Joe Greeves
March 24, 2014

Creativity takes many forms and building a custom truck has to be one of our favorite examples. Whether you opt for a restored original or fabricate a high-horsepower screamer, it becomes a piece of modern art that will either blast you down the 'strip in the 10s or tote yer groceries home in style. Scott Winter from Germantown, New York, is the owner of this '63 Ford F-100 unibody and an artist by nature, owning his own textile, screen-printing, and embroidery business. Although he has been a lifelong automotive enthusiast, this is his first truck and as you can see, the vintage Blue Oval is anything but your average starter vehicle.

Getting into the game at the top, Scott is quick to point out that the adventure was made possible thanks to a pair of good friends: automotive enthusiast Kevin Schulstrum and ace welder, Larry Rich. The idea began with something near and dear to Winter, the '63 Ford that belonged to his grandfather, William Gronwoldt. Granddad bought it new in 1963 as a work truck for his apple farm. Scott drove the truck as a kid and had fond memories of cruising through the orchards. When his grandfather passed away, the farm and the truck became his. At the time, Scott had no use for the truck and sold it, but he had second thoughts and bought it back almost 20 years later. Rust had taken its toll, but it was still the perfect choice for Scott's plan to build a Pro Street truck. "I am a speed junkie," he said with a smile.

With some loosely defined plans that included a big-block, Pro Street chassis, and a series of body mods, work got underway with sheetmetal repairs that made the truck solid once more. Once the cab was stripped, it became the perfect time to create the 3-inch top chop.

"A fellow in Connecticut did an amazing job of cutting the windshield and the wraparound rear glass to fit the new opening," Scott told us. Part way through that process, the next big change was to stretch the cab and add the unique third door. That created a domino effect where the team removed and relocated the rear cab wall, added a Dodge van roof skin with visor, and filled in the passenger side with sheetmetal. The new door was built from scratch with Kevin Schulstrum adapting a Cadillac electric trunk latch to keep it closed. In addition to the chopped and stretched top, the custom hood was sliced and raised for clearance. Three loops were cut in the rear to accommodate the outside gauges and a second hood was brought into play to create the distinctive dual air cleaner. Frank Buffa fabricated the air cleaner and did all the aluminum trim.

While the bodywork was going on, the original chassis was also being reworked. New motor mounts, transmission crossmember, and repositioned body mounts were designed, then the rails were boxed and fitted with a Fatman air bag front end and QA1 shocks. The owner-fabricated rear clip uses a triangulated four-link with Dominator bags and a second pair of QA1s to stabilize the Moser 9-inch rear with 4.11 gears. Stopping power comes from ABS electric power brakes and Wilwood six-piston calipers with 12-inch discs behind all four wheels. The black powdercoated rims are Centerline Convo Pros, with slim 15x8s up front and fat 15x18s in the rear, all wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber. Scott filled the pickup bed with the air suspension compressor on one side, the reserve tank on the other, and the fuel cell in the middle.

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Once the modified body and modernized chassis were joined together, the motor was next. The heart of this truck is a 460-based V-8 from Pacific Performance Solutions in California, now punched out to 533 ci and loaded with a hot rodder's dream sheet of upgrades. While the truck was not designed for the dragstrip, it's safe to say that mediocre performance was never part of the plan. Scott wanted a responsive package when he floored the long skinny pedal on the right and the big inch V-8 does not disappoint. The combination puts out an estimated 650 hp and 685 pound-feet of torque, easily capable of frying the doughnuts in the rear. To handle the power, Scott chose an AOD automatic with electric overdrive from FB Performance Transmissions.

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After the rollcage was installed inside, Gillan Upholstery in Middletown, New York, handled the rest of the interior, beginning with '09 Grand Prix seats in black and gray leather. Billet accents are everywhere and the Auto Meter gauges, mounted on the dash and overhead, keep track of the big motor while the Hurst Quarter Stick controls the shift points. The door panels retain their classic sheetmetal look and were painted to match the exterior; PPG Viper Red and Tungsten Gray paint, sprayed by Brian Semancik, contrasts with the black powder accents added to the wheels, bumper, and grille. It took five long years but now, Scott says the truck is the perfect vehicle for a Sunday afternoon blast and it's always surrounded by crowds at local car shows. "For me it's a piece of art, and I especially like when people recognize the changes."

The Details

Scott Winter's 1963 Ford F-100

Engine
460 V-8 crate motor bored to 533 ci, Assembled by Pacific Performance Solutions (Anaheim, CA)
4340 forged steel crank, H-Beam connecting rods, and Manley pistons
Crane hydraulic roller cam
Trick Flow, ported and polished aluminum heads
damBEST 1,050-cfm carburetor
Edelbrock Victor Jr intake
Custom air cleaner
MSD ignition
Be Cool Radiator and fan

Transmission
FB Performance Transmissions AOD with electric overdrive
2,200rpm stall speed converter
Hurst Quarter Stick shifter

Rearend
Moser 9-inch rear
4.11 gears

Exhaust
Custom-made headers
3½-inch exhaust powdercoated black
Flowmaster Pro mufflers
Stacks exiting straight up in the bed

Suspension
Front: Fatman airbag front end, QA1 shocks, Fatman rack-and-pinion steering
Rear: Owner-fabricated rear clip with triangulated four-link, Dominator air bags, QA1 shocks

Brakes
Front: ABS electric brakes, Wilwood six-piston calipers, 12-inch discs
Rear: ABS electric brakes, Wilwood six-piston calipers, 12-inch discs

Wheels
Front: Centerline Convo Pros, 15x8
Rear: Centerline Convo Pros, 15x18

Tires
Front: Mickey Thompson Sportsman 25/8.50x15LT
Rear: Mickey Thompson Sportsman Pro 29/18.5x15

Interior
Full rollcage, '09 Grand Prix bucket seats in black and gray leather, Vintage Air, Auto Meter gauges, custom center console, Hurst Quarter Stick shifter, Lokar parking brake, billet accents, door panels painted to match the exterior

Exterior
Body has been chopped and stretched; shaved hood emblem; custom third door; custom metal hood with inset air cleaner and gauge cutouts; tubbed bed fitted with air suspension compressor and reserve tank, 20-gallon fuel cell, and Optima Red Top battery; Tungsten Gray and Viper Red paint by Brian Semancik (Rhinebeck, NY)