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1989 - Ford F-150 - Mild to Wild in 55
A challenge to transform a stock F-150 into a full-bore Pro-Streeter in 55-hours!



The starting point for the build was a stock 1989 Ford F-150 with a 5.8 Liter (351 CID) V8 and an automatic trans.

The tools that were necessary were brought from my home in New York to DuQuoin, Illinois for the buildup. 

We would transform the truck from the time the Car Craft Street Machine Nationals

opened at 9:00 Friday morning until 4:00 Sunday afternoon,

when the awards ceremony began.

A total of 55 hours.


  • As a promotional idea for the 1989 Street Machine Nationals in Du Quoin, Illinois I suggested that we build a Pro-Street vehicle at the event from 9:00 Friday morning – around the clock –, until 4:00 Sunday afternoon – a total of 55 hours.

  • We would call the event 'MILD TO WILD IN 55'

  • We would build it in a 20' x 40' tent on-site and I would haul a trailer load of tools from my home in New York to Illinois to complete the job. This included everything from hand tools to a welder and sheet metal brake.


  • When we arrived, the 20' x 40' tent had been downgraded to a 20' x 30', so inadequate space was something we would have to contend with right from the start.


  • We endured torrential rain and even a tornado, complete with a fallen tree and flooding inside the tent which completely submerged our power source junction box ankle deep with muddy water.


  • People later likened this as a “Monster Garage Style” project – but I'd like to point out that this project was built in 1989 (13 years before Monster Garage's first episode – and we completed it in 55 Hours instead of 7 Days.) 


The 'Mild to Wild in 55' transformation included a long list of fabrications and installations.


Fabrications Included:

Cutting off the rear frame 18” behind the cab

Designing and forming a new, narrowed rear back-half frame

Bending and installing a full roll bar and braces

Cutting out the truck's bed and making two huge wheel tubs

Designing and making a rear wing and mounts

Making the mounting points for the rear suspension

Building an entire dual exhaust system

Graphics painted on the truck - not decals or pinstripes

Installations Included:

1 - narrowed Ford 9-inch rear axle

2 - Rear ladder bars with panhard rod

2 - Rear coil-over shocks

2 - Rear wheel tubs

2 - 4" dropped front spindles

2 - Pro Street style front wheels and tires

2 - Pro Street style rear wheels and tires

1 - Rrear wing

1 - Bed-mounted fuel cell

1 - Electric fuel pump

1 - Performance intake manifold

1 - Performance carburetor

1 - Performance air filter

1 - Nitrous oxide system

2 - Headers

2 - Super-Trapp mufflers

16 - Exhaust pipe sections

12 - Braided lines

2 - Racing seats

2 - 5-Way Safety harness

1 - Front grille

The project was completed with less than 15 minutes to spare.

Check out the video in our VIDEOS section.


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