We've all heard the words uttered dozens of times by scores of hot rodders: "I'm not gonna do anything to it. It's just gonna be a daily driver." By now we all should know better than to fall for that story (but don't let our spouses in on our little secret, okay?).
Actually, Bill Hinkle stuck to his statement for more than a year after picking up this '65 Ford at the 2000 F-100 Supernationals in Tennessee. Of course there was little reason to mess around, as the $3,500 pickup was rock solid, had a good-running 352 with a three-speed, and just needed routine maintenance to keep it on the road. Besides, Bill already had a hot rodded '54 F-100 ("Cat's Meow," November 1991) for a weekend play toy.
But even the best of intentions go astray, and Bill's plan began unraveling in August 2001 after selling the '54. The loss of his "toy" Effie-combined with his current truck's lack of power steering and brakes-was a key factor in the downward spiral. By October, Bill had decided to install a Volar IFS (a swap he's made on many trucks in the past) along with a C6 automatic, and things just snowballed from there. "The truck drove so much better that I decided to take it apart again and do a total frame-off restoration on the rest of it," Bill says.
Like most of us, Bill works more efficiently when he has a deadline to meet. But his goal-to make it to the 2002 F-100 Supernationals in May-was probably more ambitious than most. Nevertheless, he pulled the truck apart in January and had the frame sandblasted before spraying on the POR-15 semi-gloss black paint himself. Then it was off to AutoTrack Collision (Springfield, Illinois) for bodywork and paint. Once again his plan changed, with an intended white finish being shelved in favor of a more appealing hue-2002 Taurus True Blue Metallic Pearl. The truck's original lines remain mostly intact, but you will find a few filled seams, some shaved emblems, a custom third brake-light, a rolled rear pan, a Checkmate tonneau cover, and a custom fuel door for the gas tank, which now resides in the bed.
The Ford came rolling out of the body shop in late March and the tedious process of re-assembly began. A look around the outside reveals new moldings and trim pieces virtually everywhere, along with a new tinted-windshield and smoked side and rear glass. The interior has a new color (Denim blue) and velour fabric on the seat, but is basically stock except for a Pioneer stereo, LeCarra wheel, and Lokar shifter.
Sure enough, Bill and his wife Mary Lu had the Ford ready for the F-100 Supernationals in mid-May. They not only made it, but also picked up a Top 25 Award in their class. Not bad for a pickup built in less than six months-not to mention one that was supposed to be just a daily driver.