1978 Ford F-150 Brought Back to Life by Make-a-Wish Foundation

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Rough 1978 Ford F-150

Classic F-150 is flawlessly restored for young truck enthusiast who suffers from rare blood disorder.

18-year old Joseph McStoots suffers from a rare blood disorder that has forced him to spend long periods of time in the hospital. As he battles his illness, he was invited to take part in the Make-A-Wish program and unlike asking to meet a favorite athlete or go to Disneyworld, McStoots’ wish was for his 1978 Ford F-150 to be restored. According to local news station WHAS 11, the Louisville Collision Center and more than 25 businesses in the Louisville area worked with Make-a-Wish to make this dream come true in grand fashion, bringing the battered half-ton truck back to life.

McStoots’ F-150

Joseph McStoots has owned and loved his 1978 Ford F-150 since buying it three years ago. The truck was in rough shape, with rust damage throughout the body and the cabin being so bad that the floorboards were non-existant. However, even with the imperfections, McStoots loved his $1,500 truck, calling is his baby.

McStoots F-150 Hauled Away

With that in mind, it likely came as little surprise to his family when Make-A-Wish came to him, asking what he would ask for as part of the program. Like most gearheads, McStoots’ first thought was to get his 1978 F-150 restored and the Make-A-Wish people got to work, looking for businesses in the Louisville area to help make this wish come true.

Make-a-Wish Brings a 1978 Ford F-150 Back to Life continued…

"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

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