We hear plenty of stories from owners about project cars that began as clean drivers. Then somehow the project takes a turn for the expensive and extended build. Guys are often embarrassed to say how much money, time, and energy they've spent to complete these projects. However, in many of the cases, the results are something they can be proud of.
Tom Seymour of Fullerton, California, originally purchased his '65 Ford Ranchero to transport his custom motorcycles. The car/pickup was his daily driver for about seven years. The instant he decided to install a more potent engine and upgrade the suspension, trouble began to fall like softball-size hail. The suspension shop ruined the pickup when they cut out the floor of the unibody while it was jacked up at all four corners. The engine, on the other hand, was a killer early-Ford 302, punched out to 347ci displacement with a Kenne Belle blower stuffing mixture into ceramic-coated combustion chambers.
Somewhat disgusted, Tom yanked the damaged pickup out of the suspension shop and took it to Kevin Bollinger at Performance Restoration Services for a complete makeover. Bollinger proceeded to reconstruct the chassis from 2x3-inch mild steel tubing, installing a Mustang II IFS and a 9-inch Ford rearend with a four-link suspension.
The body was given the full lift treatment as well, shaving the door handles and making all the door gaps uniform. Other little street rod touches include smoothing the bumpers (removing bolts) and building wheel tubs into a custom bed floor. The rear wheelwells were also opened up to create room for 20-inch wheels and rubber with a little bit of sidewall.
After the body panels were as straight as an arrow, well-known Westminster, California, painter Pete Santini sprayed House of Kolor Black over the entire body and masked for Black Cherry flames over the front panels. In the bright sunlight the cherry flames are quite visible. But in even light or indoors, they are more subtle.
We don't often see such a clean Ranchero street rod pickup, let alone one with this much attention to the little details that make it more than a quality restoration. This pickup hauls well and looks good doing it! And it has all the creature comforts to make it a favorite when it's time to choose which one of his over half-dozen rides to use for the day. Tom's reconstructed Ranchero is another fine example of turning lemons into lemonade.
White-face Auto Meter analog gauges mounted in a polished stainless steel panel keep Tom i
Hand-built inner fender panels are just the tip of the iceberg. The engine's alcohol/water
The bottom is as well-detailed as the top. Valley Head Service handled the engine build. H
We've never seen a mere Ford Falcon Ranchero with this level of body and paint preparation
The House of Kolor Black Cherry flames, applied by Pete Santini, are more noticeable in br
The black leather interior features a GT 350 steering wheel, '98 Mustang bucket seats, and