Unibody Ford F-100 Packs Big Block Power
Rare unibody Ford F-100 is transformed into a wicked hot rod inside, outside, and under the hood.
While flipping through the listings on the Mecum Auctions website for the upcoming Las Vegas event running November 15th through the 17th, we came across this sweet 1961 Ford F-100 unibody pickup. The unibody design was short-lived, making this a rare piece in this history of the F-Series and the construction alone makes it a collectable pickup. However, this truck has undergone a thorough restoration process, introducing the slick two-tone exterior and a matching cabin, but more importantly, it packs the heart of a big block Mustang.
The Ford F-Series unibody pickups were introduced in 1960 and would be offered through the middle of 1963, when they were discontinued due to lackluster reviews from customers. These “Integrated Pickups”, as the Motor Company formally called them, failed to meet the expectations of buyers in the early 1960s, but they have been popular collectables today. Their low production numbers and place in history attracts collectors who aren’t worried about load limits.
This 1961 F-100 is a fine example of what the unibody trucks could have been. While all of the original sheet metal remains, the two-tone paint job with the bright chrome gives this classic Ford truck a muscular, hot rod look. When you add in the chrome wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich Radial T/A tires and the dual exhaust system, this is a muscle truck built before the muscle cars took America by storm.
On the inside, this 1961 Ford F-100 has a matching paint job that is spread across every inch of the cabin. The dashboard, door panels and center console are all black and red, as are the custom leather bucket seats and the “R Racing” floormats. There is also a white Grant steering wheel that stands out nicely against the black-and-red cabin, and while the Pep Boys floormats are questionable, the rest of the interior looks great.
Muscle Car Power
Finally, in addition to looking like a hot rod pickup, this 1961 Ford F-100 packs proper power. Under the hood is a 428-cubic inch big block V8. Based on the air cleaner decal, this looks like a 1969 Q-Code engine from a Mustang, which would have delivered 335 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque in stock trim. We don’t know if this engine is stock, but even if it these provides far more power any engine offered in a 1961 unibody F-100.
In any case, this big block Ford V8 sends the power to the rear wheels by means of a C6 automatic transmission while power steering and power brakes improved the driving dynamics of this gorgeous classic pickup.
This classic F-100 is expected to sell in the range of $20,000 to $25,000, which is would be a solid score for the buyer when you consider the look and performance of this rare Ford pickup.