Joe Greeves
April 18, 2012

Initially using the engine from the Lincoln donor car, Mark found that the 400 wasn't quite enough to get the job done. After some research, a 460 crate engine, bored out to 501 cubic inches, became the headache-free alternative. The big V-8 was equipped with a Holley 750-cfm carb on an Edelbrock Performer RPM Air Gap manifold, complete with a bright Endurashine finish. Edelbrock aluminum heads introduce the air/fuel mix to the heavy-duty internals that include a forged crank, Eagle rods, Mahle pistons, and a Comp roller cam. MSD ignition explodes the mix and Sanderson headers deal with spent gases, directing them through a pair of Flowmaster mufflers and exiting through side exhausts in the running boards. A Griffin dual-fan radiator setup keeps everything cool. Proformance Unlimited in Freehold, New Jersey, built the engine, mating it to a C6 automatic trans equipped with a B&M shift kit. The painted inner fender panels and firewall highlight the potent new powerplant.

The distinctive DuPont Hugger Orange and black paint was the final touch. Several friends told him that a two-tone paintjob wouldn't work since there were no clear dividing lines on the truck. He went over several ideas with his good friend Bill Barnes until they came up with a design. To show you just how versatile he is, Mark got up early one morning, taped off the custom graphics, and "What you see," he says with a smile, "is the mood I was in at the time." He sprayed the colors in his home garage, creating a custom paintjob that any professional shop would be proud of. The graphics flow through the door jambs, inside the bed, and through the engine compartment.

Looking back on the six-year build, Mark says, "Everything was a learning process. My first car was fiberglass, so not much sheetmetal experience transferred." The truck was originally scheduled to become a regular driver for Mark's wife, Tricia. Now that it's done, well, Tricia doesn't get to drive it much anymore! A frequent competitor on the show circuit and a regular trophy winner, the rejuvenated truck was photographed at this year's F-100 Supernationals in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where it captured a class win plus Editors Choice. With two classic creations under his belt, Mark is already looking for his next project, this time a custom Cabover tow vehicle for the F-250, painted to match.

Special thanks to ProFormance Unlimited for the high-revving V-8 and to Cape Cod Interiors for its unique upholstery work. Thanks to Mark's wife, Tricia Perkins, for not divorcing him during the last six years spent in the garage, and finally, to the memory of his good friend, Bill Barnes, who worked with him throughout the build and passed away last year.

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The Details

Mark Baker's '54 Ford F-250

Engine

  • Ford 460 bored to 501ci, forged rotating assembly
  • Edelbrock Performer RPM Air Gap intake manifold
  • Holley 750-cfm carburetor

Transmission

  • C6 automatic
  • B&M shift kit
  • Lokar shifter

Rearend

  • 9-inch Ford
  • Traction-Lok differential
  • 31-spline axles
  • 3.89 gears

Exhaust

  • Sanderson headers
  • Flowmaster mufflers, side-exiting exhaust

Suspension

  • Front: Heidts Mustang II, 2-inch drop spindles, Heidts shocks
  • Rear: TCI four-link, coilover shocks

Brakes

  • Front: 11-inch Wilwood disc
  • Rear: Lincoln disc

Wheels

  • Front: American Racing Equipment Torq Thrust II, 20x8
  • Rear: American Racing Equipment Torq Thrust II, 20x10

Tires

  • Front: BFGoodrich g-Force TA KDW, P245/40ZR20
  • Rear: BFGoodrich g-Force TA KDW, P275/35ZR20

Interior

  • Black leather and suede on the original bench seat, custom dash with Omega gauges, new center console for the Custom Autosound stereo

Exterior

  • Lowered, shaved, shortened, and rolling on 20s; DuPont Hugger Orange and black paint with custom graphics