The older you get, the more you cling to things from your youth. Sometimes it's enough to sit down and watch a movie from your childhood that came on TV or hang out with some friends from high school and reminisce about the mischief you used to get into. Other times you want to have something tangible. Many of us regret getting rid of a car or truck from our youth, be it whether it was by obligation or choice at the time, and later start thinking about what it'd be like to have that vehicle again and do the things to it we couldn't when we had it originally. Jim Stone of Alto Pass, Illinois, is one of those guys who wanted to catch up with his youth and relive those good times once more.
Back in the day, Jim worked on a dairy farm in exchange for a '66 Ford F-100. Not long after that he threw a '71 Boss 302 and four-speed tranny from his friend's wrecked Mustang into the '66 and his good times definitely hit full throttle. After a few years, the truck had become pretty banged up and he decided to part ways with it, but those memories hung in there and Jim began hunting down another '66. He tracked one in fair condition down on eBay in Wichita, Kansas, and began the two-year process of recapturing his youth one cubic-inch at a time.
Jim wasn't about to skimp on horsepower or performance. After tearing the truck down to its bare frame, he began going through his old Hot Rod magazines for some inspiration and direction on the latest and best go-fast goodies. The frontend sports a Fatman Stage 3 with QA1 coilovers. Disc brakes at all four corners are 11-inchers and come courtesy of Master Power. Out back you'll find a Fatman four-link with QA1 coilovers as well as a Panhard bar. The stock 9-inch rearend was fitted with a third member from Quick Performance and packed with 3.50 gears that turn the 31-spline Moser rear axles.
For underhood power, Jim purchased a crate, FAST EZ EFI-equipped 302 from Engine Factory in Lebanon, New Jersey. The turnkey unit featured a serpentine belt system, Elgin cam, Speed-Pro pistons, and Edelbrock heads and dual-plane manifold. An MSD ignition keeps the spark alive, while Mark 7 fans and radiator keep everything cool and Patriot headers dump spent fumes through Flowmaster mufflers. An AOD trans from Gearstar with a 2,200-2,400 stall converter keeps all that power pushed to the rear Cragar 8-inch SS mags (with 7-inchers up front) wrapped in Cooper rubber.
When it comes to the exterior mods, Jim wanted to stay pretty true to stock styling, so the gas tank was moved under the bed, the antenna taken out, and side moldings removed before painting it DuPont Toyota Super Red. The white oak planks for the bed were milled by Jim's friend over at Walt's Woodworking, while he got the strips from Mar-K, and the rails and hardware kit from Bed Wood and Parts.
For the '66's cockpit, not much resembles the original setup. An ididit column sports a Lecarra wheel, all residing next to a Dakota Digital dash. The original radio location now holds the Classic Auto Air controls just above the custom console holding the Alpine stereo system. Seats are out of a '65 Mustang and wrapped in faux leather. A Ron Francis wiring kit keeps electronics plumbed to all the aforementioned components as well as the Kenwood subwoofer and electric windows.
Like many of us who get a second crack at taking our memories to the street, Jim built this quick pickup simply with the intention of reliving what the license plate says: good times. But like many of those old memories, they wouldn't be possible without a few friends. Jim wanted to extend a special thanks to Dave Eaves at Lick Creek Motor Sports and his friends at Sling Blade Performance for lending a hand in the completion of this fine '66. We hope all involved are hitting Jim up for a chance behind the wheel at some point.
Like many of us who get a second crack at taking our memories to the street, Jim built this quick pickup simply with the intention of reliving what the license plate says: good times.