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TIMING IS EVERYTHING!

Text by Kevin Whipps
Photos by Index Ink

Brent Mivelaz of La Crescenta, California, has always been a car guy. Back in the early 2000s, he owned a ’63 C-10 that IF Customs laid out and converted from a long bed to a short bed—minus another 2 inches. It was a clean truck, but after a hit-and-run collision totaled it, Brent decided that it was time to move on. Unfortunately, life got in the way. Brent and his wife had their first child, and as anybody with kids knows, things get put on hold around that time. After all, it might be cool to eat Taco Bell every day when it’s just you, but babies don’t do too well on a steady diet of seven-layer burritos.

In the meantime, Brent satisfied his car dreams by scouring eBay and Craigslist for the best deals. Throughout the years, nothing really hit him quite right, until eventually he found a white unibody Ford F-100 that was static-dropped and selling for $8,000. Thing was, it was clear across the country, and even though he and his wife loved road trips, that was a little extreme. Instead, on a Friday afternoon, Brent’s wife told him, “If you can find one of those out here, then let’s buy it.”

Later that day, he took the family out for dinner in nearby Burbank. Since there’s history all over the place out there, they decided to cruise around some of the local neighborhoods to see what they could find. As luck would have it, they turned a few corners and found a bone-stock ’63 Ford unibody just chilling in someone’s driveway.

This had to be a sign. Literally hours before, his wife had given him the green light to buy an F-100, as long as it was on the West Coast. Now he had one right in front of him. He just had to convince the owner that he should become the next one. Brent scribbled a quick note offering to purchase the Ford, then drove home excited.

That excitement dwindled a bit in the coming days when he didn’t receive a call. Brent drove by the house a few times that week, checking to see if anyone had removed the note. By the following Thursday, someone had, and by Friday, they’d made a deal. Brent handed the man $3,800 and drove the truck home with his daughter in the passenger seat. It was perfect.

Except that it wasn’t; the truck in rough shape. The 223 straight-six with three on the tree was dogged on power, and the carb was leaking fuel onto the intake manifold. Although it had only 80,000 original miles, the vehicle began life as a captain’s truck for the City of Orange Fire Department, so who knew whether it was meticulously cared for or just left to rot. What Brent did know is that the guy he bought it from picked it up at an auction in 1992. He put 12,000 miles on it throughout the next 20 years, and Brent wasn’t sure if the oil had ever been changed. But the patina was perfect, and he loved the truck, so he figured he’d deal with the problems and make it his own.

The results after Brent got through with the truck are pretty spectacular, but likely quite a bit different from what you’d expect. Everything on the outside and inside is bone stock. That seat? Brent never re-covered it, that’s just the way it was when he bought the truck. The original bumpers are on both ends of the frame, and it doesn’t even have carpet. Other than the stance and a new bed kit, no one would ever know that the truck was anything special, not until they popped the hood.

As Brent told us, the truck is essentially a ’63 Ford on a Chevy chassis. The truck came with leaf springs all the way around, but after a lot of work and test fits, he received the first Porterbuilt kit ever made for these trucks, both front and rear. The engine was another find, and it came from a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado. All he did was ditch the intake manifold and replace it with one from an LS1, and he was good to go. All of that combined with an AccuAir e-Level kit and ’bags, has made one killer Ford.

The obvious question is what’s next? A lot of patina people either stay true to their finish or go nuts and paint it. Which way is Brent leaning? “Patina is easy, man,” he told us. “Some people just don’t get it.” He’s right. Not everybody understands how cool it is to own a truck that’s dented, beat up and not quite perfect, but those that do wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

Truck Specs

Owner:
Brent Mivelaz
1963 Ford F-100 Unibody
La Crescenta, CA

Engine:
2002 Chevrolet 5.3l LS V-8
240 hp
280 ft-lbs torque
2002 Chevrolet 4L60E automatic transmission
LS1 intake manifold
Magnaflow mufflers
3-inch stainless steel exhaust
Aluminum gas tank
1963-66 C-10 rearend

Chassis & Suspension:
Performed by Mitch Howe at Mitch’s Custom Fabrication in Covina, CA
Air Lift Dominator front airbags
Porterbuilt front Dropmember
Porterbuilt rear 4-link
Porterbuilt C-notch
Firestone F9000 rear airbags
AccuAir e-Level
CPP front spindles
CPP front and rear disc brakes
CPP brake booster
CPP master cylinder

Wheels & Tires:
22-inch Delmo Specials with powder-coated centers
255/30R22 Accelera tires

Body & Paint:
Crafty B gas cap
Custom wood bed floor
Factory Ford Red

Interior & Stereo:
Stock bench seat
Cloth/vinyl interior
Classic Auto Air AC