Sort of like playing chess, the truck game (as some of us call it) is a fun one to play after you get some experience in the bag. You need to always make sure you’re thinking a few steps ahead, whether you’re budgeting to keep expenses on track or planning out your project build so you know exactly which steps to follow to move forward. Buying, selling and trading custom trucks is definitely part of this game. You always need to be able to see the potential in what you have and the value in what someone else is bringing to the table.

Pope’s Hot Rods is one of the key players in this game of ours. The crew there is known for their quality and craftsmanship, which goes for both the trucks that they fully build in-house as well as the trucks they take in just to do a few things to and then buy/sell/or trade to keep it moving. No matter which way they slice it, they know how to take a Ford truck to the next level.

One of the trucks they built awhile back—a 1969 Ford F-100 Ranger triple black with some beautiful chrome wheels—was a definite looker. Being in the Ford truck game specifically, a lot of people know Brian Pope and his trucks, so he tends to do a lot of trading. One of his good friends and previous clients saw the black ’69 and just had to have it.

At the time, the client was working on his own 1966 F-100. He painted the interior, installed some Mustang bucket seats and a beautiful wood bed floor, satin clear-coated the patina, and did a bunch of little odds and ends. But after seeing Pope’s black ’69, he just fell in love. The ’66 was not a finished truck, but Brian sure had a vision for it. They worked out a deal, and the ’66 became part of the Pope’s Hot Rods fleet.

The 390ci FE engine and three speed trans are enough to keep this cruiser moving.

One thing that can never be left alone for the PHR guys is the stance. It just has to be sitting right and on a killer set of wheels. The first thing the crew did was lower the truck and set it down on a set of 18-inch staggered American Racing Shelby Wheels to give it a much more aggressive look. That drastically changed the look of the truck and it quickly gained Brian’s PHR seal of approval.

Next on the list was to add some working A/C. Everyone enjoys riding in a classic truck with the windows down, but it sure can get warm in the south, so A/C is a must for a daily driver. PHR also installed all new glass and weather-stripping. One thing a patina truck needs is a nice interior, so it was completely refinished. The 390 and three-speed transmission were strong as the truck really had great bones. Mechanically the truck was sound, so after a good detailing under the hood and underneath, she was ready to hit the road.

1966 Mustang bucket seats fit perfectly for added cabin comfort.

The truck was built as a shop cruiser. Show trucks are great, but most won’t go to the grocery store or the lumber yard. This 1966 F-100 now has the perfect patina and stance and is ready for the road ahead.

Come to find out—as the truck game goes—the ’66 is now sold and yet another customer gets to enjoy her. Welp, trucks come and go, but the people that you meet along the way and the relationships that form last a lifetime!


Brian Pope
Pope’s Hot Rods
1966 Ford F-100 Custom Cab
Smyrna, TN


  • Stock chassis with bolt-on lowering mods
  • Twin I-beams up front lowered with DJM dream beams
  • Rear drop shackles


  • 390ci FE Motor
  • Three-speed transmission
  • Ford 9-inch rear


  • American Racing Shelby Wheels
  • 18×9 front and 18×10 rear
  • Toyo Tires


  • Factory two-tone with 53 years of patina buffed and satin clear coat applied
  • Custom wood bed floor


  • 1966 Mustang bucket seats
  • Classic Auto Air A/C