Marc Christ
Brand Manager, Modified Mustangs & Fords
January 14, 2010

When 22-year-old Samantha Whitfield sent us a few photos of herself with her mid-11-second '02 H-D F-150, we were delighted to say the least. What better combination for MM&FF than a sick street/strip Ford that's owned, driven, and raced by an amazing model like Sam? So with nothing more than the sample photos and knowledge of its best e.t. (11.30 at 120 mph), we replied with interest. As we investigated further, however, we realized that we were merely scratching the surface. So we dug deeper.

Sam grew up in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, north of Seattle. When she wasn't horseback riding or competing in track and field, she was dreaming about becoming a model. "From the time I knew what a model was, I knew I wanted to be one," Sam tells us. But modeling wasn't her only love. She loved Mustangs and would build her own virtual vehicles on Ford's website.

In January 2003, when Sam was 16, she ventured to the local Ford dealership and drove off in this H-D F-150. She began drag racing the truck at the local track (Mission Raceway Park, Mission, British Columbia), and ran a best of 13.99 with the help of only a cold-air intake. Over the next five years, the truck would undergo quite a transformation-and so would Sam.

When she graduated high school, Sam began to draw out plans for her life. Her love for fast cars led her to study Automotive Service at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). After graduating, Sam put her knowledge and skills to work. Not for a career, but on the F-150. "I didn't want to get sick of working on vehicles all the time and not want to work on my own," she said. Instead, she began working on helicopters full time.

In her spare time, though, Sam was busy cranking up the power on the truck. She put a smaller pulley on the Eaton, bringing the boost up to 16 psi. Although this improved the performance significantly, the stock bottom end couldn't handle it, and it laid over one evening during an outing at the track.

Instead of being disappointed, Sam saw this as an opportunity to improve the 5,000-pound beast. She pulled the engine and enlisted Jim Richmond of Richmond Engines (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) to hone the cylinders and balance the rotating assembly. Maintaining the stock forged crankshaft, Sam opted for a set of JE forged pistons and Eagle H-beam connecting rods, lowering the compression ratio to a boost-friendly 8.1:1. Sam turned to Patriot Performance for a pair of its Stage II aluminum heads, and topped them off with a set of cams from Comp Cams. She swapped the stock fuel pump for a pair of Walbro 255-lph pumps and upgraded to 60-lb/hr injectors. She also ditched the stock exhaust for Edelbrock shorties and a 2.5-inch custom exhaust system.

After Sam installed a Johnny Lightning Performance valvebody and a Hughes 2,400-stall converter, she lowered the truck 2 inches in the front and 4 inches in the rear with a Ground Force lowering kit. She also replaced the stock rear sway bar with one from Hotchkiss.

With the stock blower bolted to it, the revived powerplant was reinstalled. Sam ran this combination for a while, until the stock Eaton blower seized. Ever the optimist, she ordered up a Whipple 2.3L twin-screw blower and bolted it in place.

Sam then turned to Wayne Johnson of Brown Brothers Ford (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), who dialed in the combo using a custom DiabloSport tune. The new combination produces 14 psi of boost, and yielded 570 rwhp and 580 lb-ft of torque on the chassis dyno. For a little extra kick, Sam also installed a 125hp shot of juice.

Meanwhile, Sam was also working on pursuing her dream to become a model. She lost over 80 pounds, and began doing photo shoots in December 2008. She has since been modeling for swimwear and lingerie companies, and most recently, for car magazines. "For me, to pose with a car or truck is the best of both worlds. I get to incorporate my love for modeling and my passion for cars," Sam tells us.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery