I SOMETIMES MAKE inappropriate jokes about what I call the “color chart” when referring to a buddy’s skin color and the way that person is treated in different circumstances. I know, I know, it’s not the politically correct thing to do, but it sure does make for a good laugh when giving a friend a hard time; and if you’ve spent any time at all with my group of friends, then you better have good jokes and thick skin.
Well, the reason I mention this is that the joke can be easily transferred over to custom trucks and car builds. The color you choose for your custom truck can affect everything from its ability to be pictured in a magazine to its resale value. Pick the wrong hue and you just might be forgotten about or dropping that asking price when it comes time to sell and start a new project.
Scott mentioned he had sworn off detailed builds like this; he cautioned the complexity, commitment and patience involved.
Scott Young will never be victim to those circumstances considering he’s painted his last 20 projects the same bright color from GM called Torch Red. It has been used by the General for decades and is mostly seen on the Corvette. What a lot of people don’t realize is that Torch Red was also a name used by Ford Motor Company back in the mid-’50s for its new sports car called the Thunderbird. Red seems to be synonymous with performance and definitely can add value to a custom vehicle (when done right). In the car world, we sometimes even call this hue “Resale Red.”
Scott, a retired general contractor, knows the benefits of making the right decisions when it comes to projects. In his spare time, he has built everything from C10s to Cadillacs, all in that signature red. So, when it came time for him to really test his skills and try his hand at a high-end classic Ford truck build, he chose a truck he’s had in his stable for more than 30 years now. He bought this 1964 Mercury M-100 from a local auto auction sale in North Carolina. Scott explained that back then no one wanted the off-brand Ford truck. So, he was able to pick up the 40,000-mile truck in excellent condition for only a couple thousand dollars. Hell, he even drove it around for a couple of years before he started to tear into it. The original plan was to build a smooth and completely shaved hot rod custom. As time went on and the project lingered, he decided on a little different direction to what you see here.
Scott started with a completely stock truck and really had no need for major rust repair or looking for donor parts. In fact, it was the opposite—early on into the project he thought he was going to build a different kind of truck, so he actually sold a bunch of the factory badging. Now, of course, he regrettably wishes he had not made that decision. Nonetheless, the project continued on its new path to become a hot rod truck with timeless style. To achieve this goal the truck was entrusted to Tony Sigman in Hickory, North Carolina. Tony massaged the body with countless hours to make every gap right and every body panel flow to the next. Among the custom touches were details like shaved drip rails, welded up factory seams, a shaved cowl, reformed running boards and widened rear fenders. To complement all these custom touches are the tucked and smooth bumpers, along with the original chrome pieces like the door handles, badges and, of course, the stunning front grille, all reworked by S&H Chrome. We all know that a good-looking body has to have a great stance and ride, too.
Scott took it upon himself to tackle the chassis work. Connecting to the stock frame is a Fatman Fabrication Mustang II front end and a No Limit Engineering four-link rear suspension, all being dampened by adjustable Koni coilovers. Hung under that rear suspension is the built Ford 9-inch housing completed with 4.11 gears and a Detroit Locker for those mandatory dual line take-offs. Fixed to the suspension on all four corners are the Master Power disc brakes powered by the frame mounted master cylinder also from MP. To stiffen up the chassis and clean things up, the entire frame was boxed in, and then provisions for the wiring and fuel lines were made to keep the frame clean after final assembly.
To power this rare M-100, Scott opted for a Blue Oval big block in the form of 514 cubic inches. Being fed by the 850 cfm Holley, this engine makes great power. That power is flowed through a set of Jet Hot ceramic coated Hooker headers then through the custom 2.5-inch stainless exhaust that exits just before the rear tire. To keep this power planted to the asphalt, a set of Goodyears were mounted on the beautifully polished Billet Specialties wheels sizing up at 18×8 and 20×10 respectively.
As your eyes move around the truck, you can’t help but notice the flawless interior produced by Custom Carswell Trim Shop in Hickory, North Carolina. The entire interior is covered in red leather to match its exterior, but the beautiful details such as the smoothed dash and custom floorboard with stainless-steel strips steal the show. In fact, the interior is done so well that you would think that items like the door pulls and bench seat are factory. This is where a veteran builder like Scott knows what works; the door pull is actually a microwave door handle, and that seat is out of a ’89 Ford F-150. With some clever alterations, these items look at home in the cabin of this early truck. Other interior pieces to take note of inside this reliable hot rod are the Dakota Digital gauges, Vintec steering wheel by Billet Specialties and the stainless steering column by Flaming River. Every piece adds just enough detail to its solid design.
Speaking of details and design, we have to revisit the build details and the paint one last time. Mentioned earlier is the Torch Red paint by PPG. What we didn’t talk about is the extremity of the paint work done to this M-100. Not only does the exterior drip in the glossy hue, but so does everything else you can’t see. The entire frame was smoothed and painted, and the underbody has just as many hours and attention to detail as the topside. In fact, even the underside of the hood took over 100 hours to smooth and get ready for paint.
“If it’s not red, then its chromed,” Scott says.
Well, he’s not lying. Everything from the engine intake to the hood hinges, from the front control arms to the rear suspension bars, from the floor strips to the bed strips, are all a high luster polish or chrome. Perhaps the most astonishing thing you can’t see is the bottom side of the bed floor; it is a mirror image to the topside. When Scott hand-built the curly maple bed strips and laid them in, he used two sets of stainless strips so that the bottom side would look like the top side.
Scott mentioned he had sworn off detailed builds like this; he cautioned the complexity, commitment and patience involved. However, he stated that he wanted to build a truck that could compete with the best of them. Well, for a guy who said, “I’ll never build a detailed project like that again,” Scott Young sure does go back on his word in a good way. I have a feeling he won’t have a hard time getting rid of this Mercury if he wanted to try another build again, after all… it is “Resale Red.”
SCOTT AND ABBY YOUNG
1964 Mercury M-100
Hickory, North Carolina
- Stock frame boxed in and smoothed
- Fatman Fabrication Mustang II IFS front
- No Limit Engineering 4-link rear
- Koni coilovers
- 514 ci big block Ford
- 850 cfm Holley
- C4 automatic transmission
- Ford 9-inch rear end with 4.11 gears and Detroit Locker
- 2.5-inch custom exhaust
- Billet Specialties – Vintec
- 18×8 front / 20×10 rear
- Goodyear Eagle
- 235/50-18 front
- 295/40-20 rear
- PPG Torch Red
- Smoothed and tucked bumpers
- Widened rear fenders
- Shaved drip rails
- Custom running boards
- 1988 Ford F-150 reshaped bench seat
- Torch Red leather
- Custom floorboards with stainless strips
- Dakota Digital instrumentation
- Shaved dash
- Custom door handles
- Billet Specialties steering wheel