Amazing at it may sound, this build started with something that regular readers of Custom Classic Trucks would see in The End? at the back of each issue. Mark Pierce of Maryville, Tennessee, first saw this 1961 Ford F-100 in the backyard of a friend of a friend's house. There it sat in '96 among several junked-out vehicles in the briars and overgrown vegetation. It had no engine or trans, and the hood was lying in the bed. Sitting for the past five years, it wasn't in that bad of shape, but with a price tag of $1,000, it was just too much at the time. Plus, Mark was busy with another project vehicle, and he doesn't like to work on two projects at the same time.
Fast-forward to '99. Mark was looking for a new project and thought about that old '61 F-100. Surprisingly, the truck was sitting in the same spot, waiting for someone to come along and make it whole again. After forking over the $1,000 asking price and dragging the hulk home, it was time to find a donor vehicle. At his great uncle's used tractor lot, he found an ideal donor in a '76 Lincoln Mark IV. With just 63,000 original miles, the 460ci engine and C6 tranny were worth the $800 alone, not to mention all the other components he eventually pirated for the F-100.
Mark modified the frame himself by grafting on the Lincoln's entire clip. To keep the ride nice and compliant, all the stock components were kept in place, from wheel hub to wheel hub. Speaking of wheels, the black beauty rolls on Cragar SS wheels and Falken rubber. The fronts are 15x6s inside 205/70R15s, and out back are 17x9s inside 285/60R17s.
Sitting between the framerails are 460 cubes of Ford power. The engine was warmed up with 9.0:1 semi flat-top pistons and a Lunati 270-series cam inside the block. Air is ingested through a custom air cleaner, then mixed with fuel in a Holley 750-cfm carb, and finally the air/fuel mixture is distributed through an Edelbrock Performer manifold.
Backing the engine is the stock C6 tranny from the Lincoln. The driveshaft sends power to a 9-inch Posi rearend filled with 3.25:1 gears, also swapped over from the Lincoln. At the ends of the axle housing, the stock Lincoln disc brakes are plumbed with stainless lines. Rounding out the rear suspension, the stock leaf springs were hung on modified shackles to give the F-100 a menacing, raked stance.
Next it was time for Mark to tackle the bodywork. Along with all the required straightening the Ford body needed, he added some custom touches, such as taking 3 inches out of the front bumper and smoothing the tailgate. The most challenging part of the bodywork was designing and building the front-tilt hood, sort of a trademark of Mark's. It took three weeks to get it just right, and it looks like it came directly from the factory that way.
As with every vehicle Mark builds, he drives it two to three months before final paint and assembly to make sure all the components work properly, so when it's done, it's done. After all, isn't it the point to be able to enjoy many, many miles of trouble-free cruising? After the requisite shakedown, Mark sprayed the F-100 with DuPont Ebony gray base and topped it with clear.
The interior was put together with care on par with the rest of the truck. James Upholstery covered the stock bench seat with gray tweed and black vinyl. The door panels were also trimmed in matching tweed and vinyl. A Grant steering wheel sits atop the swapped-in Lincoln tilt steering column. A Balls power window kit replaced the stock manual setup. Road trips are made more enjoyable thanks to the Pioneer CD player and speakers.
Hitting the road is a common occurrence for Mark, as he attends several events and runs every year. Not only does he attend, but he comes home with hardware as well. This truck has taken home a Top 40 award four years in a row at the F-100 Supernationals and numerous awards at other local shows. From trash to treasure, Mark Pierce has built a truck anyone would be proud to call their own.
The owner-built Ford 460 is...
The owner-built Ford 460 is massaged and dressed up with parts from Lunati, Edelbrock, Holley, Ford Racing, and other custom bits.
Pioneer speakers can be found...
Pioneer speakers can be found in each of the lower black vinyl door panels. The gray tweed upper panel houses the switches for the Balls power window kit
Up front, the F-100 rolls...
Up front, the F-100 rolls on chrome Cragar SS 15x7s wrapped in Falken 205/70R15 rubber. Out back, the combo grows to 17x9s with 285/60R17s.
The Lincoln tilt column is...
The Lincoln tilt column is topped with a Grant steering wheel. Behind the wheel, the stock dash has been fitted with a Pioneer head unit to provide tunes while on the road to the next show.