If Kicker Car Audio’s 1961 Ford Econoline pickup could talk, we’d listen for days. It’s seen and experienced more than enough to fill several movie scripts and memoirs. And now it has a new chapter to add to the saga after the complete makeover Kicker has given it.
“I picked the truck up in ’69,” recalls Rick Kirk, owner of RK Machine (Ripley, Oklahoma). “It was a service truck for a plumber. It was bright red, and had busted out the back windshield. It had been sitting awhile when I bought it, but it was exactly what I was looking for.”
Kirk, a drag racer back then, wanted the Econoline for a tow vehicle. He and buddy Bill Lewis painted it to match the drag car’s scheme—pearl white with classic blue Shelby wide racing stripes. It was conspicuously cool—too cool to pull a racecar. So Kirk began taking the truck to local car shows; letting people admire its unique look and Tri-Power 406 engine. However, the truck’s inaugural tour was cancelled after three shows. Kirk settled into family life and making a living, and the Econoline was parked in a garage, never to be heard from again…until decades later when Kicker decided to bring it out of retirement as a showcase for their audio products at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“When we dug it out, all four tires were flat…and they were brand new when it was parked in 1973,” said Kicker Applications Manager Dan Jobin, a close friend of Kirk’s. “And it had years of grime on it”
Kicker installers worked with the Econoline for most of the summer and fall, preparing the pickup for its unveiling at the Kicker booth. While it had plenty of modifications, nothing is as elaborate as the unbelievable audio/video system fabricated by Kicker’s Toby Lewis, John Myers, Randy Botts, Sean Murphy and Dan Jobin.