Form versus function. Sometimes a truck's functional aspects clearly distract from its otherwise flowing form. While the necessities of most serviceable components are often clear, there's usually a way to overcome the aesthetic flaws without losing any of the operational features-for instance, shaved door handles or, in this case, hidden gate latches.

For most non-resto trucks, heavy-duty tailgate chains are not only unnecessary, they're also hard on paint and often quite an eyesore. Installing hidden hinges and supports straps from Bruce Horkey's Wood and Parts can clean up the appearance and still leave a functioning tailgate. The conversion is relatively straightforward, though minor fabrication work is required, thus repainting will ultimately be mandatory once all is said and done.

The following install was performed on a custom-style F-100 tailgate, one which Horkey's offers without the chain eye brackets welded in. For the end user who wants hidden latches, this gate offers the bonus of not having to perform the modification themselves. That said, the latches can easily be integrated on any stock F-100 or other Ford, Chevy-GMC, or Dodge tailgate. (Horkey's latches are a direct fit for '39-55 Dodge low-side and '37-52 Ford tailgates, eliminating the need for the sleeve install.)