When the winter holidays come around commerce seems to slow down in the hot rod community, well at least for Pope Hot Rods, in Smyrna, Tennessee, it does. Therefore, owner Brian Pope likes to begin a project during this time to keep the crew busy. Once finished, they use it for propaganda and send it on its way. Last year's project came in the form of this '66 Ford.

Ironically, this '66 had been floating around Brian's circle of friends for years before he acquired it. His reasons for finally picking it up were quite simple. Over the past few years, Pope's has built several of this genre of Ford's, which means they got this down to a science. On top of that, this truck was solid-both mechanically and sheetmetal wise. It was a no-brainer to make this a quick in-and-out project. Really the only question that puzzled Brian was how to do more with less. Here's what he came up with.

Popes Hot Rods have now built several of these year range Fords, so they have their chassis suspension setups pretty dialed in. Being that Brian believes these trucks were built to be driven, he likes to keep it that way. Instead of massaging the stock suspension, Brian ups the ante. 1966 Ford trucks came with twin I-beams, a good setup for trucks remaining trucks. But for those looking to enjoy the ride in their truck, a new solution needs to be summoned. Brian opts to use a Total Cost Involved Mustang II kit. The new Mustang II kit gives him everything needed to create a comfortable driver, including disc brakes and a much needed drop; via 2-inch drop spindles and springs. Along with the new suspension, the Ford also received Flaming River manual steering and power brakes. In the rear, the stock 9-inch was good to go, but in order to get things to sit right it needed to be flipped. Bilstein shocks give the truck a smooth, firm ride. Even the 390 motor was in decent shape, mechanically that is. It did need a cosmetic makeover and a new Pertronix ignition, but that was it. Same goes for the C6 tranny, it was good to go. A Lokar shifter was thrown on the tranny, but that was more for looks than anything.

Since Brian had already built several Ford trucks of this genre, he decided to build this one with a style not yet applied to any of his previous builds. He wanted something that was as basic and simple as it gets, only at the same time unique, different, and appealing. He decided to leave all the stock trim and ornamentation on the truck. With that settled it was time for paint. Not wanting a typical glossy finish, Brian decided to dull things down a bit and spray the truck single-stage black with a flattening agent. The final product is a sleek, satin finish. Emphasizing the traditional look of the satin paint is gloss black 15-inch Wheel Vintique reversed steel wheels with chrome spider caps. Adding to the theme are 15x8 Firestone whitewall cheater slicks out back, and 15x6 Firestone whitewalls up front. Still, Brian was looking for something to tie it all together. He decided that the truck needed just a touch of pinstriping. Instead of adding something that would separate itself from the satin black, he wanted something that would almost go unnoticed at first glance. Gloss black pinstriping was just what he was looking for.

Wanting some juxtaposition between the interior and exterior, Brian had to shift gears. Since he decided to go for an ominous dull exterior, he felt the interior should be as bright as possible. He chose the brightest red vinyl material he found at the local upholstery shop. Next, he picked a red shade of paint to match the vinyl, and sprayed the entire interior red. All other miscellaneous interior pieces were cleaned up and re-installed. As Lynyrd Skynyrd would put it, it's "nuttin' fancy," but it sure is rockin'.