For Larry and Debbie Carew, it's hard to remember a time when this Ford F-100 was not part of the family. Debbie's father, Elvin Roach, wanted a pickup because he couldn't haul anything with his Willys Jeep, and bought the 1964 Styleside from the original owner when it was less than a year old. The only early upgrades were a CB radio and a pair of big rig air horns.
Elvin was an avid camper, so in addition to hauling things in the bed, the truck was frequently used to haul a travel trailer through the Northern California mountains. When the white paint started to wear, the 1964 was repainted yellow with black pinstripes. When the engine wore out, Elvin rebuilt it.
When Larry started dating Debbie, he was driving a 1966 Chevelle Super Sport, but Elvin's yellow F-100 caught his attention. He was usually able to talk Elvin into letting him borrow the truck, leaving the Chevelle for Elvin to drive. It was on one of those occasions, while sitting in the truck, that Larry proposed to Debbie. They got married in 1972. That same year, Larry started thinking about getting a truck of his own. He made an offer on the 1964, but Elvin declined. "It's not for sale, for any price," he said.
As the truck got older, Larry and Debbie encouraged Elvin to buy something newer. He wouldn't listen, insisting that his 1964 was the best truck around. By now there were grandchildren who loved the truck as much as the rest of the family. Whenever they heard the engine fire up or the air horns blast, they were out the door, ready to ride. When they were teenagers, they learned to drive behind the wheel of their grandfather's old truck.
In 1992, the F-100 was repainted back to the original white as a 72nd birthday present for Elvin. A few years later, Elvin gave the truck to Larry, with one condition—that it was to be kept in the family and never sold. Larry knew that if the truck was to last long enough for him to keep that promise it was going to have to undergo a renovation. Larry and Debbie met with Tom Pagano at Pagano Rod & Custom and told him what they wanted. In addition to the mechanical upgrades, they wanted to give the F-100 a look that reflected Elvin's sense of style.
Underneath, a Fatman Fabrications Mustang II frontend was added to the factory framerails, and a Ford 9-inch rearend was packed with 3.37 gears. Suspension duties are handled by Monroe shocks, plus front coil springs and rear leafs, with flipped spring hangers to lower the back of the truck. American Hopster wheels, measuring 20x10 and 18x8 are wrapped in 275/45R20 and 255/45R18 radials, with 11-inch front discs and rear drums providing stopping power.
After 264,000 miles, the factory 292 Y-block that Elvin had rebuilt three times was replaced by a Ford 302. A Pertronix ignition system fires the fuel and air provided by a Holley 600 carb and OEM intake. What's left exits through Hedman headers and Flowmaster mufflers. The Ford AOD transmission was assembled by Pro Built Transmissions in Sacramento.
The F-100 no longer wears white paint, nor does it wear hood badging or beltline trim strips. The body was stripped to bare metal, the seams were welded and filled, the driver-side fuel filler hole was filled, and every dimple and dent was smoothed. The bed was finished with Line-X and enclosed with a tonneau cover from Gaylord's. Painter Terry Lyttge at Pagano re-finished the sheetmetal with Brickyard Red paint from BASF's Foose Signature Collection. T.J. Pagano used his pinstriper's brush to add some nice lines. New glass, and chrome for the grille, helped freshen the outward appearance.
The paint is contrasted by two-tone tan leather inside the cab. Howdy Ledbetter covered the '86 Chevy truck bench and built matching door panels. Instruments, including the GPS speedo, are from Speedhut. The mahogany steering wheel is from Grant. A Vintage Air A/C system fills the cab with cool air. A Custom Autosound stereo with ARC Audio amps and speakers fills it with tunes.
The newly renovated 1964 F-100 won Ford Truck Pick at the 2013 West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton. At this year's Sacramento Autorama, it took First Place in the Mild Pickup class. Debbie knows that Elvin, who passed away in 2008, "must have been looking down with a smile on his face." Someday, in keeping with the deal they made, Larry will turn over the truck to Elvin's grandchildren with the same stipulation, that it be kept in the family and never sold, for any price.