2015 Ford F-150: Big Truck Hauls Small Block
by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on October 26, 2015
My old pal Dean has more money than he knows what to do with. And he knows how to push my buttons.
That's why there's a perfectly good small-block Chevy and Muncie four-speed sitting in the bed of our long-term 2015 Ford F-150.
Dean just added a 1965 Corvette roadster to his sizable collection of toys. It's similar to the Edmunds '66 Corvette coupe, as it's also a small-block 327-powered car with a four-speed, but it's not quite as pure as ours. Dean's car looks good from 50 feet, but it's not numbers-matching and it's been "restored" a few times, but never really that well. It's not exactly a beater, but there's evidence of accident damage, the incorrect red paint is falling apart, and the frame is starting to rust.
So Dean buys this thing with a plan, and immediately dumps it at his favorite hot rod shop with orders to make it a Pro-Touring monster with a new frame, modern suspension and brakes, and of course a state-of-the-art powertrain, probably a 650-horsepower LT4 from a 2015 Corvette Z06 and a 6-speed manual. Total investment will be well over $150,000.
Then he calls me.
"We just pulled the 327 and the four-speed out of the Corvette," he says. "It's perfect for your Chevy. Come get it."
Dean knows I own a '55 Chevy kinda old-school gasser with a tired 350 and a junky automatic. He also knows that I've owned the car 15 years and have always wanted to convert it to a four-speed manual, but I've been too cheap, too busy and mostly too lazy to get it done.
"How much?" I ask.
"Nothing," he says. "I just need it gone. Plus, you need something to get you going on that '55. I'm tired of hearing how one day you're going make it a four-speed."
A free motor and trans. Sure they both need rebuilds, but he's right. This is the kick in the pants I've been waiting for. My buttons have been pushed.
Forty-eight hours later, the greasy engine and transmission were in the bed of our F-150, which performed the task brilliantly. The 70-mile drive from the shop back home was all freeway and the big blue Ford didn't seem to notice the 500-plus pounds strapped to its bed floor.
Securing it was easy thanks to the Ford's numerable cleats, both high and low on its bed walls and the Line X bedliner handled the job essentially unscathed.
On the way home I hit In-and-Out Burger for a Double-Double and the coin-op car wash to blow off the larger chunks of grease and oil, which revealed a nicely surviving coat of Chevy Orange. And now it sits in the corner of my garage. Waiting.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief