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68 F100 - Luna

By: Austin 12/12/2019

What started off as a fun project for the family to come together has escalated to a 4+ year project.

Loving 67-72 Ford F100’s runs in my family. My grandfather and his friends all drove them and nicknamed themselves/their trucks “the gliders”. All the trucks were painted Black with a white grille, my grandfathers was a 1970 with a white wooden flatbed for hauling furniture. This love was passed to my father who owned a 1969 at some point. Then on October 10th, 2015 I was initiated into the passion by purchasing a PAIR of these trucks. A 67 step side and the love of my life, my 1968 Lunar green F100. Aptly named, Luna.

Sadly just one month later my grandfather passed away, not getting to join in the fun or witness the final product (which admittedly still isn’t finished). Due to this sorrow, I sidetracked a bit and purchased yet ANOTHER PAIR of “bumps”. This time a 72 and 1970 to symbolically follow in my grandfathers footsteps of owning a 70. Over the course of 6 months of tinkering, rebuilding, sourcing parts, and enjoying time together; my father fell in love with the truck. So naturally, with me being overwhelmed on my last semester of college, I gave him the truck. Note: Just 3 weeks before this I bought him a 1969 Mustang Fastback shell so he could have his own project too. To repay my kindness, he finished rebuilding the engine in secret and installed it into the truck. Only to re-gift it to me as a graduation present. Yes, my Dad gave me my own truck as a graduation present... and I couldn't have been happier.

Anyway, I digress. Luna patiently waited for me during this time. Through 2 project vehicles and even the process of purchasing a house (the 70 F100 above was traded for a 74 Datsun 260Z, which was sold for the down payment of my house). She wasn't completely ignored however, one week before I purchased my second pair of trucks I picked up the 2005 Crown Victoria Police interceptor front suspension. Which only took me one year of research and procrastination to mock into the truck. During that time I purchased the 1994 Lincoln Mark VIII donor car for the drivetrain. Also finding that it was possible to swap the independent rear suspension out and fabricate it into the truck. But we will get to that.

Now that the front end mocked in, she was mobile again! After listening to my mother's then boyfriend describe his "amazing welding skills" and how he "restored a Nova once" for weeks, I finally bought in and asked for some body work. Not to blame anyone, I too get overloaded by my occupation and leave projects sit for extended periods of time; but my Luna sat outside in the Ohio winter for THREE AND A HALF MONTHS untouched. My baby, who since I've owned her has been garage kept and cherished (mainly due to it being in a million pieces, but not the point). I rescued her in the spring and moved her into my own home garage for once.

Over the next 5 months of pouting, I finally started thinking and making the right moves. I was in contact with a REAL restoration shop to get her taken care of the right way. Through this networking I was introduced to an expert fabricator who also happened to have a 1970 F100 riding on Air. After patiently waiting for him to button up a few projects of his own, I finally delivered Luna in the hands of someone I knew would truly care and appreciate her as much as I do. The task list was to clean up and box in the Crown Vic swap I had done and make it permanent; then to install the IRS from the Lincoln using some plans I found online. Due to some bad luck (illness) it took about 6 months, but the end result was phenomenal! I was extremely happy with what he had accomplished, he went above and beyond my expectations. Keeping me informed of progress along the way and making improvements to my original request/plan. I was so happy that I went out and bought some Ford Performance wheels to go with her new stance.

 Luna has mostly sat since then. For some reason my now Wife wanted me to focus the next 6 months on prepping for our wedding? As much as I tried, I was unable to convince her that restoring the truck should be considered part of the wedding expenses claiming that we "need a getaway vehicle". I'm good, just not that good. There is hope on the horizon however, about 3 weeks ago I picked up a mint 1972 F350. Intending to use the cab as a replacement for Luna's rusted and unprofessionally "repaired" body.

However, life throws us curveballs and we will have to wait and see how it plays out. It all started when I purchased a 1968 F100 2wd with mounts for a 429/460 BBF engine. I actually purchased a 1970 Ford Thunderbird for the 429 drivetrain. Then quickly changed my direction and bought a 2005 Crown Victoria PI front end and swapped it. Almost a year later I got the 1994 Lincoln Mark VIII only intending to use its drive train and ended up doing an IRS swap too. The 4.6L modular V8 (Teksid) and automatic trans from the Lincoln still to be installed.

As of now I plan on making Luna into a hybrid between old school styling and modern performance. Almost a "what if" they had an SVT in 1968. My mind will continue to change and so will the final vision. But one thing is for certain, it will have black paint and a white grille.

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