1962 Ford F-100: Old Friend, New Flame

11 F100 lede
By Matt Stone

Daniel Edward Newton and I have been friends for nearly 50 years.  We met in Kindergarten in the fall of 1962.  We later went to the same college, roomed together, attended who knows how many sports car races and never had a cross word between us.

A few months before Dan and I began terrorizing the playground at Valley Vista Elementary School in Cucamonga, Calif., his folks bought a new 1962 Ford F-100. The long-bed half-ton had a 160-horsepower, 292-cubic-inch Y-block V-8 and manual everything.  His father converted the original three-on-the-tree to a granny low-four-speed so the V-8 could better handle trailer towing. Dan and I took it camping and went on many road trips with our 10-speeds or motorcycles in the back. I've known the Newtons’ F-100 its entire life — which equals about 90 percent of mine.

Dan’s parents passed away some years back, and they left him the truck. For a while he drove it every day, then only once in a while, before he parked it a few years ago. The truck was then mothballed in a desert storage lot to bask in quiet, sun-drenched retirement. And recently, in a semi-weak moment, I bought the truck from him for $300.

Oh crap. Now what?

2 Ram rollback F100
We could have gotten it running and out of storage under its own power, but I didn't want to drive it back to Los Angeles from Victorville only to blow a hose or clog the fuel filter. Instead, I borrowed a $100,000 Cummins turbo-diesel Ram 5500 with a fully articulated Jerr-Dan flatbed rig. What better way to transport a $300 truck that didn’t run?

This almost-a-Kenworth proved amazing. We’ve all grunted and pushed old cars onto trailers; no fun. Not this time. After rocking the platform down to the ground, we threw a chain around the Ford’s front axle and winched it aboard with no more drama than it takes to order a combo at In-N-Out Burger. The hearty Ram drove as if the F-100 were no more than a butterfly on its shoulder.I'm now the Ford’s second owner, ever.

I decided to go with LMC Truck as the primary parts supplier. Its extensively illustrated catalog listed most of what I needed, and the people seemed to know their stuff, and the prices are competitive.

3 F100 wheels
Do-it-all local mechanic George Beal had the task of initial recommissioning.  A new gas tank, battery, master cylinder, new front-wheel cylinders and brake lines, motor mounts, a complete fluids transfusion, and a carburetor rebuild got the Effie back on the road. Not pretty, but running, functional and safe.

Fortunately, the truck didn’t need much heavy mechanical work. The original Y-Block V-8 had a valve or cam lobe going soft, which yields a somewhat lumpy idle, but said engine was rebuilt about 60,000 miles ago, and it otherwise runs pretty well. The clutch and granny low-four-speed manual transmission are tough and up to snuff, as is most of the suspension. It takes three grown gorillas to turn the steering wheel, but that’s kind of the way they were, and it didn’t help that the tires are old and hard. While the parts were in transit, I fiddled, fettled and, mostly, I scrubbed.  I must have spent $40 -- a quarter at a time -- at the pay-and-spray carwash. 

The next thing I had to get after was all the cab rubber — or, more correctly, the decided lack thereof. The windows rattled in the doors, and the doors shook in the door openings. The windshield and rear window seals leaked, so it all had to be addressed prior to any interior work (or rain). LMC sells an affordable windshield/door aperture/rear window rubber kit that takes care of all of that, and my friends at Bistagne Brothers Auto Body popped it all in for me. The Bistagne boys also shaped out a few dents (courtesy of an errant snowplow) on the driver's door and front fender.

4 F100 int
With the cab now tight and dry, I decided to proceed with revitalizing the interior. A headliner kit, vinyl seat kit, carpet set, new pedal rubbers and shifter boot, plus a period-looking chrome-and-foam steering wheel from LMC gave the cabin a makeover that Bob Vila couldn’t compete with. Oscar’s Upholstery in Glendale, Calif., did the job, and we put a layer of foil-lined Dynamat, supplied by Year One, between the roof and the headliner to quell heat and noise. A layer of thinner, peel-and-stick Dynaliner sound insulation went on the floor, under the new rugs. No more metal floor, furniture blanket “upholstery” and brittle, water-damaged headliner to contend with.

Nothing improves the character of any vehicle more than fresh tires and just the right wheels. All the best choices appeared in Wheel Vintiques’ online catalog.  I selected a set of stock-appearing (though wider) Gennie steel wheels, sticking with 15-inchers to maintain a nice ride and a ‘60s look.  I ordered them in red to match the interior accent color, plus some shiny stainless steel repop Ford hubcaps. The glossy-yet-sturdy powder-coated finish on these wheels is beautiful, far and away the best paint surface on the entire truck.

The Tire Rack supplied 225/70-15 Firestone Indy 500 tires for the front, with 255/70-15s out back, to add the slightest rake. Not only does my F-100 look cooler by a factor of many, but the ride improved, and the steering got lighter. This rolling stock is the best money I could have spent.

