Truck lovers come to the vintage-vehicle hobby for a variety of reasons. Some own an old truck because it has been in the family for a long time. Others find their passion for vintage haulers based on more personal reasons. Denise Welch and her husband Don were Harley-Davidson motorcycle fans until an unfortunate riding accident put Denise in the hospital for an extended stay. Her broken back and the resulting pain were ultimately responsible for a decision to forgo two-wheel cruising for a more stable four-wheel highway cruiser.
The Welches' story began when a friend, Don Gillis, purchased this red and black '60 Ford F-100 from a Puyallup auction several years ago and began a variety of mechanical upgrades, including a complete mid-'80s Chevrolet Chevelle chassis. With much of the project complete a short year later, he agreed to sell the F-100 pickup to Don and Denise. Don continued the upgrades to the truck's current condition with a few more minor improvements and detailing.
Denise says the Ford F-100 is great fun to drive and gets plenty of attention on the roads around the Tacoma, Washington, area where she lives. One reason it drives so well is the mid-'80s Chevelle car chassis under the truck. Oh, it's still powered by a '71 Ford 351W engine hooked to a C4 transmission-Don states that the Welch blood runs Ford Blue.
The detail that initially caught our eye was the mid-'50s Ford side trim airbrushed on the side of the truck to separate the two-tone color scheme. Later we noticed the molded front and rear pans and all the molded body seams (including the cab)-and finally, the custom velour interior. We thought the truck sat nicely on the Luxor Wire chrome wire wheels and made appropriate high-performance sounds when the 351W engine was running. As a result, we selected Denise's F-100 for a CCT Top Ten Truck award.
One of our job benefits is getting to travel around the country to events where we get to meet many friendly and interesting members of our hobby. We were pleased to have met Don and Denise Welch in Puyallup-and glad that her truck was not purple. We'd have been tempted to create some dumb pun about Denise Welch's grape Ford F-100 that's refreshing to the eyes! Whoops! We did it anyway!