Boy, they sure don't grow 'em like this in the city! The formula is simple enough, though-take one old truck, add one farm boy, factor in the Clydesdale-to-cubic inch conversion formula, and then get out of the way before you get kicked.
Scott Offhaus is a dairy farmer from Batavia, New York, who has a slightly different view of what a farm truck's purpose is than most farmers we know. Down on the farm, a pick-up truck has one function: hauling. But as Scott's truck illustrates, there's hauling, and then there's hauling. We like Scott's take on the word.
In 1981, then 19-year-old Scott spotted the truck in his buddy's garage. Sporting black paint, flames, and a 350/350 Chevy engine and trans combo, the truck wasn't exactly what a Mopar enthusiast would consider ideal.
However, it ran, was fairly straight, and there was no rust, which is a hard thing to find in Snow Country! The truck saw ten years of faithful service to Scott when he sold it to another friend, with the promise of first rights to buy it back if it was ever to change hands again. Five years later and the truck was back in Scott's stable. This time, however, things would be different.
Starting with a complete reengineering of the frame and suspension, Scott and his friend Mike Pridmore spent the first winter adding a GM F-body front clip (which was the exact right width), narrowing the frame behind the cab, and hanging a narrowed Ford 9-inch filled with Moser axles, a Strange spool, and 4.56 gears. "We decided to keep the leaf springs and add our own farm-engineered four-link design. The rear suspension travels 31/44 of an inch, and the truck hooks up nicely," says Scott.
Motivation originally called for a big block something-or-other before Scott met Lance Glover. Lance and his partner Speedy Greco were retired Chrysler-Plymouth dealers who later specialized in Mopar restorations. Speedy purchased a '64 Hemi engine from Richard Petty in the late '60s, and raced it at the local tracks for a few years before retiring it in a wooden box, which is just how Scott found it 25 years later. "Before Speedy's passing in 1992, he turned down $10,000 for the short block. I purchased it from Lance at a fair price," says Scott. However, in the understandable heat of the moment, Scott and Mike didn't really stop to consider whether or not the engine would fit! "With the right shoehorn and momentum, we slipped the Hemi in the engine compartment, but had no room for anything else. We had to rear-mount the radiator and have a hand-crafted set of stainless steel headers made onsight. Eric Meyers came in for many evenings of welding these pipes to make a fine looking and working set of headers. Eric builds milking parlors for his daytime job." More farm engineering. Though you can't see them in our photos, take it from us that the headers are about the finest, brightest, food-grade stainless steel exhaust system you'll ever see!
They don't do anything small on the farm, and one look at the engine will convince you of that. Since Scott's probably more used to dealing with the torque and grunt of a diesel John Deere or Allis Chalmers tractor, even a Hemi might seem a bit anemic, so off to Jim Oddy's machine shop it went, where the holes were bored .080 over. Scott and Mike then filled the block with 8.5:1 Venolia pistons, and a dual-pattern Isky solid lifter cam sporting lifts of .558 and .554, with durations of 248 and 258 degrees, intake and exhaust. A pair of '68 Race Hemi heads were treated to some porting work so they'd be able to support the increased volume the 10-71 BDS blower and twin 850cfm Holleys deliver. The other side of the stainless headers finds more custom stainless tubing and Flowmaster mufflers. Again, Scott's probably used to tractor-sized exhaust stacks, which would explain the 5-inch diameter of the truck's pipes and mufflers! Like we said-nothing's small on a farm! Backing it up is a 727 trans with a manual valve body and a B&M shifter.