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Photos Courtesy of: Official Ford Site - http://www.ford.com

Year: 2003
Make: Ford
Model: FR100 Panel Concept
Configuration: Supercharged Aluminum Cammer V8
Valvetrain: DOHC 4 Valves per Cyl
Displacement: 305.1 CI / 5001 CC
Power: 600 BHP / 447.4 KW @ N/A RPM
Torque: 500 FT LBS / 678 NM @ N/A RPM
Front Wheels: 18.0 x 10.0 IN / 45.7 x 25.4 CM
Rear Wheels: 18.0 x 10.0 IN / 45.7 x 25.4 CM
Front Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar P265/40
Rear Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar P315/40 ZR18
Front Suspension: FR500 Front Suspension
Rear Suspension: Cobra based Rear Suspension
Transmission: Tremec six-speed HD
Final Drive Ratio: 4.10:1
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The FRPP team wanted to show just how powerful a new "Cammer" crate engine can be with its 1953 Ford F-100 Panel Truck project, unveiled at this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. A logical successor to last year's spectacular FR100 pickups, which were based on a pair of vintage 1953 F-Series trucks, the hot-rodded '53 Panel Truck being showcased this time around carries a mission similar to the custom FR100s before it.

"We returned to using a vintage Ford truck as a test-bed because its both eye-catching and something any enthusiast can relate to," said Dan Davis, director Ford Racing Technology (FRT). "Many of our performance parts customers build hot-rod trucks, so we felt that building up another cool '53 to package a modified version of our new 5.0-liter "Cammer" crate engine was the perfect project to demonstrate the use of modern V-8 performance and technology."

This time around, Ford Racing's engineering staff had the game-plan experience of building the FR100 show trucks, so many of those lessons learned could be applied to help transform the Panel truck into a fully streetable, high-performance custom. Because the F-100s front frame rail spacing was similar to the current Mustang, the independent, unequal-length-control-arm front suspension system from the FR500 Mustang project was grafted in after McLaren fabricated a new tube chassis. Then, a modified SVT Cobra Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) replaced the original F-100 solid rear axle.

To demonstrate the versatility of the new 5.0 "Cammer", this crate engine's naturally aspirated intake system was replaced with a prototype supercharger setup, complete with SVT's Eaton Gen IV Roots-type blower and a top-mounted intercooler. While the project team had not been able to dyno-test this breathed-upon "Cammer" before its SEMA debut, power output is expected to reach 600 horsepower and 500 ft.-lbs. of torque. FRPP is planning to offer a Supercharged version of the 5.0-liter "Cammer" crate engine sometime in 2005.

Outside, extensive bodywork was undertaken fitting of a show vehicle, and the well-finessed sheet metal was eventually sprayed with PPG-supplied "UPS Brown" Tinted Clearcoat. Dennis Carpenter of Ford Reproductions supplied the running boards, door handles and hinges, window mechanicals, parking lamps, taillamps, and all the bright trim and bezels. UPS provided authentic decals, just as you would find on their delivery trucks, to help complete the look. In fact, the Ford Racing FR100 Panel Truck has been officially certified as part of the UPS fleet, with vehicle number 019530.

Special touches were incorporated inside the truck as well, including a brand-new prototype dash panel with retro-style Ford Racing Masterpiece gauges, Ford Racing tach driver, a Mustang tilt column, Kugel Komponents' 90 Swing Pedal Brake Assembly, and an F-100 Gen II SureFit air-conditioning system from Vintage Air.

Completing the special "Cammer" crate engine powertrain are custom headers and a true dual-exhaust system, a Tremec T56 6-speed manual transmission with a prototype Ford Racing shifter, Centerforce clutch and a custom driveshaft. A Brembo Cobra disc brake package was fitted at each corner to stop the 18-inch BBS wheels and Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires.

Story by Ford Motor Company
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