We have gotten ahold of the man behind the “cantileafer” suspension on this week’s most interesting project, a custom Lexus LS400-Ford F100 mashup also known as the F-1UZ. But despite his machine’s complexity, the story one Tim Heerboth has to tell about his project is pretty straightforward. You wouldn’t think there’s ever a good reason to combine a Japanese luxury sedan and an American pickup, but, alas, sometimes there is.
“Basically, I picked up the ’77 F100 for cheap. Got it running. Figured out the transmission only had reverse and the block was so full of lime and corrosion [that] it wasn’t salvageable,” Heerboth told The Drive. “Then, [I] had a friend of a friend who had a Lexus LS400 with a title that had been triple signed, so [he] wasn’t able to get it legit. I picked it up for $600.”
From there, the plot thickens a bit. Heerboth originally planned on just swapping the LS400’s engine and transmission into the F100, but things slowly began to snowball. Heerboth figured that just ripping the drivetrain out of the Lexus would be a waste of an otherwise good LS400, and even if the swap went well, the F100 would still ride and handle like a truck.
“I figured out that if I cut the front off the [LS400] and trimmed the box ‘frame’ section, I could cut the F100 front suspension and cross-member out and drop the truck frame rails inside the unibody frame,” he said. Doing that would allow him to retain the entire Lexus subframe including the brakes and front suspension. So, he did.