HOT OFF THE LOT An RMD Garage F-100 Pre­sen­ta­tion

An RMD Garage F-100 Pre­sen­ta­tion

Street Trucks - - CONTENTS - TEXT BY JOHN MATA JR. PHO­TOS BY KEVIN AGUILAR

SOME OF THE COOLEST STO­RIES ABOUT OLD TRUCKS THAT CROSS OUR DESKS ARE THOSE IN­VOLV­ING FA­THER/SON COL­LAB­O­RA­TIONS. There’s just some­thing nos­tal­gic and fa­mil­iar about them. Those of us who were and still are lucky enough to share time with pops in the garage know what we’re talk­ing about.

The tales of hand-me-down trucks are some of the most in­spir­ing be­cause they’re re­lat­able. The guys who have re­ceived dad’s rust bucket tend to ra­di­ate a genuine en­thu­si­asm be­cause that truck is a sym­bol of fam­ily pride. What’s bet­ter than own­ing the ve­hi­cle your old man trea­sured for so many years? Around these parts, there’s no bet­ter example of a valu­able heir­loom.

One guy we know will agree with

us is Tony Brun­cati. His fa­ther, Bob, picked up the ’55 Ford F-100 seen here some­time back in the ’80s. Tony has fond mem­o­ries of how it looked years ago.

Bob pur­chased the truck at the first deal­er­ship he owned and planned to get it up and run­ning so it could serve as a hum­ble parts run­ner. “When we got it, the F-100 was 100% orig­i­nal down to the paint and en­gine,” Tony says. “The only thing my dad did was have it painted and up­dated with a fresh en­gine so it could be a re­li­able shop truck for the deal­er­ship.”

The Ford was kept at the deal­er­ship, and ac­cord­ing to plan, it was ba­si­cally a util­ity ve­hi­cle used to pick up and drop off parts and prod­ucts all over town. Tony is 38, and along with his two broth­ers, James and Dan, the trio now own and op­er­ate the Sun­rise Ford deal­er­ship in Fon­tana, Cal­i­for­nia. Ob­vi­ously, the Brun­cati broth­ers fol­lowed in their dad’s foot­steps, but it

THERE’S A COOL TWIST IN THIS STORY CON­CERN­ING WHAT TONY EN­VI­SIONED FOR THE FU­TURE OF THE TRUCK THAT HAS BEEN A MAIN­STAY IN THE BRUN­CATI FAM­ILY FOR NEARLY 40 YEARS.”

was Tony who was graced with a very spe­cial gift for his 18th Christ­mas. “My dad passed the ’55 to me and was as ex­cited as I was about it. I never made any real changes to it back then, even though my am­bi­tions were high.” With more re­sources now than ever be­fore, Tony rekin­dled the fire that once en­gulfed the day­dreams of his youth.

There’s a cool twist in this story con­cern­ing what Tony en­vi­sioned for the fu­ture of the truck that has been a main­stay in the Brun­cati fam­ily for nearly 40 years. “I de­cided that I wanted to give this truck back to my dad. Well, I wanted to first have it com­pletely re­stored and cus­tom­ized to do some­thing spe­cial for the man who has given me ev­ery­thing. I am where I am to­day be­cause of my fa­ther, so I wanted him to have a good, re­li­able truck that he can take to shows and be proud of. It was to be a to­ken of my ap­pre­ci­a­tion for all that he has done for our en­tire fam­ily.”

With a tan­gi­ble goal ahead of him, Tony be­gan weigh­ing out

the hows that would be­come nec­es­sary to get the F-100 pre­pared and ready to re­turn to his fa­ther.

This is where Ralph Hol­guin of RMD Garage en­ters the story. Those who fol­low the world of cus­tomiz­ers closely (or tune into the Ve­loc­ity net­work reg­u­larly) will be fa­mil­iar with that name. Ralph and his tal­ented team have been hit­ting the cus­tom ve­hi­cle scene hard through­out the last few years, and it just so hap­pens that Tony met him by chance but didn’t know just how se­ri­ous he was about cus­tomiz­ing ve­hi­cles. “I met Ralph many years ago at a

Ford Mo­tor Com­pany event in Alaska. The trip was part fish­ing ex­cur­sion, part busi­ness. One night while sit­ting at the bar, Ralph and I were dis­cussing my rac­ing ca­reer and how he was into build­ing hot rods and show cars. I thought he was just talk­ing about do­ing it as a hobby since he was work­ing for Ford at the time. It wasn’t un­til a year ago that I turned on the TV and saw Ralph work­ing on my brother’s ’57 Thun­der­bird on the ‘RMD Garage Show.’”

When Tony saw for him­self the qual­ity of crafts­man­ship that went into the T-bird, he knew that Ralph and the rest of the RMD guys were the per­fect

choice for the F-100. Tony made it a point to take a trip to the Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, lo­ca­tion to get a first-hand look at the op­er­a­tion, and he was floored. “I was blown away by the fin­ished ve­hi­cles on dis­play in the show­room and was just as im­pressed by the ve­hi­cles that were be­ing built back in the shop.”

Tony left his Ford there at RMD HQ a week after that first visit, which was in June 2017. He would never have dreamed that the com­pleted truck would be fin­ished and de­liv­ered in only six months’ time.

