Mike James Of Outlaw Racing is a racer through and through. Having driven everything from a Class 5 SCORE vehicle to a Pro Truck, he is no stranger when it comes to finding the checkered flag on a consistent basis. Part of James' formula for success comes from the vehicle that has been chosen as this month's mandatory prerunner - his bare-to-the-bone '72 Ford F-100 Flareside truck. Making no excuses about it, James admits that this truck was built with one thing in mind - prerunning.
Before anything could be done to the truck, it was completely stripped, including the interior carpet. With a clean canvas, Mike called upon Craig Stewart of Stewart's Raceworks in San Diego to prepare his dedicated ride. No stranger to preparing special vehicles, Stewart went right to work on customizing the factory I-beam front suspension to achieve an incredible 19 inches of front wheel travel. The customized rear four-link system that Stewart fabricated is responsible for delivering 25 inches of travel. Rounding out the suspension are dual King Racing shocks, one of which is a coilover unit and the other being an externally adjustable bypass shock. Needless to say, with that amount of travel and damping, we're sure the ride is just right. Rolling stock consists of 35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich Baja T/As mounted on 15x7 Progressive Racing wheels.
Given the conditions that both the driver and the vehicle would be facing, Mike knew that he would have to have a reliable yet powerful engine while out on the course. Enter a brand-new 520-cid big-block Ford V-8 crate engine. After what Stewart calls a little tweaking here and there, the output is an astonishing 500 hp accompanied by some 700 lb-ft of torque. Butler hand-made headers and a 1,100-cfm Dominator carburetor help the V-8's output as well. Power is directed to the rear wheels via a Pro Truck Chrisman rearend.
The exterior fiberglass body and fender work and painting was performed by R.W. Little of San Diego. The interior can pretty much be summed up in one word - sparse. Craig and Mike found it senseless to go to any great lengths to customize the interior because it was only going to get beat up. With that thought in mind, a custom aluminum dash was installed to house a full array of liquid-filled Auto Meter gauges. An Art Carr shifter is situated between the Taylor seats equipped with Deist five-point harnesses. For added safety, a 4130 chrome-moly rollcage surrounds the occupants. Completing the interior is a Schroeder steering wheel.
For us, it took just one look at the truck to appreciate its purpose and reason for being built. Hopefully you will see its full potential too. A vehicle such as this should be looked upon with the same, if not more, importance as the tools used to create it.
|Owner/hometown ||Mike James/San Diego, California |
|Make/model ||'72 Ford F-100 Flareside |
|Suspension ||I-beam front system; four-link rear system |
|Tires ||: 35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich Baja T/As |
|Wheels ||15x7 Progressive Racing |
|Engine ||: Ford 520-cid V-8 |
|Additional features ||Taylor seats; Deist harnesses; King Racing shocks; Chrisman rearend |