What are lessons for if we don't learn from them? Mistakes. But when we do learn from them we can say "we've been there and done that," and when faced with the same situation again, hopefully it'll be an easier road. Father and son team Bill and Riley Fanning have been down a few of these aforementioned roads together with their F-100s. When Riley was in high school, they found a '60 F-100 to "learn from" (see the feature following this), and learn they did!
While Bill has always been a die-hard Ford guy, he used all the valuable knowledge gained from the four years spent working on Riley's F-100 to put his '65 Custom Cab together in a mere seven months! Starting with a very clean truck with just a hair over 64,000 on the clock helps speed things up, but there was still plenty of work to do, especially when "detail" was going to be one of the main goals with it.
From the get-go, Bill was determined to work on the truck every week and not let it sit dormant. Bill yanked the 352 big-block in September 2002 and took it to Joyco Machine in Oklahoma City to get bored .040-over. Following the machine work, it was dropped off with Dale Blaylock of Blaylock Automotive in Oklahoma City to be assembled with 9.5:1 pistons, the stock crank, an Edelbrock Performer Plus hydraulic cam, a double-roller timing chain, an MSD billet distributor, and hi-po Ford 390 iron heads. The FE motor was later dressed to the hilt in chrome goodies, including the Ford Racing valve covers and a no-nonsense chrome air cleaner.
During this time, the truck was blown apart piece by piece, including the whole chassis, which was cleaned up, painted, and detailed by Main Street Collision in Woodward, Oklahoma. Bill didn't want to get too crazy with suspension mods, but he did want it to sit right, so DJM dropped Dream Beams were installed by Glen Hoge and Lyman Schwinn at Main Street with stock Ford spindles, which mounted the Master Power 11-inch disc brake kit. They also installed DJM dropped shackles and spring hangers in the rear to get it down to match the lowered nose. Bill rebuilt the stock 9-inch rearend that houses a nice cruising 3.13:1 gearset and rehabbed the stock drum brakes.
Lucky for Bill and the gang at Main Street Collision, the body was actually quite superb to begin with, and in fact, Bill recalls there being only five little dents in the rear bed corner. Nevertheless, Lyman and Glen filled the stake pockets, welded up the factory seams in the body and bed, and filled in the factory toolbox in the side of the bed before Glen shot four coats of Colorado Red basecoat and four coats of clear on the F-100. The inside of the bed and under the hood got a layer of red spray-in bedliner, and the coating under the hood also got shot with clearcoat to help keep it looking good and easy to clean.
Upon reassembly, every bolt, nut, and screw was replaced with its stainless steel equivalent, and new bumpers, door handles, mirrors, headlight buckets, and emblems were had from Obsolete Ford. During this time, Bill made a deal with his UPS driver to stash any parts delivered in the '65 Mustang hibernating in the driveway so his wife, Katheryn, wouldn't get wise to how much Bill was spending. Cat's out of the bag now!
Also from Obsolete Ford was the 80/20 red rayon-nylon loop carpet kit, which was installed before Bill recovered the original bench seat in red cloth. In the stock dash, we find the OEM gauges issued to Custom Cab-optioned F-100s, which are stylish to this very day. A brushed-aluminum ididit tilt steering column was crowned with a matching brushed banjo steering wheel wrapped in red leather from the Wheel Shoppe. A Vintage Air Slimline underdash air conditioning unit keeps the riders cool in the often balmy Oklahoma summers.
We asked Bill the "what would you do differently if you had to do it all over again" question, and he said nothing, thanks to the years of planning and hurdles overcome on Riley's truck. We wouldn't change a thing on this award winner either!