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Steve Mills has had a few nice Ford trucks in his lifetime, including a ’68 that was featured in the inaugural F-100 Builder’s Guide. Looking for his next project, he decided he wanted a truck that was born the same year as he was: 1960. After scouring the Internet and social media for a few weeks, Steve found a 1960 F-100 that had been tucked away in a barn in Riesel, Texas, that suited his requirements—original and primo patina! 

So, the journey began, but with an added bonus for Steve and the man who sold it to him. Once he made his way down to Riesel to take delivery the pickup, he learned some interesting things about the owner. As the conversation went on, it was revealed that the truck was still owned by the man who purchased it new from a dealership in Waco, Texas. In addition, the owner was a World War II veteran, and the truck had a long, memorable history with him and his family on their farm. 

Once Steve returned home with the ’60, it was time to put a plan together for the build. This is where he chose another veteran, KC at KC’s Paint Shop in Burleson, Texas, to foster the build. KC may not be a military veteran, but he is well-known in the classic car and truck scene as one of the shops to go to. One day, Steve and KC were talking about the build and KC mentioned he was about to order a few Roadster Shop chassis for some builds he had in the shop. Steve basically replied, “That’s a no-brainer. Get me one, too!” At that point, the foundation for the project was on order and would arrive at KC’s in no time.

Of course, the REVO Spec chassis came with all the goodies, including tubular upper and lower control arms, four-bar rear suspension, coilovers, and a Ford 9-inch housing with 31-spline axles and a nodular center section with 3.70 gears and Trutrac to keep both tires spinning at the same time. Stopping the F-100 are 14-inch rotors with Wilwood 6-piston calipers on all four corners, and a manual Wilwood master cylinder setup applying the pressure. Finally, the chassis was tastefully powder-coated satin black to blend in seamlessly with the patina of the truck.

Now that the foundation was set, Steve needed to decide on what powertrain he was going to install in the ’60. Analyzing all the options, Steve chose none other than a 2016 Ford Racing 5.0 Coyote crate engine with the bulletproof 6R80 automatic transmission. As usual, Mr. Mills could not leave well enough alone, so he contacted Stang-Hi Performance in Gonzales, Louisiana, to put a tune on the 5.0 and squeeze a little more power out of it. Feeding the fuel to the beast is an Aeromotive tank and EFI fuel pump. Directing the exhaust fumes out the tail end of the truck are factory Mustang exhaust manifolds that have been ceramic-coated and connected to a full 3-inch ceramic-coated exhaust system including Stainless Works mufflers, giving it just the right tone.

With the chassis and drivetrain complete, it was time to get the sheetmetal ironed out and set in place. While Steve enjoys his freshly painted ’68 mentioned earlier, it was his desire to have the perfect patina truck. Since the ’60 was stored in the barn for the last 23 years, Steve got his wish. Even though the patina was right on the outside, there were some things that Steve wanted “fresh” on the truck. To begin, the guys at KC’s fabricated new inner wheel wells and a firewall in the engine compartment. In addition, they made a new cab floor to incorporate a trans tunnel for the massive 6R80 and driveshaft. Once the front inner sheetmetal was in order, the guys moved to the bed, where they masterfully bead-rolled some side panels that matched up the Slosh Tubs wheel wells. Tying everything together is a wood floor from Mar-K. With all the new sheetmetal in place, KC applied a nice satin black to blend in with the patina exterior. Speaking of the exterior, Steve wanted to ensure the patina was enhanced and preserved to perfection, so he used a couple of products from Sweet Patina to do so. First the truck was scuffed and washed, then Patina Sauce Preserver was applied with a coat of Happy Ending to perfectly highlight the years of mother nature and hard farm work. Since the guys at KC’s did such a beautiful job with the engine compartment, Steve wanted to make sure nothing was in the way of the view. That is where a forward tilting hood kit from Copper State Components came in, which was installed by KC as well. 

After perfecting the outside of the truck, it was time to focus on the inside, so Steve sent the truck over to PG Upholstery in Haltom City, Texas. Getting to work on the inside, PG artfully covered the Wise Guys seat and door panels in custom leather, including tastefully done basket weave inserts combined with metal lathe-turned inserts that match the instrument cluster face. Speaking of instrument clusters, Speed Hut gauges fill the dash to give Steve all the vital information needed when cruising the truck. PG completed the interior by finishing off the custom-built speaker enclosure and amplifier mount behind the seat. Relicate German weave carpet covers the custom cab floor for a modern touch, with custom door sill plates from Copper State Components mentioned earlier. All the weather and wind noise are sealed out with a seal kit ordered from Precision Products. The stereo was completed with JL Audio components, including the Bluetooth unit, amplifier, 12-inch subwoofer and component speakers, all installed by Brusome Designs in Haltom City, Texas. KC’s guys finished off the climate control with a Restomod Vapir II unit controlled by Restomod AC controls. Sound and heat control is a Restomod Membrane, which was installed before the interior work began.

With the build nearing its completion, it was time to select the rolling stock to add the final touch. Steve wanted that classic look, so he chose 19-inch billet Budnik smoothies topped off with classic mid-’50s style Ford dog dish caps. 275/35R19 and 335/30R19 Nitto tires wrap the wheels perfectly and keep the ’60 hugging the road on long cruises. 

During the build, Steve maintained contact with the veteran’s family. Steve would periodically send them pictures and update them on what he was doing so they could show their father. As the relationship with the family grew, Steve has arranged to take the truck back to the original owner so he could see what his truck turned into and take him for a ride. While that has not happened at the time of writing this article due to the pandemic and the family’s wishes for the OG’s health, Steve made it clear that the upcoming day for “the ride” is absolutely his favorite part of the build, and he cannot wait for the time with the veteran while taking a cruise. In the meantime, Steve plans to cruise the back roads of Texas and hit every car show he can!