In his early 40s, Billy Pool of Mineola, Texas, stepped up his lifelong interest in the automotive enthusiast lifestyle to become hands-on. It has been this way for Billy for the last 10 years or so, with this being the third vehicle he's put his personal stamp on. The first two were a '35 Ford street rod and a '60 Corvette. No doubt those past two projects helped Billy prepare for and understand what was in store for him during the three-year build time for his latest endeavor, a '53 Ford F-100. This custom classic truck was built to show-quality standards, so it made sense we discovered this copper jewel with the "top of the hill gang" at the 2007 F-100 Supernationals in Knoxville, Tennessee.
To give this truck a solid foundation, the 50-plus-year-old stock chassis was ditched in favor of a new one from Fat Man Fabrications. Billy stayed with Fat Man Fabrications and picked up a Mustang II frontend kit to replace the antiquated straight-axle setup. The suspension was finished up with quad Carrera coilovers, one at each corner. A Ford 9-inch rearend fitted with 3.00:1 gears relegated the stock unit to the junkpile. Chrome Boss wheels, 20x8s, and Nitto rubber, 245/35ZR20, complete the rolling chassis.
To feed the beast between the engine mounts, Billy installed a Mid-Fifty's 21-gallon gas tank between the 'rails. The beast between the mounts happens to be a GM crate 350. The 350 fires off courtesy of an Accel distributor sending a charge through Accel Super Stock plug wires. Dress-up items include a chromed intake manifold, valve covers, A/C compressor, and alternator. A TH350 transmission sends the power to the rear. The estimated 350 horsepower is muzzled with a pair of Flowmaster mufflers.
As for the beautiful copper candy-like shell, Billy would like to pass along his utmost appreciation to body man extraordinaire Marvin Cherney. The many, many hours Marvin spent massaging this truck are obvious by the glass-smooth panels and precision panel fitment. Among the major body mods completed include the shaved vent holes in the cowl, the filled gas filler hole when the tank was relocated, and the absence of all the emblems on the hood. With the body as smooth as a baby's butt, Marvin sprayed it in DuPont Copperhead paint.
A GM 350-inch crate motor provides plenty of motivation for this classic Ford.
This billet bulkhead for the heater and Vintage Air A/C lines cleans up the firewall.
Installing the MAR-K oak bed kit was a job Billy left for himself. With the inside gutted, it was the perfect time for Billy to rewire the electrics with a wiring harness kit from Painless Performance. With the wiring up to snuff, the custom dash was put back together, with the main update being the Dakota Digital gauge cluster. Black leather surrounds billet accents on the Flaming River Waterfall wheel sitting atop the tilt column. A Vintage Air system keeps Billy and his wife, Kim, cool during the hot and humid Texas summers. Billy installed power one-piece windows that help to keep as much of the A/C goodness inside the cab where it belongs.
For the rest of the interior work, Billy called upon Hatfield Restoration in Canton, Texas. The driver and passenger now sit in power-adjustable Wise Guys bucket seats Hatfield recovered in buff cashmere UltraLeather. Under the dash lies a custom center console wrapped in the same material. An Alpine AM/FM/XM/CD head unit provides a little ambiance when the mood strikes. The same matching leather also found its way onto the door panels, armrests, sunvisors, headliner, and back panel. A tasteful amount of billet is spread throughout the inside of the cabin in the form of A/C vent covers, door handles, column mount, stalk knobs, and center console cubbyhole surround.
Three years is a long but all-too-normal build time. Over the course of the build, Billy got help from a very talented group of people and companies to turn his '53 Ford F-100 into a stunner. So far he has garnered awards at the Goodguys Lonestar Nationals and the 2007 F-100 Supernationals. Billy wanted to pass along special thanks to Marvin Cherney for "his outstanding paint, body, fabrication, advice, and hundreds of hours of never-ending patience." In the last 10 years Billy has been able to build the cars he has had a passion for over his lifetime. We look forward to seeing what Billy comes up with over the next 10 years.
The Wise Guys bucket seats are covered in buff and cashmere UltraLeather.
The centerpiece of the dash is the Dakota Digital gauge cluster behind the Flaming River W
The owner-installed MAR-K oak bed floor complements the Copperhead paint nicely.