1963 Ford F-250

THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BED

The history behind this imported Ford F-250 truck is something of a mystery. The F-Series trucks were readily available from Ford SA at the time, so the reasons as to why someone would go through the trouble of bringing one in from the USA might leave a few people scratching their heads. The first noticeable difference is of course the position of the steering wheel, which can be found on the other side of the cockpit. The second difference, which may only be spotted by eagle-eyed enthusiasts, would be the “wrong bed” at the rear of the truck.

In 1961, Ford USA released their new unibody trucks, which are highly sought after today. However, at the time they weren’t very popular and with sales dwindling in 1962 they decided to go back to the separate cab design. But the quick decision didn’t leave them time to produce a new bed so they bolted on beds from the older ’57 – ’60 Styleside trucks, which didn’t quite line up with the body lines of the 1963 trucks, hence the name “wrong bed” was the affectionate term given to the truck by Ford enthusiasts. Even though the bed looks visibly wrong, it was actually correct as it came from the Ford factory in 1963. A revised (and more suitable) bed was to appear on the F-250 in 1964 that lasted until 1966 when the fourth generation was replaced.

Brennan Carey purchased this F-250 from a young man who planned on restoring it with his father, who subsequently passed away. It was first rebuilt in 2004 by Speedway who did the Jag front suspension, lowering the truck to its current ride height as well as the engine installation and conversion along with the drivetrain. Originally the truck was fitted with a Ford 292 Y-block but as Brennan planned on using it on a daily basis it was decided that something much more powerful and economical was needed, so a Ford 5.0 EFI Windsor motor was installed. Later on, the engine would receive further upgrades in the form of a Spitronics electronic fuel management system with split sequential injector firing, making the engine even more efficient with more oomph. A K&N air intake and custom exhaust with branches (done by Powerflow) gives Brennan all the power he would ever need, without being too loud as a daily driver.

With the engine now sorted, Brennan turned his attention to the bodywork and styling of the F-250. He did all the necessary body and prep work himself before enlisting the expertise of Calvin de Jongh for the custom two-tone paint job that would follow. The truck has a complex 3-stage PPG matte pearl paint job. The white colour is a Lamborghini Bianco Canopos matte pearl while the blue is a custom mixed matte pearl. The pearl is in the base coat and the clear coat is matte, which gives it a metallic pearl look but with a flat finish. I watched as a few people passing by took guesses as to how the finished product was achieved. Some people thought the truck was wrapped in vinyl while others thought it was plastidip. There is also a subtle burgundy pinstripe between the two colours that ties in with the colour of the original Ford badges and the 16-inch Wheel Vintique steelies that are painted burgundy with chrome baby moon caps. There’s also burgundy detailing under the bonnet and the interior which brings aesthetic harmony to the entire truck.

The interior is clean and simple with the original bench seat recovered in tan leather and all the other original bits retained except for the gearshift, which was replaced by a Lokar AOD 23-inch nostalgia shifter. A new radio head unit and aircon has also been fitted to make living with the Ford everyday much easier. I must admit that this is one, if not the coolest daily driver that I have come across. The combination of seeing a refreshing new school engine when you lift the bonnet along with the crazy-cool paint job means that this Ford F-250 has that something special that we all look for in a car, and it has it in spades. It may have been nicknamed a “wrong bed” but it is right in so many ways.

TECH SHEET:

OWNER: Brennan Carey
LOCATION: Durban
MAKE: 1963 Ford F-250
BUILDER: Speedway
ENGINE: Ford 5.0 EFI V8, aluminium BMW radiator, K&N air Intake, custom exhaust and branches, Spitronics electronic fuel management
TRANNY: Ford AOD
SUSPENSION: Front – Jaguar XJS, Rear – lowered stock leaf springs
WHEELS: 16-inch Vintique styled wheels, chrome baby moon caps, Diamond Back classic whitewalls 235/55/16
BRAKES: Front – Jaguar, Rear – Golf GTi
INTERIOR: Lokar AOD 23-inch nostalgia shifter, Tan leather stock bench seat, Aircon added
COLOUR: Lamborghini Bianco Canopos white pearl, custom matte blue pearl, burgundy pinstripe and detailing
PAINTER: Calvin de Jongh