1964 F-100 - New Truckers, Craig Grisolia Story Part 1

6/30/2024
Bob “Video Bob” and Jeannine Huff
Craig Grisolia developed "motorhead-itis" at a very early age while playing around the cars that surrounded his father's Classic Auto Repair Shop in St Charles, IL. Whether Dad was working on a classic Lincoln or a "Hemified" muscle car his son Craig was always right there under his nose taking it all in. By the time Craig turned 16 he could weld, fabricate and wrench with the best of them. When his dad decided to retire in the 1990s, Craig had pretty much taken over the responsibility of running the business.
 
 
Of all the vehicles that he and his father worked on over the years the early 1960s slab-sided longbed Ford trucks were Craig’s favorite. He knew trying to find such a ride in the Chicago-land area that wasn't eaten up with road salt was next to impossible, so he began surfing the internet every chance he got hoping to find the truck of his dreams. Those that he did find were usually out of reach thousands of miles away.
 
When he was about to give up the search for his truck, he learned that the Navy had just reassigned his brother Josh to the Santiago depot in California. Several of the "out of reach" trucks Craig had found earlier were on the "left coast" so he went back to searching the internet and found a 1964 F-100 longbed that was approximately 100 miles from where his brother was stationed. After conferring with him, Josh agreed to make the 3 hour drive north to check the truck out for him.
 
When he arrived at his destination, he gave the truck a quick once over followed by a test drive. Having worked part time alongside Craig in his father's shop he knew his way around vehicles and proceeded to point out all the "negative factors" about the truck along with the fact that it would cost about $1,500 to have it shipped back to his brother in Illinois. After some down home wheelin’ and dealin’ on Josh's part, the owner agreed to drop the price from $4,500 down to $3,000. Five days later the truck was loaded on a transport headed for St Charles, IL.
 
When Craig received the truck, it had multicolored paint and a tired 351 with a "slush box" (automatic). The truck had been lowered by the previous owner which resulted in a very rough ride. Anxious to get behind the wheel of the ride that he waited so long to get Craig did a quick tune up and minor rebuild on the sus-pension before he started driving it. By the time he got the "new" wore off the truck Chicago-land temps were dropping signaling him that it was time to park the truck and start on the long-anticipated frame off rebuild.
 
Way before Craig ever obtained the rust-free truck, he had logged many ideas/modifications' in his head that he hoped to someday incorporate into the truck when he got it. One of those ideas was to swap the original truck chassis for a more modern updated chassis that would not only offer a softer more comfortable ride but also better brakes, steering and other updated options. So, the first thing on his agenda was to separate the rust-free California body from the original factory chassis which he donated to a friend that was restoring a "stock" F-100.
 
The replacement chassis Craig chose for his F-100 was a 2000 Ford Vicky Police car chassis. For most builders this would be an easy swap due to the wheelbase of both units being the same but with Craig being a longbed fan he was going to attempt a swap that to his knowledge had never been done before. See next month’s Truck Round-Up to find out what just what kind of swap Craig made.
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