SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - DECEMBER 2017

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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The Fillmore Ford F-100 SCORE and NASCAR racer Mark Stahl couldn’t get Ivan Stewart to race with him, so he bought his Class 8 truck instead By Dan Sanchez Photos by ICON Media While Ivan Stewart is known as the “Ironman” Mark Stahl was actually the first person to solo the SCORE Baja 1000 and win the Ironman trophy back in 1978. He later went on to win three more Ironman awards driving his Chenoweth buggy to numerous victories, including four SCORE Baja 1000 races. His possession of the Fillmore Ford Class 8 truck, came after Stahl began racing again after more than 20 years. He had found his original Chenoweth 1000 buggy and restored it, racing the NORRA Mexican 1000 with Jeff Furrirer and Rory Ward in 2011. Realizing that the old Chenoweth was just too small and too bumpy, he wanted to race it again, but would rather drive something with more suspension to it, like an old Class 8 truck. There was only one that stuck out in his mind. A Missed Opportunity Back in 1978, Stahl was winning races in the Chenoweth buggy and at the SCORE Baja 1000 that year, his co-driver didn’t have the time to pre-run the course and simply wasn’t ready. According to Stahl, he asked Ivan Stewart to co-drive with him, but Stewart was already positioned to drive in the brand new, black F-100 built by Fillmore Ford. Ironically, Stahl was forced to drive the race by himself, ultimately winning the overall in Class 1 and becoming the first “Ironman” in the SCORE Baja 1000. That win and that truck stuck with Stahl, who recalls that Stewart raced with it for two or three years, winning in Riverside, California and the Mexicali 300 with it. Decades later, and after that NORRA Mexican 1000 race, he searched for the truck until he received a call from with someone claiming to have an old Ivan Stewart truck he wanted to sell. “I had the truck bought and delivered to me in a week,” said Stahl. The Restoration Began The truck was in bad shape, and Stahl called upon his friend Rory Ward again, to help him with the restoration. “When he got the truck, it had been pretty much abused,” said Stahl. “It was in sad shape, and took a full year to restore it into racing condition.” With the factory chassis still intact, Stahl and Ward began the restoration, utilizing factory front Ford I-beams from a one-ton truck, and supporting the suspension with dual Bilstein shocks, performance coil springs and factory spindles. The rear suspension consists of custom leaf springs with four Bilstein shocks on each side of the Ford Nine-inch rear axle housing. “This old truck has a soft suspension that makes it fun to drive,” said Stahl. “It doesn’t handle as well as it could, so you have to drive it to its limitations.” The F-100’s front suspension consists of one-ton I-beams and dual Bilstein shocks riding on BFGoodrich 35-inch, KO2 tires. Thankfully, the truck is manageable thanks to the BFGoodrich 35x12.50R15 KO2 All-Terrain T/A tires that are mounted on American Racing 15x8 wheels. Stahl can also bring the truck to a quick stop after outfitting it with a complete EBC brake system that consists of 12-inch diameter rotors and racing brake pads, front and rear. A Ford Nine-Inch rear axle is supported with leaf springs and three Bilstein shocks on each side of the truck. Powering the F-100 is a small-block 400 that was built and assembled by Stahl. The engine puts out 400 horsepower and 500 lbs.-ft. of torque from the combination of its 9.5:1 compression, Crane camshaft, Edelbrock intake manifold, MSD ignition, Holley 750cfm four-barrel carburetor, and a set of Hooker Headers. The powerplant uses a Ford C6 automatic transmission and Inland Empire driveline that’s all operated by a B&M shifter. Stahl built a Ford 400 small block with Edelbrock heads, MSD ignition and Holley 750 cfm carburetor Inside the cab is the truck’s original roll cage but the seats were upgraded to new Mastercraft safety seats with DJ Safety harness. A set of Stewart Warner gauges on an aluminum panel dash reflect the simplicity of the truck’s original racing heritage, while modern upgrades include radio communication and navigation. The F-100’s interior is a tight fit for three seats, but Stahl made it work, complete with Stewart Warner gauges and Ivan’s autograph on the dash The exterior of the truck was restored using many restoration parts from LMC Truck, including hood and fenders that were painted to the truck’s original black paint scheme with yellow, orange and burgundy stripes. “I asked Ivan for some photos so that we could return the truck to its original appearance,” said Stahl. “He even came over when we were restoring it and helped set on the cab.” The truck now looks just as much as it did when Ivan Stewart drove it, from the four KC Hi-Lites mounted to the front bumper guard, to the factory Ford rear taillights. “I plan to drive this truck for as long as I can,” says Stahl. “I simply enjoy showing it, but it’s too much fun to just let it sit around.” SJ Mark Stahl and his girlfriend suzi Bohmbach.

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