This article originally appeared in the March 2022 issue.
For as far back as Holden Jung can remember, the 1958 Ford F100 pickup has always been in his family as it spent many of those years in his grandparents’ field. It just sat abandoned. In fact, as a kid Holden recalls shooting out the windows with his BB gun as the truck’s best days appeared to be in its rearview mirror. Turns out the ol’ vintage Ford wasn’t past its prime after all; the young boy who once shot at the truck would grow up and one day bring it back to life.
Holden started working in a hot rod shop, which he credits for starting his passion for older trucks. He began seeing the old family truck from a different perspective and realized the ’58 Ford was very rare with a short bed and a big back window and he now wanted it for his own.
“I went and asked my grandparents if I could buy it from them and they said if I would just get it out of the field I could have it,” recalls Holden. “I think they were just relieved to have it finally gone.”
Before he got started with the build, Holden first wanted to put a plan together for the truck and the first thing that came to his mind was to convert it to diesel.
“My first truck was a 1986 Ford F250 with a 6.9L International diesel and every truck I’ve had since has been diesel,” says Holden. “A lot of people question why I would want a diesel engine in a hot rod and my reply is always, ‘Why not?’ I didn’t want to be like everyone else; I wanted to build something that was different and cool.”
Putting In The Hours
It took Holden about two years to get the truck running and driving again and then he estimated about another four years after that to get the truck to where it now sits since he admits that building on a budget takes a long time.
Swapping the 2005 Cummins diesel engine into the ‘58 F100 meant that pretty much everything had to be rebuilt, but Holden was up for the task. To begin, the frame had to be boxed and braced to handle the torque of the Cummins and the stock suspension would not handle the weight of the engine so the front suspension was swapped to a Crown Vic IFS from a cop car and heavier springs were added for weight. Then, because he knew the stock rear axle wouldn’t handle the horsepower, to put the power to the ground he custom narrowed a Dana 80 rear axle. He also custom built a four-link rear suspension with adjustable coilovers to handle the anticipated horsepower. After the frame was built strong enough for the diesel engine, the cab had to be heavily modified as well. The fire wall was rebuilt and it now goes back to basically the dash.
“I wanted the engine to be the furthest back it could go to keep the weight off the front end,” explains Holden. “Then the transmission tunnel had to be built to house the Alison transmission and to also help add strength to the cab. The bed also has to be modified in order to get the truck sitting low and still be able to fit a 12-inch wide tire. The bed floor had to be raised too and the wheel tubs had to be made.”
The 2005 Common Rail Cummins diesel was only the beginning as Holden also added 130 percent over Industrial Injection injectors with dual CP3 pumps, Industrial Injection silver 69 turbo and Hamilton 188/220 camshaft with 103 valve springs and stage 3 push rods. When finished, he had it all tuned by Hardway Performance. The engine is backed by a five-speed Alison transmission that he was able to pull from a ‘05 Duramax.
All of the engine work and modifications to the truck were done by Holden himself and really the only thing he had to send out for help was the interior, which was done by Interior Revolution in Middleton, Idaho.
His vision when he first started building the truck was to build a fast truck that sounded different than what people would expect a small block Ford to sound like and he also wanted it to look like it was built with just parts lying around. “It just had to look like it had been sitting around the farm for years, said Holden.”
Unique features to the vintage truck include a custom engine bay with custom touches where he added a wrench for the air filter mount and a Jack Daniels bottle for coolant overflow. There are also plenty of LED lights along with a custom cowhide interior, Auto Meter gauges, an Edge CTS, TCI ratchet shifter, and a Kicker Audio stereo with a 10-inch subwoofer. He also incorporated custom barn wood for the bed floor, a pipe fitting for the fuel cap, and a dual square exhaust.
So what did his grandparents think of the changes he made to their old farm truck?
“My grandparents think the truck is awesome,” says Holden. “My grandfather watched me build it as it was all done in his shop. I finished it just in time to give him a ride in it before he passed away.”
His passion for restoring vintage trucks lead him to start his own business, HJ Customs, in Nampa, Idaho.
“It is my goal to build one-of-a-kind vehicles for my customers with attention to detail paid to every feature,” says the new owner who is currently taking on new work. HJ Customs offers full restorations, fabrication, diesel conversions, motor swaps, as well as mechanical work.
As for his own build, he loves how the ’58 Ford turned out, but admits there is still more he’d like to do. For example, add another turbo, rebuild the transmission and maybe add a heat and AC unit to it. He’s taken the truck to a few car shows and it’s won quite a few awards at the Good Guys car shows as well as the Salt Lake Autoramma. Wherever he takes the truck the reactions seem to be quite similar as everyone can agree this is not your average ’58 farm truck.
For More Information:
623 N Robinson Rd
Nampa, ID 83687