This Boss-Inspired 1966 Ford F-100 Pickup Will Blow You Away
Swag Custom Rides has been turning heads over the last few years, building top-tier radical rides out of their extensive shop in New Britain, Connecticut. During that time they’ve run the gamut of classic car upgrades; from multi-denominational muscle rides to classy trucks, while garnering applause and awards for their groundbreaking fabrication and out-of-the-box build techniques.
That in and of itself is a major feat for any major custom car company, but Swag has done it quite differently than the other resto shops. Swag is the first and only non-profit automotive restoration company in the country. By employing young men who have had severe life-altering issues in the past and putting them through challenging training in the car restoration field, Swag not only restores cars to the highest standards, but they also help to “restore” lives that have gone astray and suffered through hardships along their personal life paths.
So, to further enhance their existence and to help people in need, Swag decided to build a hot pickup that would be auctioned off for charity. After teaming up with the Special Olympics Foundation and Barrett-Jackson, the team at Swag designed a wild build that would definitely get the excitement mounting. What better marriage for a Hot Rod Truck than a Ford F-100 pickup, and the most recognizable Blue Oval ever built: the Ford Mustang!
So the design team came up with a plan that would take some of the best aspects of one of the most popular ponycar models, the Boss Mustang, and blend them into the styling of the workhorse F-100 pickup. Swag’s main focus was to devise a truck that could have been offered by Ford dealers during the muscle car era. On paper, the design looked flawless. It was now up to Swag to see this over-the-top build through to fruition.
After finding and obtaining a good builder 1966 F-100, the truck was brought into the shop for a complete teardown. Once it was brought to its shell, bodywork commenced on the needy Ford. Rust removal was first, but luckily the truck’s skin was in reasonably good condition at the start. Swag keyed on doing modifications to the body and structure, shaving off handles and making sure the gaps were better than the factory ever could have done them. No filler was used on this build.
There are custom touches throughout. The front fascia took hours to get just right. The nose, bezels, and grille were all custom-made, playing off the stylings of a 1970 Mustang. It’s in-depth fabrication that the crew at Swag pulled off to a tee. The lower valance is from a 1969 ’Stang that was modified to fit the truck. A custom roll pan was then constructed out back, complete with marker lights and exhaust cutouts. Lastly, Mustang taillights were integrated into the tailgate out back to give it that complete ponycar look.
After putting in almost 1,000 hours on the body, it was now ready for paint. It was basted in a Swag custom red metallic using PPG products, mixed in-house by their paint technicians. The wide longitudinal stripes were done in a deep gray metallic to offset the vibrant body hue.
The Roadster Shop offered up a custom laser-cut chassis loaded with only the best suspension parts. A RideTech air-ride suspension handles the duties, helping to get the stance right where Swag wanted it. QA1 double-adjustable shocks were used next to get the suspension dialed in. A power-aided rack-and-pinion steering system helps this ride keep pointed in the right direction. For stopping power, a Hydo-boost power brake booster squeezes the Wilwood disc brakes, which are installed at all four corners.
For motorvation on this stunning restomod ride, the members at Swag knew exactly what they wanted from the start. Ford Racing offered up a Ford Performance Parts 5.0L Coyote crate engine that was fitted with a Roush supercharger up top. With a little massaging, this combo was good for 750 hp at the rear wheels. Swag custom CNC’d all the brackets to make it all work. Sean Hyland Motorsports supplied the power steering pump and alternator.
A 4L60E transmission with simple shift gets this ride through the gears and then feeds a stout Ford 9-inch rear stuffed with 3.73 gears out back. A Painless wiring kit was installed to tie all the truck’s systems together. Another cool custom touch is the shaker scoop, which once again gives a shout-out to the performance Mustangs of the muscle car era.
A lot of hard work went into the cockpit of this cruiser, and it’s influenced by the original Boss Mustang. It starts off with a one-off interior, featuring custom leather-covered buckets up front with a matching console and a wraparound leather headliner built with a subwoofer enclosure. Power windows offer a modern convenience, along with the Restomod air climate system, controlled by an iPad app. A Flaming River steering column and Dakota Digital Mustang gauge cluster (with custom logo) finish off the interior build list.
Out back, a bubinga wood bed adds a touch of natural class to this wild truck. To add that extra bling, 20×9 Torq Thrust wheels were added to the corners. They are shod in Pirelli P Zero rubber to keep up with the big-wheel, restomod styling.
Not only does the installed iPad control the climate, but the RideTech air-ride suspension and the audio system are also regulated through the device. For a modern flair, Dakota Digital LED lights fore and aft help this ride see even on the darkest days.
The truck was done in an amazing four-month period before its big night at Barrett-Jackson where it was auctioned off. Before that happened, Ford Racing team member Joey Logano signed the dash of the truck for an extra touch of prominence. All proceeds from the build and sale went to the Special Olympics Foundation. The Boss F-100 was then hammered off and became the property of new owners John and Rickie Dilemme.
John Muratori, CEO of Swag, found the experience enlightening, to say the least. “It’s a story of a team of builders training recovering addicts and young men, along with the hands-on experience of Special Olympic athletes working with us, who created an unforgettable experience.” This Boss F-100 is a truly unique build and one that will continue to wow the crowds for years to come.
Facts & Figures
1966 Ford F-100
John & Rickie Dilemme
Builder: Swag Custom Rides
Engine: Small-block Ford Racing Coyote 5.0 Roush Ford Racing Supercharger
Displacement: 302 inches
Bore: 3.63 inches
Stroke: 3.65 inches
Compression Ratio: 11:1
Cylinder Heads: Aluminum heads, 37.3mm/13mm intake, 31.8mm/13mm exhaust
Rotating Assembly: Forged steel rods, forged steel crankshaft, hypereutectic aluminum pistons
Valvetrain: DOHC 4V, twin independent variable camshaft timing
Ignition: Ford 5.0 ECM power pack
Exhaust: Custom-fabricated by Swag, 3-inch polished stainless steel, Black Widow Race Venom mufflers
Output: 800 hp
Machine Work/Assembly: Ford Racing
Tuner: Swag Custom Rides
Transmission: FR70W four-speed automatic with Simple shift
Rear Axle: Ford 9-inch with 3:73
Chassis: Roadster Shop SPEC Series
Front Suspension: RideTech airbags, QA1 adjustable shocks
Rear Suspension: RideTech airbags, QA1 adjustable shocks, RideTech Air Pod control system
Brakes: Wilwood front disc four-piston calipers and four-piston rear disc brakes, ultralight and two-piece rotors with Hydro-boost system
Wheels: American Racing Torq Thrust II
Rims: 20×12 rear, 20×9 front
Tires: Nitto Invo, 245/30 ZR 20 front, 345/25 ZR 20 rear
Upholstery: Custom Center counsel; rear panel, pillars, and headliner by Walt Carroll
Material: Burnt Copper leather
Seats: Original Jaguar bucket seats custom-fabricated to fit F-100 interior
Dash: Custom-fabricated by Swag with Billet vents, iPad controls with Bluetooth
Instrumentation: Dakota Digital from a 1964 Falcon/Mustang with custom face Dream Ride logo
Stereo System: iPad controls and console by High Fidelity Auto Sport
Truck Bed: Custom built by Swag using bubinga wood from Shepard Brook Carpentry
Air Conditioning: Restomod Air
Harness: Painless Performance Products wiring harness
Lights: LED Dakota Digital
Sound: High Fidelity Autosport using Audison
Paint: Custom Swag Crimson Candy Red PPG DBC