Kevin McGibney and his father, Kevin McGibney Sr., share much more than a name. These gentlemen are creating finely crafted automobiles and an equally fine family tradition. They are a father-and-son car building team who do it all themselves. This is a tradition of family values that really make sense. Kevin Jr. works in the printing business and his dad is a retired veteran of the United States Army. Literally the entire project was accomplished in their frill-free backyard shop. The Kevins (why call them the McGibneys?) take a businesslike approach to the automotive hobby they both enjoy. Well organized, they are known to be up at 4 a.m. searching the Net for automotive scores. Once they had a few car projects under their belts, they became known on the East Coast show circuit. Folks are quick to hand out nicknames, and it wasn't long before these guys were being addressed as "K and K." Why not take it on as a personal I.D.? Thus the name for their home shop enterprise was conceived as K&K Kustomz. So much for the good marks in fifth grade spelling! The K-Kats don't do this as a living; they do it for a very old-school reason: fun! What a concept.
During a visit to the NSRA Nats in Burlington, Vermont, last year, the Kevins were introduced to the '37 Ford concept pickup manufactured by Oze Rod Shop in Quebec, Canada. They were immediately impressed with the styling lines of the truck. Its unique rear treatment and removable hardtop made it different from anything similar currently on the market. The inspiration to build one of these new and unusual vehicles quickly became an obsession. Only two of these currently exist as finished cars in the U.S., and this example is a stunner.
No time was wasted in acquiring a body, and once the thing was in the shop, it was a scant nine months later-May 2005-that the silver baby was born. Nine months may be normal for the completion of something as simple as a human baby, but for a really complicated project like a car, it's a bona fide miracle.
The chassis for the truck was designed and fabricated from 2x4 rectangular tubing at K&K. The frontend is custom-made utilizing the familiar Mustang II power rack-and-pinion unit and 2-inch dropped Mustang spindles. Custom tubular control arms have been fabricated and the frame is C-notched for steering and suspension clearance. The rearend is the ever popular Ford 9-inch using a 3.50 ratio. All four corners are suspended with Air Ride Technologies airbags and gas shocks. Nothing like laying her on the asphalt when you park-remember kids, there is no such thing as too low. Stopping chores are the province of a disc brake system that uses Mustang units in the front and Wilwoods in the rear that feature cross-drilled and slotted rotors. All of this high-tech hardware connects to the paving with Falken tires, 205R40/17 FK451s in the front on Budnik's 17x8 Gasser D wheels, and 255ZR35/20 FK451s out back on 20x10 Gasser Ds. The wheel size and positioning fill the fender openings and contribute to the mean stance and integrated look of the well thought-out styling.
Power comes from the eternally popular small-block Chevrolet. A 350 GM crate motor makes a practical solution that is reliable and quick. Not much has been done to modify the motor, mainly because it does not need much to make it rock and roll. An Edelbrock EPS coated intake manifold and an Edelbrock 500-cfm carburetor are used to feed the 8.5 pistons fired by a GM HEI ignition. Internal pressure is relieved through a set of Sanderson Block Hugger headers, and the escaping gases pass in and out of a pair of Race Bullet mufflers, producing that throaty rumble so dear to the hearts of hot rod enthusiasts everywhere and keeping the breathing healthy for the 330hp mill. The final touches to the engine are cosmetic. The air cleaner is a Walter Prosper special. The aluminum valve covers have been chromed, as has the oil pan. In fact, the entire engine is either polished or chromed.