Roush Approved – Mike and Malinda Brown’s 1955 Ford F100
By Justin Banner
It’s a classic story when it comes to many custom cars – see a potential project on your way to something you do every day. Dream about turning it into the ultimate street machine. For Mike and Malinda Brown, that’s exactly what this 1955 Ford F100 was, but after nine years and two shops, they probably never dreamed it would come out this way, Roush Approved.
This 1955 Ford F100 was sitting neglected on the side of the road, just wasting away. Every day, while driving his kids to school, Mike Brown would always say “One day, I’ll own that truck.” Little did he know that his wife, Malinda, would end up buying it as a surprise gift. Not long after, he began to get it customized how he had envisioned it. Something worthy of true performance driving out of a classic Ford truck. However, that dream was going to end up staying asleep for nine years.
After that much time between two shops, they finally reached out to Seth Robinson at USA Classic Customs in Phoenix, AZ. Seth and his dad went to work to make sure this truck would not only become reality, but truly be worthy of the Roush badge it wears proudly.
First, it was torn down to the bare chassis and replaced with a full TCI Engineering F100 Custom IFS Chassis. This setup not only lowers the center of gravity for better handling but removes the original solid front axle for something that can take a corner. The rear four-link features a custom Currie Enterprises 9” axle with a Sportsman Third Member and 31-spline carrier. The four-link is also a straight-bar design the reduces binding as the axle rotates in roll. The axle’s location is done by a cross bar going from the driver’s front lower link to the passenger lower axle link, working exactly like a traditional trac-bar. Ridetech coilovers are not only height adjustable, but also feature dampening adjustments.
The body of the truck was repaired and refinished in Kodiak Brown, an original factory Ford color. The bed is Zebra Wood made by Bed Wood and Parts while the rear fenders are cut and widened to fit those massive Hot Rod by Boyd Wheels. Those wheels also match the steering wheel. Many of the parts feature custom etched “Roush” logos however, it’s that grille that stands out.
First, the wings are custom milled to accept a set of Roush Raptor grille lights and function as sequential LED blinkers. They are molded flush with the grille for a factory look. The emblem is based on the original Ford V8 but has a custom Roush emblem replacing the “V8.” Flanking each side of that custom grille are a set of modern headlights for great visibility while driving it at night while the rear has a set of 1937 Ford taillights with modern LED lighting.
Under the custom tilt-forward hood is a Roush 427 IR Crate Engine. It’s a 560-horsepower, 540-ft/lb torque cast iron block with a four-bolt main holding in a steel crank. The H-beam rods shove forged pistons in the small block bores with a 9.5-inch deck. Roush Approved! The aluminum CNC ported heads are fed by an eight-stack EFI while the hydraulic roller camshaft is turned by a double roller timing chain. The spent air and fuel are sent out by a set of Hedman Headers shorty headers to a custom Magnaflow Exhaust system and the engine is cooled by a Ron Davis radiator.
Sitting inside, you see this is a truly custom, hand-made interior with inspiration from a Bentley Bentayga SUV. The seats and door cards are 100-percent leather with Roush badging on the seat backs. The dash was extended by 3.5-inches and makes it nearly seamless to the doors. The custom dash molding follows the dash and door merging to complete the look.
A vintage gauge set keeps the driver informed while on the road while a 1960 Ford Galaxie radio with Bluetooth function and Satellite radio entertain while driving. While there is a custom air conditioning system, the driver and passenger door windows are one-piece glass that are raised and lowered by a custom electric window motor. The switch is built into custom “cranks” where the original cranks used to reside on the door.
Now, this is one very impressive ‘55 Ford F100 that USA Classic Customs built for Mike and Malinda Brown. You’d be hard pressed to find something you don’t like about it considering how clean and functional it is. If you’re awe-struck by it, you’re in good company. Roush Approved! Jack Roush and Jack Roush, Jr. not only allowed this amazing F100 into their SEMA Booth, but will get their literal signature of approval on the dash after the end of the 2018 NASCAR season.
However, what remains the most remarkable is that after nine years, Mike’s dream became more than reality. It’s carried into a fantasy come true.