Work has been progressing on Les’ F1 project with the pick-up scoring its new motor and transmission. The original Ford flathead was long gone by the time the truck got to United Speed Shop, with a rumbly 302-cube Windsor and C4 auto replacing the agricultural originals.

The overriding brief for Les’ truck is that it is a cool cruiser with perfect street manners. He doesn’t need thousands of horsepower or a super-high-tech marvel, so simplicity and reliability was the order of the day.

We sent them off to be fully reconditioned before fitting up new accessories including a fresh water pump, new Edelbrock intake manifold and Holley 600cfm carburettor. The new rocker covers hadn’t turned up in time for this update, but should be on shortly as well.

With the mild cam in the 5-litre it should make around 300 smooth horsepower and have perfect on-road manners no matter how hot, cold, wet or dry the weather wants to be. Ignition will be handled by an upgraded billet distributor, while we’ll also kit the truck out with air conditioning; something Les will definitely need when hitting the road for summer cruising!

After a few years of faithful service the C4 three-speed transmission copped complete rebuild. A shift kit was also thrown in before the big ‘box came back to the shop to be paired up to a 2500 RPM stall convertor.

The drivetrain package is rounded out by a freshly built 9-inch Ford diff, filled with Strange 31-spline axles and a limited-slip centre to ensure no peg-legging action.

With the Street Rod Nationals on around the corner from the shop at Easter this year the build is starting to pick up pace and we’ll show you more of the rear-end of the truck next time.