Robert Nunez is an oil rig welder by trade, but he’s a custom truck addict by virtue of his favorite hobby, restyling classic pickups at home. Robert is so enamored with the old school lines of ’70s trucks, that he actually owns a square-body Chevy C10 styled in the same manner as the ’70 Ford F100 Ranger in these photos. The trend of each build is similar: simple and clean modifications that don’t break up the factory styling. To that end, both trucks are dropped over big wheels, but the bodies remain remarkably intact. In fact, the ’69-model grille shell is the only variation from FoMoCo’s design.
The suspension is where most of the magic happens. The factory I-beams are long gone, replaced with a more tire-friendly Mustang II arrangement. Fat Boys Customs provided the kit, which places a new tubular crossmember between the factory framerails, raising the engine and front suspension some 3 inches upward. The small Mustang spindles also moved upward, requiring the front ’rails to be notched for the steering tie rods. When Firestone airbags were added into the mix, the combination of parts allowed the front of the Ranger to sit flat on the pavement.
The back of the truck has just as much attitude, with a monster 8-inch step notch grafted into the framerails. A two-link made from rectangular tubing, made popular in Texas by its relative ease of installation, replaced the leaf springs, and a long Panhard bar locates the 9-inch rear axle. Once again, Firestone airbags provide the lift and Bilstein dampers control the suspension movement at all four-corners. The usual plastic airlines don’t last in Robert’s locale due to the hot climate, so the 1/2-inch GC450 valves are plumbed with copper hardlines. Air is provided by a the SCUD missile-looking compressed CO2 cylinder mounted inside of the bed. Billet Specialties Vintech wheels in 20x8 and 22x10 sizes feature plenty of dish thanks to 5 inches of backspacing up front and 6 inches in the rear. Sumitomo 285/30R22 and Nitto 255/35R20 tires round out the package.
Under the hood lies an overbored 302ci V-8, which now displaces 306ci and is backed by a three-on-the-tree-shifted manual trans. The engine rumbles thanks to 2-1/2-inch pipes plumbed into Flowmaster Delta 44 mufflers. The engine is topped with an Edelbrock intake, a chrome air cleaner and valve covers, and an Optima RedTop battery provides the power.
Robert says that his plan is to restore the interior to its original luster, but with a few twists; the billet steering wheel will soon be flanked by a fiberglass dash pad and interior paneling stitched with alligator hide. The seat will also receive the alligator look and the entire body will be refreshed with a new, stock-flavored, paintjob.