When Bill Meadows got the call from a friend that a neat old truck had just rolled into his junkyard, he wasted no time getting there to check it out. What he found was a 1961 Ford F-100 in reasonably good condition. The owner of the boneyard knew Bill would probably be interested, and after some typical negotiations, another project truck was headed to the Meadows' shop.
Like so many very cool trucks, there is nothing on Bill's truck that you can't find and buy except for that one illusive component - attitude. Since the truck was destined to be a driver, the components selected were geared for the open road. A front clip from an '84 Caprice provides front suspension, while out back a C-notched frame allows the lowered rear axle housing to move. Under the hood a Chevy crate motor pumps out 260 reliable horsepower hooked to a 350 turbo, all good choices for a great driver. The '84 Caprice proved to be a good donor car for the entire build.
But attitude can't be purchased; that lies in the eye of the builder, and when Bill Meadows decided on a flattened black finish it wasn't to cover shoddy bodywork. Bill prepared the panels to the same level as a gloss-black paintjob before the suede was laid down. Body mods were limited to shaving emblems and trim pieces and the addition of a later-model Ford tailgate. The tailgate was found hanging in a garage, it seems the owner had bought a new 1970 Ford and installed a camper, which required removing the tailgate. The tailgate had been hanging in the garage since the day the truck was purchased.
After some discussion, it was agreed that simplicity with attitude was the goal and green would be the color.
Installing a front clip can sometimes be tricky when it comes to ride height, but Bill Meadows and Mike Davis nailed the stance and then mounted the steel wheels from the '84 Caprice donor car with wide whites and spider caps for even more attitude. Inside the truck, the simple approach continued with a traditional black and light gray rolled and pleated interior and set of New Vintage Series 35 gauges in the stock dash. A Moon tach mounted atop the dash adds hot rod flavor, while Vintage Air provides cabin comfort. A stock shifter on the Chevy S-10 steering column handles gear selection. A three-spoke wheel adds '60s flavor and the truck was basically complete.
At this point the old '61 pickup no longer looked like a junkyard dog, it was a pretty sinister truck, but Bill knew it needed more, and so the truck was brought to longtime friend and fellow hot rodder Bob Lathery for some of his great graphics.
After some discussion, it was agreed that simplicity with attitude was the goal and green would be the color. The entire truck is black and white with the exception of the apple-green pinstriping and lettering, and it turned out to be the perfect accent for the truck. The vintage-style scallops plant this truck firmly in the early '60s and door lettering brings you back to the day of shop trucks sporting hand-painted doors. The results are a truck that has that perfect hot rod attitude and the ability to be driven daily. Building a truck with this kind of attitude and a clean look is often simple, but not easy.
1961 Ford F-100
Frame: Ford with '84 Caprice front clip, C-notched rear rails
Rearend / Ratio: 9-inch / 2.56
Rear suspension: leaf springs/lowered
Rear brakes: stock drum
Front suspension: '84 Chevy Caprice
Front brakes: Caprice disc
Steering box: '84 Caprice
Wheel covers: Caprice rims and spider caps
Front wheels: 15x7
Rear wheels: 15x7
Front tires: 205/75R-15 Diamond Back
Rear tires: 225/70R-15 Diamond Back
Gas tank: stock Ford
Make: Chevrolet 350 crate motor
Valve covers: GM
Manifold / Induction: Edelbrock
Headers: ram's horn manifolds
Exhaust / Mufflers: Flowmasters
Transmission: Chevrolet 350 turbo
Transmission: Chevrolet 350 turbo
Shifter: GM column
Modifications: shaved emblems and trim, smoothed rear top seam
Hood: stock, shaved
Grille: chrome '61 Ford
Bodywork: by Bill Meadows
Paint type / Color: hot rod black satin from Keystone
Painter: Bill Meadows
Graphics: Bob Lathery
Headlights / Taillights: original
Bumpers: new chrome
Dashboard: stock steel dash
Gauges: New Vintage Series 35
Stereo: Sony, Kenwood speakers
Air conditioning: Vintage Air
Wiring: EZ Wiring
Steering wheel: Cal Custom w/bullet
Steering column: Chevy S-10
Seats: '93 Chevy 1500
Upholstery by: Mahans Auto Upholstery
Material / Color: black and light gray vinyl
Carpet: black loop