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Riding The Waves

Scott Olsen has always had a soft spot for slammed F-100s. The Florida native finally pulled the trigger on building one of his own and his endgame was simple: Put together the ultimate beach cruiser. With a less-is-more approach and an appreciation for a weathered finish, that’s exactly what he did.

His ’66 sits on its original frame. It has been heavily modified to accommodate the stance, but it’s still built on Ford steel, nonetheless. One future aspect that Scott hopes to address is the rear notch section by either modifying it for even greater clearance or making the full-frame transition. The firewall-forward has been swapped out using a Camaro front clip. It may not be the first choice for purists around the world, but neither is setting a ’66 flat on the pavement! The use of Bowtie bits upfront makes for smoother-handling, lower and cheaper off-the-shelf parts more readily available. Being a ’66, this truck was originally blessed with the “Twin I-beam” badge. But as anyone who has slammed a Ford truck can tell you, the I-beams leave a lot to be desired. Slam Specialties airbags determine the distance between the ’66 and the earth at any given time and are fed by 3/8s-inch DOT line and a 5-gallon aluminum air tank for plenty of storage.

Scott Olsen hat put together one badass beach build. The bold OEM color of the ’60s, the modern accent pieces and the minimalistic amenities…

One of the coolest interiors we’ve seen. Custom pairs perfectly with classic.

The combination of rear cuts and Camaro clip allows Scott’s ’66 to fully tuck its Detroit Steel Delray wheels. The center section with rectangular perimeter cutouts make for the perfect accent finished in low-gloss gray. The center caps and lips are fully polished, and only a glimpse of the throwback wheels can be seen underneath the ground-scraping fenders when fully laid to the floor. Just behind them sit a full set of disc brakes for a comfortable and modern braking feel.

Doing its best to put the brakes to good use is a 351 Ford Windsor. The small-block V-8 is a staple of the American Ford community. It’s found its way into dozens of Ford models and innumerable customs throughout the decades. In 1966, the fourth generation F-100s were outfitted with either a 3.9L straight-six, 4.9L straight-six or 5.8L 352 V-8. For this 351 Windsor application, Scott selected the C4 automatic transmission. Shorty headers and a custom exhaust dump underneath the bed floor. The setup makes for a classic hot-rod feel and sound without being overly rowdy. Not many powertrains are better suited for beach cruisin’ duties.

Externally, the truck is a pleasant mixture of original finish and modern styles. It’s a throwback style fit for modern aesthetics. The bumpers, grille and most of the truck’s trim are left untouched. The natural surface patina ages like fine wine in the Florida climate. Rather than leave the entirety untouched though, Scott wanted a brilliant color, something to fit the build’s personality and purpose—namely, taking its time down the Florida coast. For this, he chose Caribbean Turquoise. Caribbean Turquoise is, in fact, a factory Ford color. It made its appearance on the F-100 lineup from 1960-1966, and again in 1968. The wonderful color was re-applied to Scott’s truck by Larry Kilburn at Kilburn Kustoms in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Larry manually aged the paint with strategic sanding, texturing and black lowlights. The “faux-tina” look is paired with a low-gloss gray roof to match the Detroit wheels.

The ’66 interior is similarly customized. It’s a mixture of natural and exaggerated aging with a bit of restoration and modern touch. The cabin interior is left in the original form. The bench seat was ditched in favor of a pair of Iron Ace seats. The bomber style buckets have become increasingly popular among the patina crowd and war-period hotrodders. The seats help to tie all the custom accents together. The dash is original but has been modified for a flush mount air-ride controller. This touch shows off its custom features but mimics what could be OEM placement.

The air lift controller retrofitted for ease of use and daily cruising duties.

Scott Olsen hat put together one badass beach build. The bold OEM color of the ’60s, the modern accent pieces and the minimalistic amenities—all of it works together on this timeless project to ensure it stays Caribbean Cruis’n!

Tech Specs

Scott Olsen
1966 F-100
Palm City, FL

Chassis & Suspension

  • Original chassis
  • C-notched
  • Camaro front clip
  • Slam Specialties airbags

Wheels & Brakes

  • Detroit Steel Wheel Co. Delrays, 20×8 inches
  • Front and rear disc brakes

Powertrain

  • Ford 351 Windsor SMB V-8
  • Custom exhaust
  • Ford C4 three-speed automatic transmission

Body & Paint

  • Painted low-gloss gray roof
  • Ford OEM Caribbean Turquoise respray
  • “Faux-tina” effects
  • Original patina trim and accessories

Interior

  • Iron Ace seats
  • Flush mount air-ride controller

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