View Full Version : Big Red! Warning, Badass 80's customized Ford with sappy family ties ahead!

09-23-12, 09:19 PM
I figured if anyone would understand this you guys would. My Uncle Gordy passed away in May. He was 62 years old and it was sudden he was healthy and it was a big hit to our family. To understand my Uncle, he was Burt Reynolds only he stayed 70's cool and never got striptease creepy. He had a beard, wore gold jewelry, wore pinstripe suits and pulled it off. He was a character in the purest sense of the word. He had the biggest heart of any man that I have ever met. at 30 I was still getting birthday cards from him and he talked to his sisters every week (including my Mom). There is a lot more to the man than I will go into here, but I want to talk about his truck.

Since I was two years old he had an 83 F150 XL club cab 4x2 with a 300 I-6 and a C6 auto tranny. On paper it is nothing special, but it became a 29 year part of his life. The truck was so quickly pinstriped and customized that not one of the our large families can remember it stock. He put 8" wide turbine wheels, running boards, a light up swan hood ornament, and many other 80's touches. He had the windows etched with penguin scenes (his favorite animal) and his kids name. The truck was his Daily driver for many years and he spent a fortune having Ziebart rust proof it every year. He kept the paper work to prove he never missed a treatment and every time Cancer popped up he was in there. Ziebart basically rebuilt this truck two times. If the motor was having issues he would go to the ford dealer and have them replace the engine with a new one. I remember in about 2000 he took it to a Ford dealer and had the steering column replaced. They tried to talk him out of it, saying it was "just an old truck" but he didn't care.

In about 1998 it was vandalized and he literally cried at the damage they did. He bought cars from then on to DD and I saw the truck less and less. He had it ground up rebuilt between then and 2000. Since then it has been babied and rarely driven. He was not a car guy like you and I are car guys so he never showed it, or bragged about it. It was just his truck and he built it for him. I love this truck and I am hoping it stays in the family even if I have to buy it from the estate myself. Last time I saw it he had just repainted it and it only had simple pinstriping. I was happy to see that it is almost 100% the same as it was the 80's the only change is he took the Big Red off of the extended cab and replaced it with TAZ, his favorite cartoon character (he had a Reynoldsesque leather Taz jacket that he wore all the time).

Enjoy the pics!


^ This is the only old Skool pic I have.



^ My uncle is on the far left! I am third from the right in the back.


09-23-12, 09:28 PM
I'm not much of a Ford guy, but I do like a good story. That was a great story and that truck obviously has more sentimental value then any amount of money it would bring. Good luck sir, I wish you all the best in capturing something that has been with your family for so long. There are a few cars I'd love to have accompanying some memories from past!!

09-23-12, 09:57 PM
That is a great truck! I had an uncle, my mom's sister's husband, uncle Marty, who like your uncle Gordy was a real character. He was a cowboy type, soft spoken but with a very great deep, bellowing voice. A real man's man who would always wear a leather jacket and flannel, smoke unfiltered cigarettes (he died from lung cancer in about 2000), always be down for a drink or two and like Gordy, he had a similar era F-150 Extended Cab, but I seem to remember his being a later '80s model, in a light brown with the Lariat package. The one thing I vividly remember is the split windows for the 2nd row of seats. I thought that was so cool!

09-23-12, 10:16 PM
Great story about your uncle and his truck, John. My belated condolences on your loss.

09-23-12, 11:00 PM
I am sorry to hear about your Uncle Gordy's demise, but happy see and hear about his truck. I would say Gordy was a man who knew what he wanted in the way of transportation and was not afraid to indulge his fantasies!

09-23-12, 11:08 PM
Thank you for sharing your uncle's story with us. That is a great looking truck and family. The community and fellowship here is what makes this more than just another car forum. It is great personal stories that remind us the trials and tribulations we go through with our car projects, pale in comparison to real life challenges. May your uncle rest in peace in the knowledge that his Big Red will live on in his memory in your caring hands.

09-23-12, 11:27 PM
I'm sorry for your loss, as your uncle seemed quite the character! I do hope that amazing truck stays with your family. It seems like it belongs there.

09-24-12, 02:54 AM
My condolences for Gordy. He seems like a neat dude that anyone could like. I hope you can round up Big Red. That would be a great way to remember him by.

09-24-12, 07:43 AM
By the looks of it, the interior is customized as well. Those look like Flexsteel captains chairs.

09-24-12, 10:09 AM
it looks like it to me, last time I was in it, it still had the stock vinyl bench and the custom touches were a Nascar rearview mirror and custom badges everywhere, as well as a early 90's booming sound system! :D

09-24-12, 05:07 PM

Quite sorry for your loss, but glad to see you are keeping the good memories around. Had a similar instance when my Father passed and we were left with his beloved Chevelle and no idea what to do. I fiercely fought that we not sell it for cash (which was needed by my Mum at the time, due to the event) and as some of you may know, that is where the materials and engine from my first attempted engine swap in my Cadillac went. Sold everything else, kept my Father's car.

Though not the Chevy (Though it IS also red) there is a "Big Red" in my family as well. Next month it will come down to Florida to stay and occasionally hang out with my own truck "Blockbuster", it's bigger, black cousin.

(Best full photo I have of it, sent to my phone by my uncle)