The stock single muffler was about the size and shape of a Civil War canon, and it leaked, so it needed to go. I wasn’t yet ready to go to a full dual exhaust system (that will come with a valve job and a set of headers) so my muffler dude scrounged up a slightly used single-inlet, dual-outlet Flowmaster muffler that turned out to be a solid yet affordable alternative.  He cut off the old exhaust system just ahead of the massive old muffler, replacing it with the Flowmaster, then running an exhaust pipe and chrome tip to exit the truck on each side, just in front of the rear tire. That was $200 out the door. It sounds great, doesn’t leak, and I swear it has more power. Magical.

5 F100 bed spray
The bed was a festival of dents and surface rust, so we visited Rhino Linings of Orange Country. “Rhino Phil” and his sidekick sanded and sealed up the bed, laying a fine coat of “industrial gray” textured Rhino lining, which is tough as nails, and cleaning up the look of the bed (and mitigating the chance of rust-through). Maybe it’s not as cool as metal-finishing the bed and having a factory-style repaint, but it was loads cheaper, quicker and still lets the truck work like one.

It’s pretty much done for now, save for the constant fettling and fiddling that a 50-year-old vehicle will always require. I have no plan to replace the well-worn factory paint job, and while it’s not as pretty as fresh Wimbledon White paint, it’s original, and people love the patina look these days. Plus, this way I don’t have to worry about a nick or scratch now and again, or sweat parking places so much. The roof was pretty rusty, so I took it back to Bistagne’s and had them paint it to match the accent red in the cab. But other than that, the plan is to drive it another 200,000 miles, just like the Newtons did.


  • LMC Truck, 800/LMC-TRUCK, LMCTruck.com
  • Wheel Vintiques, 559/251-6957, WheelVintiques.com
  • Tire Rack, 888/541-1777, TireRack.com
  • Bistagne Brothers Auto Body, Glendale, CA, 818/242-6876
  • Oscar Upholstery, Glendale, CA, 818/248-3830
  • George Beal Automotive, Montrose, CA, 818/249-7855

7 F100 brochure

8 F100 tailgate

9 F100 finished



Trip out -I grew up in Rancho Cucamonga (Alta Loma) myself. Went through the Upland school district though. My parents still live in the house I grew up in.

Good story by the way. Thanks for sharing. Take it easy!

Typical Ford needing a tow truck to get around HA! You should just scrap it and get yourself a good 'ole Chevy C10, because its superior in every way! But If you must keep this old junk you should install a 350 Chevy because its best thing you can do to any car or truck! Chevy makes the best engines in the world and more vehicles are powered by Chevy! This is fact! Kinda funny when the best Ford hot rods are all powered by Chevy's, because Ford parts are junk! GM wins again!

Oh brother...Bobbeh, you really are from another realm. This article was great. Nothing wrong with keeping a truck as original as possible. A little paint and TLC and its good for a dozen more years. Don't get anything GM near that truck! Not if you want it to last! Geesh!

Kinda funny how Fords make better hot rods even if it does happen to be G.M. powered. If only G.M. could build a worthy vehicle around the venerable G.M. power plant.

This is a cool truck getting the respect it deserves. Good work and exceptional choice on the wheels.

I'm a dyed in the wool GM guy too, but I'm confident enough in my tastes that I can give props to well done Fords as well without feeling my caruality threatened.

Fact 14 out of 10 GM wins!

This! is a real truck for working men. Not today's "custom cruiser" trucks :)

Nice to see old trucks still running. Something like this truck would be worth doing a decent restoration since the truck's history is well known. At least put a new coat of white paint on it.
My dad had a canopy like the one on this truck (first picture). He had it on several of his pickups. I think he had bought the canopy new in 1970. I inherited it in 1991. I put a new back door on it and used it until 2000.
Stories like this show why guys are passionate about their trucks, it isn't so much the machine, but the stories that went along with the machine.

WOW, that was an awesome story. I keep debating between buying an old truck and getting it running and buying a new one. Reading stories like this, make me want to find a truck in good shape like yours and have the fun building a driver!!!

Keep us in the loop during the build!!!

Recently read some magazine--it turned out that I paid good money for what was a cover to cover advertisement for LMC. It contained numerous project truck articles and was about how they had the best parts, service, everything and using LMC was the only way to do it right. It was kind of slick salesmanship. My question is, is this article merely another LMC paid advertisement and if so, what the heck is it doing masquerading as a genuine journalistic article on PickupTrucks.com?

WOW, that was an awesome story.

I really enjoyed reading this story. Would like to see more stories like this.

Agreed great story. Went WAY TOO EASY in my opinion based on personal experiences but I guess nobody wants to read about busted knuckles and multiple man-hour searches for a wrench that unexplicably got heaved across the yard.

