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A ’65 F-100 Riding the Patina Wave 

The great Jeff Spicoli from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” once said, “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.” At a time in life when more is valued as more, it’s refreshing to think back to Spicoli’s ode to simplicity and keep in mind how little we really need in order to be truly content. 

Joe Parks of Livonia, Michigan, can relate to this sentiment in his own way. Although he doesn’t surf (that we know of, anyway), his equivalent of tasty waves would be a wide-open highway. And the cool buzz? Well, that sound is most likely coming from his 1965 F-100’s factory AM stereo—but the fact that he is still rocking this audio relic is proof that he is choosing to focus on the greater picture when it comes to enjoying his classic Ford pickup.

Joe didn’t need all the expensive bells and whistles to fully appreciate his old truck. Of course, there were some key elements required to get it looking right and operating as it should, but that goes without saying. His attention was locked in on quality over quantity, as well as staying true to his number one demand from the build of his F-100—to create a fun weekend car show cruiser. That’s it! Things just don’t get much simpler than that, folks.

To help Joe reach his goal for the Ford, Mike Copeland of Diversified Customs in Brighton, Michigan, first became familiar with Joe’s vision and then devised a plan to get the job done with utmost accuracy. Joe wanted to see his F-100 sit much lower than its factory ride height, but he didn’t want air suspension. Since he planned to drive it to as many events as possible during the show season, Mike suggested performance suspension components in the way of QA1 double adjustable coilovers all around, as well as a rear 4-link system for optimum ride quality. Before any of the new components were installed, however, the factory 57-year-old chassis was braced, boxed, and powdercoated to ensure for the F-100’s foundation was ready for its newfound life on the road.

With the F-100’s suspension setup beefed up and updated to Joe’s desire, there were still a few more finishing touches to get it completely dialed in. The truck still needed the right set of wheels, and Joe wanted to see the truck rolling on a classic looking set but in a more modern size. A set of 20-inch Detroit Steel Wheels proved to be the perfect solution. With the exception of emergencies, Joe didn’t plan on trailering his truck anywhere, so a good set of tires was also imperative. To cover the plus-sized steel wheels, nicely proportioned 255/45R20 Nitto 555 rubber was selected due to its overall high performance ratings. To bring the Ford to a smooth and reliable halt, the factory braking systems were replaced with a fresh heap of Wilwood performance parts.

Breaking and slowing down are important and necessary functions for all vehicles to possess, but Joe envisioned hauling some serious ass given the ideal opportunity to do so safely. Knowing the F-100’s ancient, factory-equipped engine just wasn’t going to hack it, Joe requested that Mike locate and prep a much more capable power plant. The 2015 Ford Coyote 5.0L unit that was chosen would ultimately stand as the best engine for the job. The need for everyday reliability was achieved, and so was Joe’s need for power and speed. Plus, this modern engine looks absolutely killer underneath the hood. Most people might expect to find a crude, oil-leaking motor sluggishly powering this ’65, so the clean cut Coyote mill actually places Joe’s F-100 into the category of being a legitimate sleeper performance pickup. Fun fact: It’s always cool to hold the element of surprise up your sleeve.

The reason folks might not expect to find Joe’s Ford to be powered by such a beast of an engine is the outward appearance of the truck, frankly. This F-100 is the epitome of why you should never judge a book by its cover (because this book could blow the doors off of most pickups in its class). Joe didn’t need to finish his truck with a shiny paintjob, because he actually prefers the natural patina on the worn Arcadia Blue color. Aside from the aftermarket chrome bumpers, the exterior of this classic Ford truck is as original as you can ask for. Fans of that rusty barn find appearance will fall in love with these authentic brushstrokes that only Mother Nature can produce. If ‘perfectly imperfect’ was an actual dictionary listing, you had better believe this truck would be printed right there on that page too.

With Joe’s plan to spend as much time on the driver portion of the bench seat, he thought it wise to request Mike of Diversified to spend some time renovating inside the cab as well. Nothing too extensive was placed on the slate to be done, but what was completed did make a big difference to the interior space. The original bench seat was ripped out and reinforced with fresh foam and padding before it was recovered in teal and white colored leather hides. Modest door panels were also stitched up and new carpet was laid down for continuity’s sake, but other than that, the interior remained untouched. Well, the new Classic Instrument gauge does look pretty cool in the dash, but it’s not the first thing you’d take notice of, but that was the whole point. Oh, and Joe does plan on replacing the truck’s old AM stereo with a newfangled head unit sometime soon. Good tunes are a must for a cruise of any length.

While this ’65 F-100 has been radically redesigned, it was done so with wonderful subtly placed right at the center. While the truck isn’t exactly what Joe would consider to be “complete,” the overall demeanor of the truck will not change much at all when he is finally done. While this style of project isn’t the route all builders embark upon, it was the exact type that Joe was interested in, and he stayed true to that from the start to its current state.


 

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