At some stage after collecting the blue truck shown here, I shifted my attention from building a down and dirty cheap rat to building something more, well civilized, although still down dirty and cool.
I scrapped the idea of using an old 59 Caddy motor I had and started to think Ford in a Ford.
I started to work on a budget. Now this might seem silly, but I don't have an infinite supply of cash so I wanted to be careful. A couple of different chassis were suggested to me, Ford Ranger and Chev S10. Both cheap an freely available. Unfortunately neither came with a V8, which not a huge problem spoiled my plans a little.
Enter the Ford Explorer. Specifically the gen 2 1995-2001 version. Roughly right wheelbase, almost perfect on width, V8 from the factory (with GT40P heads and Cobra intakes) , 2wd or AWD and CHEAP.
I specifically hunted out an AWD version because I wanted an AWD rod, just to be a little different, and because I think spinning all four wheels at once is fun (even driven a WRX ?)
To cut a long story short I bought this Explorer, a 2000 Limited model, fully loaded with a huge amount of crap that will not make it onto the rod. Must of it however did end up on Ebay.
I got it from a salvage auction for $1600, running but with a bent axle 124,000 miles. It cost me a lot more to get it from Kansas to Atlanta than I had hoped by virtue of the bent axle (I bought it sight unseen on the net).
If I am tearing through this pretty fast thats because all this has happened since the start of December last year when I got the blue truck. It won't take me long to get up to date and slow to a crawl as these things do.