We’ve seen on the cover of this issue what Paul Bailey’s first V8 looks like. The way he’s talking here, his next is like to be just as mind-blowing!
"I’ve always loved Ford Bonus pickups, but they’re a touch too truck like,” says Paul Bailey.
Understandably, the man is not afraid to shape metal to suit his dreams, so he’s gone into great depths to let us know what he’d do to the bodywork to get it to suit his tastes. That work would include moulding the front bumper into the front guards for a much smoother look that would extend towards the rear, where any metal deemed to be too sharp or protruding too far would be given a good trim.
Those mods are simple compared with the larger body alterations, which would include chopping three inches out of the roof height and nosing the bonnet by a couple of inches to match.
To accentuate the pickup’s smooth lines, it’d be dropped on its arse thanks to airbags all round, which, as we know, would mean fitting a four-link in the rear and an aftermarket suspension assembly up front. Atop that front end would be a blown 572-cube big block, backed by a manual box — for added tyre smoke, of course.
Wrapped around 20x15-inch rims, that’d be some expensive smoke, too, but, thankfully, Paul’d save a bit of cash by clear-coating the metalwork rather than shelling out for a proper paint job.
Of course, for now, this is all just a dream — but we know how dreams like this often turn out!
Justin from the LVVTA says: “Other than using good panel-repair techniques for any modifications to body seams and joins, there are a few things to watch out for with the proposed mods. First is the screen height — any lowering of the screen height means that the wiper system needs to be considered. While three inches shaved from a Bonus should leave plenty of room for a good swept area, some screens are more difficult to wipe effectively.
Another area to pay attention to is the seat-belt anchorages, especially upper anchorages near the roof-chop cut. That is where the highest loads will be in a worst-case scenario of a collision. The air-bag suspension and four-link rear are both fairly advanced modifications, and probably out of the realms of an amateur car builder, but are straightforward for a competent fabricator. All the applicable technical information and requirements you’ll need are contained in the Suspension chapter of The New Zealand Car Construction Manual.
“When the time comes to choose a front end, there are a lot to choose from. Consider either a locally made unit, which would help with ensuring that all of the LVVTA’s requirements were met, or choose one of the LVVTA-recognized independent front suspension (IFS) / independent rear suspension (IRS) manufacturers, which would remove the need for an individual Technical Advisory Committee approval. The following IFS manufacturers would be suitable for a build such as yours: Rods by Reid, Total Cost Involved (TCI), Chris Alston’s Chassisworks, Art Morrison, Heidts, or Kugel.
“In recent years, we’ve seen a big increase in the number of pickups being modified in New Zealand, and this one sounds as if it would be a real head-turner. All the best with turning this dream into reality!”
Your thoughts on last month’s WILD STALLION concept:
Anton Mulls: "To me, it’s just another Mustang. I can appreciate the work, but I’d honestly walk right past it at a show."
Michael Ollerenshaw: "Maybe [change] the rims."
Ashleigh Healy: "Sexy beast"
Illustrations: Ashley Westmoreland – heroprints.co.nz