“It’s truly amaz­ing the speed and qual­ity that Ralph and his guys are ca­pa­ble of,” Tony says about the fi­nal ren­di­tion of his dad’s old truck. The real rea­son that the truck was com­pleted at such a high cal­iber in record time is due to the team Ralph has as­sem­bled. If you watch the show, then you al­ready know the en­tire cast. In­clud­ing the boss, there are a to­tal of eight play­ers who are in­cred­i­ble spe­cial­ists in their own right, from au­dio to

elec­tri­cal, body and paint to a mas­ter me­chanic, all based in-house. It didn’t hurt that Tony was pretty clear on just the look he was go­ing for, “After see­ing Ralph’s per­sonal ’56 F-100 and the ’58 Apache the shop had built, I had a clear di­rec­tion I wanted to go. Some of my other in­flu­ences came from my ex­pe­ri­ence with the auto in­dus­try and my rac­ing days. I wanted my dad to have the ameni­ties and styling of a mod­ern ve­hi­cle but also wanted the horse­power, han­dling and stop­ping power of a race car.”

And that’s just what Ralph and com­pany de­liv­ered. To start, the guys landed on a turnkey Coy­ote crate en­gine to pro­vide the horse­power, while a fully cus­tom To­tal Cost In­volved chas­sis com­plete with Ridetech com­po­nents cre­ated the proper stance and pre­mium han­dling abil­i­ties any true per­for­mance junkie would envy. When it comes to looks, the RMD crew put a mod­ern twist any­where they could fit one. From the per­fectly mas­saged metal work to the in­cred­i­bly smooth in­te­rior space, and all of the im­mac­u­late de­tails in be­tween, it’s safe to say that Tony wasn’t ever ex­pect­ing to see the truck look this good. “I think dad will want to show off the truck and hit the show scene this year. But I think he’ll be just as ex­cited to have it on dis­play at our Ford deal­er­ships. I built it for my dad to drive and en­joy, so what­ever he wants to do with it is fine with me, as long as he is hav­ing a good time.”

THE FORD COY­OTE EN­GINE HAS BEEN PLANTED UN­DER THE F-100’S HOOD AND IS SUR­ROUNDED BY A FULL CUS­TOM TREAT­MENT BY RMD GARAGE.

THE FORD’S IN­TE­RIOR HAS RE­CEIVED A COM­PLETE OVER­HAUL FROM FLOOR TO CEIL­ING AND ALL OF THE SPACE IN BE­TWEEN.

RMD GARAGE AND ROMERO UP­HOL­STERY HAVE CRE­ATED A CAP­TI­VAT­ING IN­TE­RIOR SPACE COM­PLETE WITH AL­PACA SUEDE AND LEATHER SEAT­ING AND DOOR PANEL DE­TAIL­ING.

RIGHT TOP.HERE’S A BE­HIND-THESCENES LOOK AT THE IN­TE­RIOR TRANS­FOR­MA­TION. THE GUYS AT RMD GARAGE HAVE THEIR HANDS IN JUST ABOUT EV­ERY PHASE OF AUTO CUS­TOMIZA­TION. THE FORD COY­OTEEN­GINE WAS SUC­CESS­FULLY IN­STALLED THANKS TORMD GARAGE’S CUS­TOM MO­TOR MOUNTS SPE­CIALLY TAI­LORED TOTHE TCI FRAME.

ABOVE. THE FAC­TORY BUMPER WAS RE­MOVED FOR GOOD, AND THE GRILLE WAS CUS­TOM­IZED TO GIVE THE F-100’S FRONT END A LOOK ALL ITS OWN.

THE END RE­SULT IS THANKS TO THE EF­FORTS OF THE EN­TIRE RMD GARAGE OUT­FIT. EACH CREWMEMBER HAD HIS OWN SPE­CIAL­IZED ROLE IN THE BUILD PROCESS, AND TO­GETHER THEY HAVE DE­VEL­OPED TEAM­WORK INTO A SCI­ENCE.

NO VE­HI­CLE AT RMD GARAGE ES­CAPES RALPH’S TRAINED EYE. HE PER­SON­ALLY OVERSEAS PAINT AND BODY TO EN­SURE EACH VE­HI­CLE GETS A MIR­ROR-LIKE SHINE.

THE REAR FEND­ERS WERE WIDENED TO COVER THE LARGE BIL­LET WHEELS, WHICH GIVES THE TRUCK A MEAN AP­PEAR­ANCE.

THE RESTO-MOD AC SYS­TEM HAS BEEN FIN­ISHED OFF WITH VE­LOC­ITY AIR VENTS STRATE­GI­CALLY PO­SI­TIONED IN THE DASH.

THE HEAD­LINER HAS BEEN TRICKED OUT FOR FUR­THER EYE AP­PEAL IN­SIDE THE CAB.

THE MINUTE DE­TAILS THAT ADORN THE IN­TE­RIOR ARE IN­CRED­I­BLE AND COME TO­GETHER TO MAKE FOR A PLUSH, UP­SCALE AM­BI­ENCE IN­SIDE THE CAB.

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