1985 Ford F150 Interceptor
Tim King and TMI Automotive Products, Inc
TMI Products has always been on the cutting edge of cool interiors. Oftentimes they are developing interiors for vehicles that aren’t quite “cool” yet, but will be in due time. A great example of a somewhat unloved truck is this 1985 Ford F150
These trucks were wildly popular in their time for their durability and low operating cost, but haven’t yet entered the realm of a desirable model to do some serious upgrades. Hopefully soon they will see the love that vintage F100’s are seeing. That didn’t stop TMI though, because they knew that these Bullnose trucks could be primed for the next big craze, and rise up to the status of their older cousins.
Cop Motor, Cop Tires, Cop Suspension, Cop Shocks
Exactly how do you make an ‘85 F150 cool though? TMI started by looking at the earlier F100’s that utilized a Crown Vic front end swap for better handling, rack and pinion steering, and ease of lowering. This inspired TMI to blend a former police car with the Bullnose, and the “Intercepted” idea was born.
TMI started the build by buying a retired 2008 Crown Victoria Interceptor and robbing the car of all its suspension and drivetrain. They weren’t just going to swap over the front end; the plan was to swap over most of the running gear including the frame, front and rear suspension, brakes, steering, engine, transmission, and 3.27:1 open diff. In order to fit the rear suspension under the F150 bed, the floor of the bed had to be raised six inches.
The 4.6L V-8 was rebuilt and a complete Flowmaster exhaust was added to give the right tone. Although the Crown Vic suspension was in good working order the stance needed an altitude adjustment. The get the right ride height, a quartet of Eaton lowering springs were installed on all four corners. TMI decided to cap it all off with a set of TSW Vale wheels, 19- and 22-inch respectively, with ExtremeContact Continental tires.
Light ‘Em Up!
The outside of the truck had to be modified to reach TMI standards. The first thing you’ll notice is the Gold Pearl Tangerine color, sprayed by Johnny’s Auto Color in Riverside, CA. This truck was meant to turn heads for sure, but after people get lured they tend to stay a while when the subtle upgrades get noticed. A whole host of upgrades are not noticed right away starting with the shaved tailgate and side markers, rear bumper delete with a rollpan added in, and sprayed in bedliner, stock badge removal with the 4.6L Interceptor badges added, with blacked out door handles and engine bay. TMI also added a custom front spoiler to complete the tough new look. Naturally, the interior is where this truck really shines. The whole purpose of this truck was to showcase the wide range of choices from TMI and what they can do for your interior. The entire stock F150 interior was tossed out leaving the designers at TMI with a blank slate to work with. They knew that the factory bench seat wouldn’t match the performance of the now Interceptor-based suspension, so a set of TMI Products Pro-Series bucket seats were installed. Sitting beautifully between the seats is a TMI console that features dual cup holders for keeping your favorite beverage in place.
Covering the Pro-Series Universal Sport-VXR Low Back bucket seats is a rich Cellar Brown Vinyl that offsets the bright orange exterior. The seats feature a Graphite Suede that breaks up the brown and adds a performance look. The factory Crown Vic dash cluster was even used and a custom dash pad was stitched to tie the dash in along with a Sport-R steering wheel. Finishing off the interior is a set of matching Sport R door panels along with German square weave carpet lining the cab.
Life Without Parole
With the F150 now complete, TMI took the truck to SEMA 2016 where it was the center of attention in their booth. Ford truck lovers united over the truck and couldn’t believe the amount of love and attention that this ol’ Bullnose received. It’s safe to say that TMI Products may have started the revolution of these ’80-’86 trucks, and for good reason!
This Bullnose has quickly become not only a crowd favorite for TMI, but an employee favorite as well. With its modern driveline and ease of cruising, the employees fight over who gets to take it to the next show!