QA1’s 1972 Ford F100: The Longbed Which Outruns Corvettes

When QA1 motionless to residence a vivid opening in aftermarket support for a Ford F100, proof a products work good on both travel and lane were crucial. So, with intentions to exam a lorry in a accumulation of perplexing situations, QA1 dedicated this 1972 Ford F100 longbed to a growth of QA1’s full coilover suspension. This exam jackass hasn’t been extravagantly modified, yet a small retrofitting, a really means driver, and some on-track excellence has done it into a surprisingly discerning appurtenance with copiousness of unexplored potential.

Photo credit: Matt Hauch – Lane Automotive

The rust-free F100 hasn’t been altered most given QA1 purchased it from a Plano automobile restorer, yet a customary 351 is no longer “standard.” Currently, it’s a Ford 410ci wtih Edelbrock Windsor aluminum heads, COMP hydraulic drum camshaft, Holley 750 carburetor, MSD ignition, 500 horsepower, and 500 lb-ft of torque. That energy is sent to an AOD automatic, QA1 CO fiber driveshaft, and afterwards to a Quick Performance 9-inch rear.

The motor, notwithstanding a power, is still polite adequate for highway usage—and that fits ideally with a ethos of a build. Rather than make it a rarely strung engineering exercise, it was motionless that a lorry had to be usable. “QA1’s Marketing Manager, Dave Kass, was deliberating a flourishing supporters and contributors to their #goDRIVEit campaign, in that they inspire enthusiasts to get their classics, prohibited rods, trucks, and flesh cars out to expostulate and enjoy. Already a unite and member of a Motor State Challenge, QA1 began bouncing around ideas about creation a #goDRIVEit category as partial of a eventuality and acknowledging those participants who ran a eventuality ‘old school.’ That is; expostulate your car to a event, contest with it all weekend, and afterwards expostulate it home,” pronounced Scott Wahlstrom, executive of selling for Motor State Distributing.

Kass had finished usually that a few months before with his selected Chevrolet C10 pickup: a car that can take a owners to a lane in some comfort, perform good on a highway course, and lapse home though headache. The media on a C10 warranted pushing from a customers, and soon, QA1 was flooded with requests for Ford F100 modifications. “After we supposed a stipulations of a I-beam suspension, we were forced to build an elaborate cessation complement to update a F100,” says Dave Goldie, plan manager during QA1.

With double A-arms, energy rack-and-pinion steering, and a torque arm rear, they figured that this F100 would be means to perform even improved than a C10 before it. It cut a teeth in energetic drives and a Power Tour in 2019, yet this year, QA1 decided to put it opposite a time in a some-more harsh environment.

The Motor State Challenge is a poignant step adult from a Power Tour in terms of competitiveness, yet it still manages to keep some of that gentle ambiance that attracts all stripes of gearhead. Over a march of a last three-day eventuality in July, drivers cruised casually, dined, drove GingerMan’s road march in anger, and afterwards experimented in an autocross-esque blueprint famous as Tracksprint.

At a Motor State Challenge, a F100 had to transport opposite vehicles with distant improved power-to-weight ratios.

To give a lorry a satisfactory shakedown, QA1 brought in Marshall Fegers: a seasoned and reputable dirt-track racer to take a gash during time trials on a paved surface. Before he could practice his talent on a track, or even relax among like-minded prohibited rodders on a infrequent cruise, Fegers had to take a lorry on a 615-mile trek.

The 9-hour outing from Minneapolis to GingerMan would’ve been burdensome if it wasn’t for a additions done to a truck. The QA1 MOD1 Series shocks, torque arm setup in a rear, and tubular front suspension—all off-the-shelf items—lent a compactness and clarity that done it feel distant some-more civil, predictable, and calming than one would pattern from a lorry of this vintage. Crucially, a cessation could be practiced to fit a setting. “Driving that distant though journey control or radio was a small rough, yet after we private a small application from a MOD1 shocks, a outing was flattering relaxed,” reports Fegers.

The initial day of a Motor State Challenge is dedicated to a journey and a bite. This is some-more than a rolling meet-and-greet for members to form some arrange of camaraderie. The purpose is to denote that these vehicles are versatile. In other words, no rolling saunas or stuffing removers—they contingency be streetable. Predictably, a F100 upheld with drifting colors, that would offer as some proclivity for a genuine plea a following day.

