The story of Heath’s journey to monster truck nirvana started out as you would expect.
He grew up in a family of 4×4 enthusiasts and never missed a chance to watch the legendary BIGFOOT® monster truck on TV. Heath was also a Ford guy through-and-through, and his first truck (a gift from his dad) was a 1975 Ford F-250.
“The truck wasn’t the prettiest,” Heath says. “But it had a 428CJ FE and a 4-speed manual transmission, so I was thrilled with it!”
Heath drove that F-250 for years, before the truck’s body eventually succumbed to rust. He found a replacement body from a 1978 F-350 and the monster truck transformation began.
He married the 1978 body to the 1975 frame. Then he added a lift kit. Then bigger wheels. Then bigger tires.
But Heath hit a snag when he was unable to source larger leaf springs to continue the monster truck mutation—fortunately for Heath, fate was about to intervene.
“There was a local car show and BIGFOOT was attending; I went assuming it would be one of the new race trucks, but as we walked through the doors I could see instantly that it was the original BIGFOOT with the man himself, Bob Chandler!”
Heath and BIGFOOT creator Bob Chandler stuck up a conversation. After Heath explained his leaf spring conundrum, Mr. Chandler invited him to tour the BIGFOOT shop in St. Louis.
When Heath arrived, there was a set of leaf springs waiting for him—a spare set from the original BIGFOOT!
The build resumed in earnest, using BIGFOOT #1 as the template. Heath added 5-ton Rockwell axles and a 2.5-ton Rockwell transfer case.
Extensive frame modifications were added to support the 1,000 pound tires. The truck’s original 428CJ was replaced by a supercharged 598 c.i.d. Ford big block.
Instead of a repaint, Heath worked hard to revived the truck’s original “old-school” 1978 paint job.
The build took over two years. When it was completed, the truck was nicknamed “the BFT,” as an homage to BIGFOOT and Mr. Chandler.
“I am extremely honored to display and show off my old truck at shows and races,” Heath tells us.
It’s easy to see why.
Congratulations Heath! You’re our Top Fan Ride of January.