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