29 February 2012

1963 Ford Unibody - Hole In One

What do you do if you have too much time on your hands? Pluck your nose hairs? Sort out your sock draw? Stare blankly at Facebook? I bet the last answer on your mind was build a pick-up truck.
Well Brad Gortsema thinks differently from the likes of us; having just finished one project car, he decides to take on this 'unibody' 1963 Ford F100. Unibody? Well not quite. The nickname comes from the fact that the cab and bed are one continuous piece, with no gap between them. The same stamping forming the back of the cab was also the leading edge of the bed, and the single-wall bed sides were spot-welded directly to the door sills. The one-piece body was then set atop a traditional seperate chassis, making the 'unibody' pick-up more similar to a body-on-frame car, like the contemporary Falcon-based Ranchero. the problem with this radical approach was that the Unibody, shall we say, wasn't as robust as the equivalent separate-cab, separate-bed F100s, with stories of doors jamming open or closed when the bed was fully loaded due to body flex; so bad were the problems that Ford pulled the plug on the Unibody after only two years in 1963 and went back to the separate cab and beds used on the 4x4 models.
Brad's particular well-used example was suffering from old age as well as the 'Unibody Flex', so his initial plan to quickly sell it on for a profit turned into a full-blown project. Thankfully his Dad owns Gortsema Customs, so the two of them massaged the tired F100 into the baby blue (and white), Buick-powered picture of perfection you see here.
Bend your attention and yield to our flexible friend here.

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