Jonathan Ward has made quite a name for himself turning old utility vehicles into art on wheels at his shop Icon 4x4. The Toyota FJs and Ford Broncos he’s reimagined are already famous, but his Dodge F-250 is one of the wildest work rigs you’ll ever see. And as beautiful as it is outside, you have to look close to see the most impressive parts.
Before you race to the comments to explain that, obviously, Ford made the F-250, I know. The thing is, there’s not a lot of Ford left on this machine.
This truck’s four-door Ford body would have been rare even when it was new. Today, you’d be lucky to see one your whole life. While I can’t say I agree with Ward’s decision to cut and repaint this former Forest Service vehicle (that green though!), I had to admit he did a damn fine job celebrating its original design while improving its build quality significantly.
“You should have seen the panel gaps on this thing,” Ward told me. “Big enough to put your fingers in. And the headliner? The headliner was literally cardboard.” The truck was made to work, and made to work cheap. Fifty years ago. Hence the only thing Ward figured was worth saving was the vehicle’s original design language.
To that end, his shop re-made the trim pieces, re-shaped fenders, and replaced every single nut, bolt and piece of switchgear in the interior with a new piece. More than that- most of these “new pieces” were scratch-made.
The 1965 truck’s beautified body sits on a 2007 Dodge chassis and the mighty 5.9-liter Cummins diesel engine that was made to mate with it. An upgraded turbo system from Gale Banks dials the output up some 800 lb-ft of torque, turning the total package here into a beautiful old-school styled work rig with relatively modern power and otherworldly exceptional attention to detail.
I still get a little sad when old trucks are separated from the engines that give them soul, but this thing sure is pretty. And perhaps most impressively, it feels modern while still decidedly looking old.