By Cars.com EditorsNovember 10, 2017
About the video
We caught up with Jonathan Ward of Icon 4x4 at the 2017 SEMA Show to talk about his 1965 Ford Crew Cab Reformer project.
We're here at the 2017 SEMA Show where we caught up with Jonathan Ward from Icon 4x4, because one of the standout vehicles to us is this Reformer F256 pack. So Jonathan talked to me about the concept of what we have.
Well, I wanna build the most inefficient things I possibly can. So, this is part of the reformer lines. We have the production FJs and Broncos and Thrift Masters. And then once that standardized, I hate to say it, I get a little bit bored, and I love doing these one-offs 'cause like constant discovery and new challenges. So this is a really good example of those. It's a 1965 F250 crew cab and that's factory built, everyone thinks that we mash it up and make it, wasn't really factory, but they built them for like the railroads and the military and stuff, so they're hard to find. But all that remains of it, is the body shell, the seat frames, the doorhandles. So the idea is with the Reformer we visit, like everything I do, classic design in a modern context. So the idea is simply to make this a viable, capable, safe, fast, fun, daily driver, but really honor the vintage styling. So it's got the beautiful styling of a '65 F250. And to elaborate on that, so the plastic knobs, that didn't all kind of match. I'll take some liberties, pick my favorite one, CNC it in stainless, create more continuity with the design, and then just kind of geek out on every single detail. It's super fun. So what's under the hood? So this one's running a five nine Cummins, and then Gale Banks has become a dear friend, and we've been working together for years. So we basically said to Gale, just send me whatever the heck you have for the five nine, which you and I both know he has kind of everything for it. So it's about probably 750 torque, but totally manageable daily driver. And it just moves like a freight train. And who's transmission? So basically I cheated, I took an '07 mega cab 3500 Dodge and built the truck upon that. But it was a client request 'cause he doesn't like the current generation Ford diesel, but has massive faith and experience in the Dodge. So everything is Dodge underneath, axles and suspension? Yeah. I mean I did the core Fox off-road racing suspension. We did ceramic coated stainless, Gale Banks exhaust, upgraded the brakes and the clutch. But yes, the primary architecture, in fact, even the reference VIN. The client, if he needs to, can roll into a Dodge dealer, maybe piss him off, confuse him a little bit, but tell him, "Hey, it's this." All part number consistency, canvas electronics, OBD Two, everything is still consistent to that VIN. So we try and avoid the Johnny Cash specials. You know, where the client doesn't know what to do, where to get what, and when you kind of use a whole platform, you're getting a lot of engineering and consistency by doing that. I know you're all about the details. So talk to me about the interior. So custom leather by Morren Jeels, who's a common partner for me, but I'm a major leather geek hobbyist too. So I did the dye sample, they made it for us, so it's got this funky red modded with black highlights, the seat inserts. I wanted to get something really durable, and I like to go outside automotive. So it's actually knowl, which is high-end architectural, but outside patio furniture, so UV, dry rub, all that's way better than automotive. Then we had seat heaters, we use Tempur-Pedic foam, the steering wheel's a vintage Ford wheel, but from another app. And then I hand stitched and leather wrapped it, gauge shell looks stocked, so we kept the custom cab gauges and even the exterior side trim. They never did a custom cab crew cab, but I used to own one and loved it. So then we shelled it, it's all, you know, modern guts, but with the vintage aesthetic, hidden audio with Bluetooth, AC, and power windows, but it looks like analog. So little stuff, man, you know me, I love that stuff. Last thing. The bed itself, that must have created some issues or problems. What kind of solutions did you come up with? Well, when you're doing these body swaps, even with CAD control, there's things that just kind of surprise you and give you a new challenges. So actually to get the fitment right and the chassis balance correct, 'cause we didn't want to alter suspension or engine versus front axle center point, we actually had to cheat and raise that bed floor up. So you'll notice that when you drop the tailgate, you lost probably six inches of depth, but that gave us better mechanical engineering. So we just let it happen. That's very cool. Thank you for your time. I know you're running the show. Appreciate it. Thanks for the interest. For more, go to pickuptrucks.com.
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