People build custom vehicles for many different reasons-some because their parents had one like it when they were a kid, some because it had always been a dream ride, while others do it just to be different. When we first met Dennis Graham from Cartersville, Georgia, and asked him why he built this unique '67 Ford Bronco, his response was: "Because I had two of these, and one had flat tires and looked good low." That's probably one of the best reasons we've heard. And not only did Dennis achieve the "low" look he originally set out to do. He went way beyond the typical slam and built one of the sickest little trucks we've ever seen. With a slammed stance, a mirror-like shine, custom interior, and more motor than most top fuel drag cars, he knew it would turn a few heads. This was not the first full-out custom that Dennis had built either, so he knew what he was getting into. Living life as a commercial contractor, it took much of Dennis's limited spare time over about a 9-month period to get this truck from a heap sitting on flat tires to the show-stopper you see here.
Since getting this truck to hug the ground was the first thing that made Dennis want to build it, it was only right that he started with the frame. After the extensive disassembly session, the stock frame was scrapped in favor of a full Art Morrison chassis with a few added goodies. The front rides on a set of Mustang II spindles with a rack-and-pinion steering setup, and is sprung by coilovers and capped off with a large set of Baer brakes. For front rollers, Dennis chose a set of 15x6-inch American Racing wheels with 3 inches of back spacing squeezed into a pair of skinny Mickey Thompsons. Moving towards the rear of the Art Morrison framerails is a narrowed 9-inch Ford rear end, which, other than the body, is the only remnant left of the Ford. The rear end gets its stability from a four-link and a strong set of Aledine coilovers. There were also some extra internal goodies added to the rear end in order to get the massive tires to stick. The rear rollers are a set of 15x14-inch American Racing wheels wrapped in a beefy set of 33-inch-wide Mickey Thompson tires. Also stuffed between the framerails is a stainless steel 14-gallon fuel cell. Once the chassis parts were all test-fitted, it was disassembled and smoothed so it could be sent to the paint booth for its own coat of the shiny stuff. Dennis, along with Thunder Valley Customs in Cartersville, Georgia, performed all of the frame and suspension detail work.
With the skeleton of this beast done, it was time to give it a pulse-well, at least something that would beat like a pulse. With the blown 502ci V-8 Dennis chose, it runs more like a pulse than a constant idle. If only we could take a picture of how this thing sounds. Since a big motor sticking out of the hood is kind of Dennis's trademark when he builds a vehicle, it was a necessity for his Bronco. He tore into the big-block himself and added the much-needed mods to make it his own. He started with a 2004 model 502ci and took it apart and had it ported, polished, and balanced to pump out a little more power. He opted for a set of Brodix heads and stuffed the block with a Comp Cams bumpstick. The block is now running 10:1 ratio pistons. And if that wasn't enough to get the power pumping, a Childs & Albert supercharger was added and topped off with a pair of Demon carbs and a polished air scoop. This newly built motor, which now pushes 1000 hp, was bolted to a Turbo 400 tranny, but not before it was detailed, polished, and painted. To get the spent gases out of the motor, 2-1/2-inch custom header pipes were routed under the truck, where they run straight into a pair of 5-inch pipes. The exhaust was custom built by Dennis and Mike Bryant, then sent off to get the essential Jet Hot coating.
With all of the underside and go-go goodies out of the way, it was time to bring the body panels out of the corner of the shop and show them a little love. After they were stripped and smoothed, Dennis decided a little trimming was needed. The roof was chopped four inches, while the body was channeled four inches. (Or as the new school guys refer to it, it was body-dropped four inches.) With the exterior fitting the look he was after, custom hand-built floor pans, inner fenders, radiator support, firewall, dash, and the entire bed floor were fabbed up. After several hours of blocking to give the paint a straight place to call home, PPG Black was laid down to give this truck the mirror finish that was in Dennis's original plan. Final touches like re-chroming all the trim and the customized Bronco rear bumper, or the addition of a flush motorcycle gas cap to the bed floor, really make this truck's exterior shine. Thunder Valley Customs out of Cartersville, Georgia, performed all of the paint and bodywork.
The custom dash, complete with Vintage Air, was built while in the body shop, so Dennis paid attention to the rest of the interior. It was taken down to M&M Interior in Holy Pond, Alabama, who wrapped the new dash and installed the new Auto Meter Pro Comp gauges. They built new custom door panels and a new console to make everything flow. Tan leather and alligator skin were used to cover everything and give it a high-end look. Plenty of the shiny parts were added, such as a billet steering wheel, which was wrapped in gator skin, and some billet accessories. A piston shifter was also added to spice things up.
While shooting this feature, we learned from Dennis that not only is he upping the size on his wheels to give it an updated look, but also, he is building another '67 Bronco. But this time around he's bagging it. Don't worry, it will have Dennis' signature huge motor poking through the hood. We can't wait to see it and turn it into another feature vehicle for all our Truckin' readers.