Georgia Man Builds Custom Ford F-1 Capable of 1000 Horsepower


Ever wonder what it would be like to take the unbridled power of the Shelby GT500 and put it under the hood of a classic Ford pickup? Well that’s exactly what Georgia poultry farmer John Arrendale set out to achieve when building his custom 1950 Ford F-1.


The goal was simple, create a high-performance truck capable of enough power and speed to tear through competition at the drag strip. To gather all the classic parts necessary to achieve this goal, Arrendale first acquired a small fleet of classic Ford F-1 models from another man who lived in his hometown.


After acquiring the necessary materials, a mutual friend put Arrendale in contact with custom hot-rodder Allen Mason, who owns the family-operated Mason’s Hot Rods in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In business since 1979, Mason’s has been responsible for the building of many custom vehicles for various films such as Days of Thunder, The Fast and the Furious, and Talladega Nights.


“When I first spoke to Allen, I told him I want to go fast. Here’s the checkbook,” Arrendale told MotorTrend. After a bit more research and planning, “fast” is exactly what Mason delivered. 


The project began with a modified 5.4 liter Shelby V8 (complete with a Cobra Jet crank, Crower rods, MMR pistons, stock cams, and custom long-tube headers) and a reinforced TCI Engineering chassis.


In order to achieve the straight-line stability needed to harness 1000 hp at the drag strip, the team decided on a triangulated four-bar rear, tubular A-arms in front, RideTech coilovers, and custom motor mounts. 


After adding a Shelby power steering system, a Mustang II rack with Currie 9-inch rear running 3.25 gears, 35-spline axles, Wilwood disc brakes, and just a touch more chassis tuning, Arrendale’s custom F-1 was ready for powder coating cosmetics provided by Spartanburg’s Old Furnace Powder Coating.


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