A NEW LIFE

It Was Al­ready a Show Win­ner, but she Made it Bet­ter

Street Trucks - - CONTENTS - TEXT AND PHOTOS BY KEVIN WHIPPS

TRUCK BUILDERS ARE A FUNNY LOT. If we’re the first one to touch a project, we of­ten tear into it, get it done and then … sell it? Keep it for­ever? We for­get that at some point some­thing is go­ing to hap­pen to the truck, be­cause un­less we keep it for­ever and bury it next to us (which would be su­per ex­pen­sive), that truck will have a life out­side of us.

Which brings us to the story of this F-150 cur­rently owned by Melinda Young. Back in the day, a man liv­ing in Ari­zona named C.J. Sil­vey owned the truck, and if his name sounds fa­mil­iar, that’s be­cause he built a pretty killer brown Chevro­let stan­dard cab that landed on the cover of the De­cem­ber 2013 is­sue of Street Trucks. He built the Ford, painted it a bright shade of green, got some press, and then that was that for a while. Even­tu­ally, he moved up north to south­ern Washington State, and brought the truck with him. It found its way to Melinda, who lives across the Columbia River in Port­land, Ore­gon, and that’s where we catch up with things.

Melinda’s hus­band is Lon­nie Thompson, who owns Carolina Kus­toms, lo­cated in north­east Port­land. He’s been build­ing amaz­ing rides in the Pa­cific North­west for a long time, so get­ting

his hands on this Ford wouldn’t be step­ping into new ter­ri­tory for him. His shop has a paint booth and body­men, so vir­tu­ally any­thing they wanted to do to the truck was pos­si­ble. They just needed to think it up. They knew that the truck needed some things—it was miss­ing most of the in­te­rior at this point—but it turns out that be­cause of a com­bi­na­tion of age and var­i­ous other is­sues, the truck needed more work than they an­tic­i­pated. If it wasn’t for Melinda’s im­pas­sioned cries for help, they might have bailed on the project. But she loved the Ford, and in­stead of sell­ing it off, they dou­bled down and got to work.

As a shop that spe­cial­izes in cus­tom body­work, Lon­nie and his team (in­clud­ing Melinda, of course) nat­u­rally got busy work­ing on the body. The orig­i­nal bed was ditched and re­placed with a new one that they mod­i­fied ex­ten­sively to fit the new look. Off came the tail­lights and other un­nec­es­sary

ac­ces­sories, and on went AVS

LED tails and a roll pan. The truck was al­ready ’bagged, but the sus­pen­sion was fresh­ened up with all sorts of goodies, in­clud­ing an Ac­cuair valve setup and some black chrome pow­der coat­ing. Any­thing that was in rough shape was cleaned up, and when the truck was per­fectly smooth, they laid down the paint for a su­per­clean fin­ish.

The in­side also re­ceived a com­plete makeover, which was pretty easy con­sid­er­ing most of it was miss­ing. Al­most ev­ery panel on this truck was touched in one way or another, from the cus­tom door pan­els that hold four speak­ers per door to the sub box that takes up most of the area be­hind the seats. There’s even an ipad Air in the dash that con­trols the stereo, an idea that’s so great we won­der why more peo­ple don’t do it. It com­pletes the truck, mak­ing it a great driver for Melinda, and a show win­ner to boot.

The truck has spent a few years tak­ing home tro­phies in the Pa­cific North­west, and we hear that Melinda has moved on to a new project and sold the Ford. We’re sure that it’s gone to good hands. Even if it hasn’t, it will live on in what­ever state it ends up. After all, trucks have a life of their own, and they’ve got to live it.

THERE’S EVEN AN IPAD AIR IN THE DASH THAT CON­TROLS THE STEREO, AN IDEA THAT’S SO GREAT WE WON­DER WHY MORE PEO­PLE DON’T DO IT.”

BOT­TOM. THE IN­SIDE OF THIS FORD IS JUST AS CLEAN AS THE OUT­SIDE, WITH LOTS OF CUS­TOM TOUCHES.

IN­SIDE THE BED RESTS A COM­PLI­CATED CANTILEVER SYS­TEM THAT FUNC­TIONS AND RIDES WELL.

TRUCKS WITH A DARK BASE COLOR SHOW EV­ERY IM­PER­FEC­TION, BUT, IN THIS CASE, IT SHOWS OFF THE AMAZ­ING MAGIC DONE BY LON­NIE AND CAROLINA.

THE FORD IS NO SLOUCH IN THE SPEED DEPART­MENT EI­THER, WITH A SU­PER­CHARGED V-8 UN­DER

THE HOOD.

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