After adding some strike during a front finish and holding a few a semi-conservative laps around a 2.21-mile GingerMan Raceway, Fegers found a F100 most some-more fair than he’d expected. So most of this was due to a Mustang-style rack-and-pinion steering and cessation modifications adult front. The tubular front suspension’s delicately deliberate geometry supposing a right Ackerman and feel for quick, predicted turn-in—a peculiarity he valued by Gingerman’s blind entries and late-apex corners.

QA1’s lightweight construction shaves an implausible 150 pounds off that of a batch suspension.

This suspension utilizes a few pretence equipment to trim weight and save space. Integrated round joints in a control arms, tractable coilovers, and a bolt-in tubular pattern make installing a cessation and wider wheels simple. In fact, a full breadth of a front finish is 3.75-inch narrower than a Crown Vic’s front suspension, so vast wheels and tires will fit though most effort.

The powerplant played a role, yet Gingerman is a march with prolonged corners and complicated braking zones. The change compulsory a teenager adjustment—but usually in an boost in application during a front. The Wilwood brakes—six-piston calipers in a front, four-piston calipers in a rear, and 14-inch rotors all 4 corners—helped decelerate a truck, though Fegers admits, “braking was a one area where this still felt like a truck—the distances were a small longer than we wanted. That said, a brakes took a violence gleefully. We combined heat stickers to a front rotors, and we didn’t even activate them a whole day.”

Around those brakes are a set of Rocket Racing Attack Series wheels wrapped in Nitto NT555 tires. Measuring 18×10-inch and 18×12-inch front and rear, respectively, these yield a decent footprint, yet a Nittos’ soothing sidewalls singular Fegers somewhat in a faster, longer corners. There, a bolstered set of bench chair didn’t utterly yield a parallel support he was after, yet that didn’t stop him from dancing a truck’s back out of a faster corners while ancillary himself with core strength and small else. There are certain skills one learns in dirt-track racing that simply request to highway racing a torquey truck.

Though a soft NT555 tires weren’t matched to a highway course, a F100’s communicative back finish compensated for some sidewall flex and gave him adequate soundness by a discerning stuff. QA1 engineered a singular torque arm pattern that maximizes opening though a fundamental contracting issues of other systems, all while achieving a 4- to 7-inch drop. The Panhard bar, torque arm, trailing arms, joint mounts, and shocks are all adjustable, and they are truly eccentric of any other.

Tubular construction creates this as most as 100 pounds lighter than a bureau back suspension.

Even with a options during his disposal, Fegers felt comfortable, and motionless not to tweak a back during all. “I could feel a torque arm planting a back tires underneath throttle, so exiting corners was a cinch. Only a few times did we have to ‘dirt-track’ my approach out. Honestly, we forgot we was pushing a lorry out there,” he raves.

QA1’s ’72 Ford F100 attacks GingerMan

QA1’s ’72 Ford F100 attacks GingerMan—evidence that trucks can handle.

Posted by Turnology on Wednesday, Jul 29, 2020

Though hampered somewhat with longer braking distances and a low power-to-weight ratio for a field, a F100 was flitting complicated Corvettes left and right. By a finish of a third day, he was means to make his times down to an exquisite 1:50—just a integrate seconds slower than a well-driven C8 Corvette making an coming that day.

Though Feger’s racing credentials gave him an edge, outpacing Z06 Corvettes in a 4,000-pound lorry is roughly unbelievable.

“I left a small on a table,” he admits gracefully. “With improved bolstering or a loyal racing seat, a delivery that can hoop a temperatures, and tires with a stiffer sidewall, this lorry should be means to path in a 1:45-range,” he predicts.

A selected lorry is a singular steer during events like this, so naturally, Marshall’s considerable opening captivated some courtesy from both a fans and a organizers. “If we are a fan of brief track, mud late indication racing, you’re informed with a name ‘Fegers.’ To contend that Marshall is not accustomed to branch right and racing on cement is usually plain wrong. It did not take him prolonged to adjust to branch both left and right, and we consider by a finish of a weekend, we done a new fan of highway march racing and lane sprints, judging by a grin on his face,” lauded Wahlstrom.

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