The whole vintage automobile market (or vintage anything for that matter) is a thriving multi-million or billion-dollar industry because we, as a people, are sentimental. Well, maybe not just because of our sentimentality, but that and wanting to relive or hold onto the past certainly plays a huge part in the industry and how it got started. We all have our reasons, even those who are merely spectators at a local cruise night-something inside of them made them turn into the local hamburger stand to get a closer look at all the old tin on display. It takes all kinds, but here's a story you don't hear too often.
A teenage girl in the Midwest during the '60s had just graduated high school in Ashville, Ohio, and enrolled herself in the Nationwide Beauty Academy in Columbus to pursue her career as a cosmetologist. Who would guess that one day she would want to restore the old farm truck her dad bought so she could drive the family car to and from the Academy? We wouldn't have guessed it either, but here's Barbara Younkin's tale.
Barbara grew up on her family's farm in Ohio that dates back to 1886. Her dad used to haul the pigs to the market in a trailer he made that he'd pull behind the family car, which at the time was a '61 Ford. As soon as she was accepted into beauty school in Columbus, her dad went to the Ford dealer in Circleville and ordered a new '63 F-100 for about $1,800 so she could drive the car to school.
Fast-forward to 1977; Barbara's dad, Paul, died and being an only child, sheinherited the farm and, of course, his truck. Her husband at the time and their two sons decided to take over the farming chores and keep the legacy going, which included using the F-100 as a workhorse up until 2007 when a man by the name of Jerry Seiber came and picked it up. Jerry didn't merely "haul" the truck off. Barbara found Jerry from high recommendations as someone who could restore the '63 to better than new, which is what Jerry, his son Tracey, and Bill Petty did over the following 19 months. Some might say this is like putting lipstick on a pig, but Barbara knew what she wanted.
The truck had just turned 59,000 miles on the old odometer and was in OK shape, but remember that it was used as a tool its whole life. It was certainly a little rough around the edges, but was soon pulled completely apart for a full frame-off, nut and bolt, AACA restoration. Jerry assessed what parts could and couldn't be reused and soon was hunting for some new and N.O.S. parts to fill the gaps. The chassis and suspension were completely rebuilt to Ford specs and would of course retain the parallel leaf-spring setup front and rear without a hint of lowering the truck. Even the OE narrow steel wheels were once again wrapped in new bias-ply 7.10-15 Firestone tires from Coker Tire.
Bill Petty began rebuilding the stock drivetrain from front to back. The original 223 cubic-inch straight-six engine would remain stock bore and just get a cleanup grind of 10/10 on the crank by the local NAPA store. The engine would be finished to showroom condition, and then some, with its oil bath air cleaner and an entire set of factory decals. The stock column shift three-speed transmission and 9-inch rearend were both made brand new thanks to Bill's handiwork and would soon be reunited with the F-100 after Jerry was done with all the body and paintwork. Jerry sprayed the Ford back to its original Rangoon Red, which was then rubbed out until it was smooth as glass. Of the parts Jerry couldn't find satisfactory original replacements for, he went over reproduction parts from both Dennis Carpenter and Dan Carpenter (no relation), and F-100 Fanatics. An N.O.S. anodized grille was found at a Ford swap meet in Ohio which really sets off the front of the truck.
The parts of the interior that weren't restored by Jerry or didn't come from Dennis Carpenter, were upholstered by Greg Jones at J&J Upholstery in Columbus. Of course the stock bench was done as per the original in gray vinyl with silver sides. A molded carpet kit from Trim Parts takes care of the floor.
We caught up with Barbara and Jerry at this last year's F-100 Supernationals in Tennessee. They had just started on the show circuit and placed first in the Junior Division of the AACA Southeastern Spring Meet as well as first in their class at the Supernationals. After they are done collecting trophies this year Barbara will be logging some seat time in the old farm truck, and we'd bet her dad will be riding shotgun.