1961 Ford Truck Unibody, Front Grille

When Jake got his 1961 Ford Unibody Truck for his 15th birthday, it looked nothing like what you see here.

“It was a rusted, hammered, beat-up old work truck,” Jake tells us.

The Ford had a humble 223 inline six engine mated to a three-on-the-tree column shift. Jake drove it that way for two years, gradually building up a Ford 302 V8 and C6 transmission.

With the new motor stuffed in, Jake drove the revitalized truck for a few more years before getting the itch to do a full frame-off rebuild.

“We swapped out the frame with one from a 1958 Chevy truck that had a 1976 Camaro subframe,” Jake says. “To our surprise, all of the bolts lined up. We just had to move the front cab mounts from the old frame over.”

The new frame also received a new drivetrain, in the form of a Chevy 454 big block and Turbo-Hydramatic 400 transmission. Out back was a Ford 9 inch, housing 3.0:1 gears and a Positraction differential.

Jake drove the truck for a few more years. Then he decided to go all-out.

It’s now got a full roller 468 Chevy big block sending power to 4L80E transmission with manual valve body. The rear end was upgraded with 3.73:1 gears and an Eaton Positraction unit.

Jake gave us more specs on the Ford’s current engine:

10:1 Compression

Demon 750 Carburetor

MSD Igntition System

March Performance Serpentine Pulley System

Edelbrock Air Gap Intake Manifold

ARP Bolts

It’s not all about the motor here either—Jake spent countless hours on the truck’s body.

“All the body work was done by me and my uncle,” Jake said. “It has a bunch of custom touches, shaved body lines, shaved bed pockets, shaved cowl, and Frenched antenna.”

But Jake assures us that his truck is no trailer queen.

“The truck has many hours of seat time,” he said, continuing “she sits now more than I like, due to having a couple of boys, but I’m not afraid to hop in and drive it anywhere!”

Congratulations Jake, your home-built hot rod truck is our Top Fan Ride of November!

1961 Ford Truck Unibody, Front Hood

1961 Ford Truck Unibody, Front Passenger Side

1961 Ford Truck Unibody, Front Driver Side

1961 Ford Truck Unibody, Driver Side

1961 Ford Truck Unibody, Rear Driver Side

1961 Ford Truck Unibody, Bed

1961 Ford Truck Unibody, Front Low


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Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or watching a 1972 Corvette overheat. An avid motorcyclist, he spends the rest of his time synchronizing carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.