Twenty-year-old Doug Miller is a diehard Ford guy, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. "I'm not even allowed to own anything else," he tells us. Like many brand loyalists, Ford runs through his blood-it's all they own in the Miller household. So when he decided he wanted a lean mean street machine, he knew which manufacturer to choose: Ford. The trick was which kind of Ford to get.
"Growing up, my dad and uncle always had a hot rod or two around, even race cars, so I knew I had to have one too." At 15 years old Doug wanted a car, but he was still up in the air as to what he would get. "At first I considered a Mustang; I figured that could be a lot of fun with a lot of power for my dollar." But soon Doug realized that Mustangs are like Honda Civics-everybody has one, and everybody thinks theirs is tricked out to the fullest. So how would Doug stand apart in a sea of not so spectacular run-of-the-mill cars? After a little bit more thinking, Doug decided what he was looking for was under his nose the whole time. And no, we're not talking about a bushy mustache, we're talking about the old workhorse 1966 Ford F-100 sitting in his own yard, which belonged to his father.
The goal was simple: Take his dad's workhorse and turn it into a show-class thoroughbred. "My dad bought this truck in 1990, and we used it to haul all kinds of stuff around the house, like mulch, firewood, old engines, fertilizer and car parts." He knew this truck was reliable, so cleaning it up was really all that was necessary in this case. But Doug still wanted more than your basic grocery getter. There was, however, no way in hell he would build a trailer queen. This old workhorse would cruise to the local shows in style on its own power. So a list was created and the project readied.
This particular '66 came pretty much stripped from the factory. It had manual steering, manual brakes, and one sunvisor strictly for the driver. Doug tells us, "I think it had a heater. I'm not sure. If it did we probably didn't use it anyway." The big-block 352 with C-6 transmission had enough power to move a house, it seemed. The truck ran great; it just needed some elbow grease to get it going-well, elbow grease and a new cab, to be exact.
A '64 donor truck was picked up for the cab in 2001, and the work began. They started by stripping the truck bare by removing all the components, including the body. A '84 Dodge diplomat frontend was added using torsion bars and sway bars with KYB gas-adjustable shocks. The steering and brake setup were also borrowed up front from an '84 Dodge. In the rear the stock '66 drum brakes were retained. Once painted and assembled it was time for some shoes, in this case, American Racing Torq-Thrust IIIs, 15x7 in the front and 15x8 in the rear. They were wrapped in BFGoodrich 215/60/15 rubber in the front and rear. This bad boy was ready to burn out, well, as soon as the powerplant went back in, that is
A rear view of Doug's '66 shows why more and more guys are building mid-'60s F-100s.
From the factory Doug's '66 was a base-model special ordered with a 352-inch big-block and
A freshly robbed '89 F-150 bench seat covered in maroon Ultra Leather serves as Doug's sea