-inch-long Dirt Tech trailing arms and RJ Fabrication upper links. They hold the beautiful Tubeworks 4-inch Trophy Truck rearend housing that has Gear Works 5:43 gears, 36-spline TT axles, which, in turn, connect to Jamar TT 6-6.5 hubs. As with the front, six-piston Jamar calipers and 14-inch rotors are used, as are King 2.5 coilovers with Eibach Springs, but this time the 4.0 five-tube bypass shocks are 18 inches long.
Rolling over the roughest terrain is easy thanks to the huge 39-inch BFG Baja TA KRT tires mounted to 17x9 Trail Ready beadlock wheels.
And thanks to the big-block Chevy LSX engine, rolling over things may really need to be described as flying over things. Built by Turn Key Engine Supply out of Oceanside, California, and displacing 454 ci, it features 11:1 compression, thanks to the LS7 heads and Race Tech–forged pistons. Getting fuel and air into the big mill is done with an MSD Atomic Airforce intake manifold fed with a Nick Williams 102mm throttle body and a UMP 4-inch air cleaner, with FAST fuel rails and injectors and a Holley HP EFI management system.
Inside, items like a custom ground COMP Cams camshaft and a Moroso oil pump keep things spinning along. When it comes to getting the spent fuel out, RJ Fabrication custom-built a set of 2-inch long-tube headers and a 3.5-inch exhaust that ends with Flowmaster mufflers. The headers were ceramic coated with titanium by Young Gun Coatings in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Keeping the fuel coming is done with a pair of Aeromotive A1000 fuel pumps pulling the hi-test from a custom 70-gallon Harmon fuel cell.
All that killer hardware combines to produce a dyno-proven 720 hp at 6,300 rpm with 650 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm. This is why they went with a custom SFI Case 6100 TH400 transmission by Maximum Off Road Transmissions in Hesperia, California. That trans is cooled with a pair of bed cage-mounted CBR coolers equipped with 14-inch fans. Hi Desert Driveline of Hesperia, California, produced the heavy-duty driveshaft.
The interior may not be quite up to typical “luxury prerunner” standards, it’s got all that a truck of this caliber needs. RJ built the full cage; it has a set of Crow harnesses to safely encase the occupants, a MOMO race steering wheel, and an Art Carr shifter. The shifter is in a custom center console, along with a host of electrical switches and the PCI Race Radio intercom and radio. A Fiberwerx fiberglass dash holds a complete set of Auto Meter Pro Comp instruments along with the Lowrance HDS7 GPS unit.
Being in the fiberglass business, owner Kirkmeyer had his crew lay up the very nice custom fiberglass bedsides while a Fiberwerx one-piece hood covers the front end. Graphics Mfg. of Victorville, California, put on a fresh red wrap just for our shoot, and the result is striking. A combination of lighting manufacturers contributed to the Ford inclding Hella, Baja Designs, and KC cyclones, all producing lumens enough for a dark desert night.
Kirkmeyer has had this Ford for a long time. It was originally built by RJ Fabrication back in 2006 as a simple prerunner with Camburg unequal-length beams, Deaver rear leaf springs, and a 347 small-block Ford engine, but after many years of using the truck Kirkmeyer thought it was time to upgrade to something a little more serious.
The truck was brought back to RJ Fabrication in 2015 for a complete rework, and the RJ crew completely cut off the front and rear of the truck, leaving only the frame under the cab and the existing 1.75-inch chromoly cab cage and interior. They constructed a new chromoly chassis and went from there.
The resulting build is one that Kirkmeyer uses to prerun for his Class 1 car and to just have fun in the desert surrounding his Apple Valley home. We’re not sure if he drives dirt from there to his Palmdale-based company, but we would if we owned this killer Ford.