1969 Ford F100 Trophy Burro

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Simon Flynn has always had a passion for cars and when he bought a vacation home in the off road mecca of Cabo San Lucas Mexico he discovered a lifestyle that was too good for occasional visits, he never left. When not running his business or wrenching on the beast featured here he can be found writing witty captions for his massive following on Social Media where he is known simply as the Trophy Burro. When I first saw the Method 74 F100 truck pull into San Jose after racing the NORRA Mexican 1000, I was hooked. That thing was the perfect mix of toy and still street drivable. Even better that It could race down Baja. After watching another NORRA finish down in Cabo San Lucas I decided it was time to get my own truck and make it happen. I had done a little buggy racing early when I moved down to Cabo in class 9 but getting seat time in a pure race car was always challenging. I liked the idea of a prerunner we could use for play as well as do the annual NORRA 1000 driving down to home In Cabo.
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On Instagram I posted looking for a prerunner and was looking to get a 3 or 4 seater. Andy McMillin hit me up and told me they had a spare 1969 F100 prerunner for sale. Originally, I declined, as I was stuck on the idea of an extra cab. I reached out to Mark Newham who had originally built the truck and asked him what he thought of me using it for NORRA and a fun Cabo off road truck. He pointed out it was the little brother to Zorro and a few others but with some updates and upgrades it would be great The truck at this state was wearing a 80s F150 look, complete with skinned door and a ford grill.
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The McMillin’s had the truck since sometime in 2008-ish and Scott had raced it in the 2010 NORRA. Some time after that it was sent to Mark Newham who linked it and did a lot of the updates. Andy used it as a prerunner for a few years before they stored it. It was a bit of an ugly duckling with the brick nose and needed a little love, but the bones of the truck the power plant and parts were all top of the line.

I could not get the truck off my mind so eventually I told them I would take it and we arranged to have it delivered down to Cabo. A week or some later it was in the back of a Semi and I went to pick it up. I spent the next few months driving it and getting a few things cleaned up. First updates were the Sparco seats and steering wheel sent to a friend in Los Barilles, Bajaracer Pat who added the pro eagle jack and mounted the new seats and lights from Baja design.

My plan was always to swap the glass back to the old school 1969 but I wanted to get it all working perfectly and race the NORRA once with the 80’s body. So toward the start of 2019 Pat at Cabo Customs and I drove the truck up to Evan Wellers. We took it out to Barstow for a test session with Keith Marygold from KDM before leaving it. It was pretty clear the shocks needed some tuning since we had first got it. The truck being a prerunner was set up pretty soft. Once KDM saw it he was able to see right away what we needed to change. All shocks were off and re-valved and all springs were updated.
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Evan Weller made a ton of changes including a whole new back end with the vertical spares, adding some tsco / fox bump stops on the front, oil cooler for engine oil and 10” 3rd member and full prep.

We had a great time at the 2019 NORRA and with the help of The Brenthel brothers who did our support, we finished without any major issues. The plan was always to drive a conservative pace to drive the truck all the way home to Cabo San Lucas.

At some point during the race we started to feel some flex and the frame had let go in a few places between the plating. So after a few months sitting it was sent back out to Bajaracer Pat, he tore it all apart and cut out a huge chunk of the frame and re-plated / boxed the whole front end. Mark Nehwan suggested we beef up the beams too so they got boxed in and plated.

At one point we got stuck in a silt and were side swiped by a car. That took out the rear tail light and some of the bedside so we took this opportunity to update the body to the classic bumpside glass.

So it was on the hunt for glass, doors, grill etc. Baja Racer Pat fitted all the new glass, swapped the doors and grafted the cab to match the bump side which had been removed when it went 80s. A ton of work but it’s all worth it in the end now. We hard mounted the lights to the tube works and the grill is held on via dzus fittings. I wanted to follow along with the theme of making this thing easy to work on and simple.

Right around when Covid hit, the body was all done and it was time to paint it so the truck came back to Cabo and arranged for it to be painted. I had some mockups of colors and aqua blue ended up winning. Some local craftsman actually extended the cab cowl to meet the wider glass. Not many f100s will have that and it’s a small detail I think works well.
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Never in a million years would I have thought that red wheels would work but after playing around with colors in photoshop I loved the way they looked so we went with the Method 103 bead locks and had them coated by the guys over at Swift Powder in a custom red with the white rings. I love the look of these Methods and of course the durability is second to none.

So with no racing planned and covid lock down things kinda snowballed and the next thing on the list was interior and wiring, the cab on the truck was wired 10+ years ago and have a few “updates” along the way. The gauges had been giving up problems and replacing them was a pain so I wanted to update to screen and pdms to clean up the wiring, I went with AEM Electronics CD5” for driver and a Cd7” in the center . All the sensors are now broadcast over the CAN bus network.
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I ended up tackling the wiring myself with the help of Hardwired Performance who did the PDM harnesses that I tied into the chassis harness. Programming the AEM screens was a piece of cake and I did all that down here in my garage. It’s pretty cool hooking a laptop up to a 50 year old truck and having the capability to log data and add an infinite number of sensors on these screens. The speedo is all done by GPS and it even tracks G forces and axis via satellite.

Future plans include a new motor with EFI being built by Greg at Total Performance TPR industry. It will be another small block ford with a little more punch !. We will see you all at NORRA Mexican 1000 and I’ll drive it home to Cabo again I hope!!

Thanks to everyone who has helped and answered all my questions. I’ve had such a blessing with the audience who gave me feedback and help improve the build.

- Simon Flynn AKA "Trophy Burro"
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Source: Method Race Wheels
 
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