REGULAR Street Machine readers will no doubt be familiar with the work of Jason Wilkinson and the team at Wilky’s Pro Paintz in Maroochydore, Queensland. He’s built a number of recent SM feature cars, including Zane Hau’s Plymouth Satellite (Oct ’14) – a current Street Machine Of The Year contender – and Kris Nothdurft’s LOOSSE VU Commodore ute (Sep ’15).
It’s incredible to think that Jason gets to work on cars of this calibre every day. A spray painter by trade, he started the business eight years ago and has gone from strength to strength on the back of hard graft and some very special skills. People now come to him for high-end fabrication work and specialist builds. “My business has sort of gone that way,” Jason says. “We don’t do any insurance work; we just do resto work and custom cars. When I first started I was predominantly doing custom paint, but now I can actually build a whole turn-key car.”
This ’55 Effy project came about thanks to the rolling showcase of Wilky’s Pro Paintz handiwork on display at the Brisbane Hot Rod Show two years ago. “We had about five cars on display – a race car, a hot rod, a couple of street cars and [Zane’s] Plymouth,” Jason says. “The owner saw that get unveiled and it was perfect timing because he was just about to look around for someone to build his F-truck. I had never met the guy or done any work for him before. He liked everything about the Plymouth and got in contact with me to build the truck for him.”
Said owner of this beautiful truck would prefer to remain anonymous, so we can’t tell you much about him. We can however tell you all about the build itself, as it was done entirely in-house by Jason and the Wilky’s Pro Paintz team.
It started with a truck that was imported from the States about three years ago. It was a fairly clean streeter with a stock 302 Windsor and a set of American Racing wheels, but the new owner wanted more. When he dropped it off at Wilky’s, he also arranged for the delivery of a set of 20-inch Budnik GTX wheels and a blown engine from Big Al’s Toybox boasting no less than 713 neddies at the flywheel. The rest just kind of evolved, partly in response to the owner’s vision and partly due to Jason’s creative direction over the course of the six-month build. “He had a fair idea of the colour that he wanted,” Jason says. “He chose the wheels and he wanted a supercharged engine. That was what I had to work with and I just put it all into reality.”
That reality involved finding a way to make those big billet rims fit under the guards. The client was keen on a set of wheel tubs, but Jason came up with a far more subtle method by widening the rear fenders and running boards to match. “When you stand at the back of one of these F100s, the back guards actually have a narrower track width than the front guards,” Jason says. “So I widened the rear guards so they matched the front and then put a small tub in.”
Next up, the firewall had to be recessed to make room for that monster motor, and a set of custom engine and transmission mounts were created to make sure everything would fit under the bonnet. When all the fabrication work was finalised the truck was lovingly coated in BMW Platinum Grey and completely re-wired.
The 408ci Ford Windsor V8 is based on a Dart four-bolt block running an Eagle 4340 double-keyed crank, H-series Clevite bearings and a set of JE forged 8.5:1 blower pistons with file-fit rings installed on Eagle H-beam steel conrods. The
polished Edelbrock aluminium cylinder heads hold Manley stainless-steel valves and are operated by a Competition Cams 660/660 roller cam and a set of Magnum pushrods. A Blower Shop 8/71 supercharger sits atop a BDS blower manifold and is fed by twin Holley 750 boost-reference carburettors.
A Mallory distributor and an MSD AL8 coil and leads supply the spark, while a Mellings high-volume oil pump and Canton large-capacity sump keep everything lubricated. There’s a full complement of stainless-steel braided hoses running Aeroflow Performance fittings, and a custom-made polished aluminium radiator for cooling.
Backing up the mammoth motor is a Street Smart Ford 4R70W electronic four-speed transmission from Performance Automatic with a 2200rpm stall converter. It feeds power through to a Ford nine-inch running custom 28-spline axles and a set of 3.55:1 gears. The diff is held in place by a custom four-link set-up with adjustable Panhard bar, while up front Jason installed adjustable upper and lower tubular A-arms. There’s a set of Strange springs and QA1 coil-overs at both ends.
The old truck stops and steers like a new one thanks to a rack-and-pinion power steering upgrade and a set of Wilwood disc brakes all 'round – 360mm with six-piston calipers on the front and 300mm with four-piston calipers out back. Rubber is suitably lowprofile modern stuff by Michelin – 245/35 up front and 335/30 at the business end.
We can’t help but wonder whether doing this kind of work every day ever gets, well, a bit boring, but Jason assures us that’s definitely not the case. He loves building high-end modified cars for a living.
“It’s pretty cool when they say: ‘I want to have this motor, these wheels and this colour – make it happen for me,’” he says. It would be fair to say Jason gets more job satisfaction than most of us! s
Colour: Platinum Grey
Make: Ford Windsor V8 408ci Block: Dart four-bolt Crank: Eagle 4340 double-keyed Rods: Eagle H-beam steel Pistons: JE forged 8.5:1 blower Camshaft: Competition Cams 660/660 roller Intake: BDS blower manifold Blower: The Blower Shop 8/71 Carbs: Twin Holley 750 boost-reference Heads: Edelbrock aluminium Valves: Manley stainless steel Ignition: Mallory distributor; MSD AL8 coil Exhaust: Custom stainless steel
Gearbox: Ford 4R70W Converter: 2200rpm stall Diff: Ford 9in, 28-spline axles
Front: Adjustable tubular A-arms Rear: Custom four-link, adjustable Panhard bar Springs: Strange (f & r) Shocks: QA1 coil-overs (f & r) Brakes: Wilwood discs (f & r)
Rims: Budnik GTX; 20x8 (f), 20x12 (r) Tyres: Michelin; 245/35 (f), 335/30 (r)
Jason and the team at Wilky’s Pro Paintz in Maroochydore, Qld