Now we just need to wait for Oxi to tell us how they screwed up the resto by not putting Deaver springs with x-cross-super-duper shackles and real bumpers like a REAL truck guy off-road racer would do...

I love the legacy of this truck. I am appalled by your lack of dedication to it. The rust is evidently bad and you have no plans to address that? i know i full body restoration is quite expensive, but it is as old as you are, simply putting a band-aid on it will not last forever. on another note, i understand fully. I bought a 1962 Ford galaxie 4 door sedan with the 292 Y block v8. It still had the original radio ac, which was rare, but didnt work. This was last year and im only 23. When i have sufficient funds, i will own a backyard full of classic cadillacs,fords, lincolns, and chevys. I am particularly fond the '70s era caddys because they just so darn big and comfy and powerful. Nothing pseaks power better than a 500 cubic inch cadillac engine.

Ahhhh simple trucks!

Bench seat and stick shift...

A rear x-brace will improve its cornering numbers...

Put an EcoBoost in it!

@Oxi - trucks like this need training-wheels, not X-Braces. Well, training wheels would have helped the Ranger I rolled anyways...


Trucks like this will still be running 100 years from now.
The only $uperduties you'll see running are the ones
retro-fitted with older engines. Assuming "big bubba"
will let a guy do that.

Is that the original ford bed, the crease line on the sides don't match up, it looks like a late model international they had round tail lights ?

My Dad had a 62 'unibody' wish I kept it...blue and white, 6 cylinder though, still a great fix up truck!!!!!!

I HAVE A 79 FORD F 100 i bought when i was 15.My dad agreed to pay for it until I got out of school. On grad. night He handed me my payment book and said i'm proud of you and the next payment is due next wed.

Needless to say I went to work the next day and not to the beach with my friends.I coulden't understand why he coulden't make just 1 more payment. Now I see the reasoning in it.

I still own it and it looks brand new with only 96 thou on it.One paint job is all this truck has ever needed and one alt and brakes and thats it.

He showed me when you make a deal you stand behind it.He did what he said he would do and left the rest up to me.It made me appreciate the truck even more and showed me you have to work for what you get.

Im 46 now and he's 80.We still laugh about him handing me my payment book on grad night.Him a little more then me. lol.

The truck still has the original inside that looks brand new. The bed has a scratch or two and thats it.Yes I used it but I also took very good care as I did. Its my pride and joy and now me and my son ride around in it and we enjoy it togeather.

My son is seven and loves the truck.I hope to hand it down to him for him to enjoy as much as I have.

This is a real truck, not a toy. How I wish for such trucks from the Big Three + Toyota nowadays.


I love those year Ford Trucks. Great for off-roading.

Do you have any pix?

How can you be civil when a hemmoroid (Bobbeh?) flairs up all the time

Besides, I like the truck. A guy in my town has an early International that he made a flat bed to haul his rat-rodded Harley around on. Truck is red-oxide as is the bike and has steelie's like the 62' Ford. truck is still powered by the original I-H engine. Cool

@Living Farmville. It was the only F Series pickup to be made in Australia.

Regardless of make its great to see an oldie but goodie given another life. Even before your additions/repairs the truck looked like surprisngly good for that year nice fluff article.

@Kurt Appleby - I think your right - the bedsides don't match the truck or the old catalog.

Great to see that 62 Ford F100 restored. I had a 63 IH stepside with a straight six, manual 3 speed, and manual choke. I know what it is like to find parts for an old truck. I drove my granddad's truck from Northern Kentucky to Houston, TX with no problems. I had to search for parts outside of Houston. In Rosenburg, TX which was a farming community I found original rims and IH hubcaps off of a 64 IH. I ended up living in Northern Kentucky and drove that old IH back. The biggest mistake I ever made was selling that IH. I learned to drive on that IH on Kentucky backroads. Yes the new trucks are easier to handle and get better gas mileage but they do not have the character of those old trucks. With a Holley 1 barrel and a manual choke that truck was simple to work on and yes it would run forever. I would take it over a Raptor any day. If it could of spoke to me it would have quite a story to tell. If that Ford were mine I would repaint it the original white and finish the restoration. Thank you Mark for the wonderful story. Keep those old truck stories coming.

@Kurt Appleby

Good eyes. I was looking at the pics and it looks like the right door was swapped out.
The box lines up with the door in the 1st photo (canopy pic) and in the second photo (drivers side pic on wrecker)

If you look at the old Ford brochure pics, the stepside truck has the same kind of door found on the passenger side door.
My hunch is the passenger door was replaced with the wrong door from a stepside.

Neat truck! Why not finish it? The 'rat-rod shop truck patina' thing is about done. While you are at it, ditch that Y-block boat anchor (bet there's more wrong with it than a flat cam!) and stick a 390 in it.

Surprised no one has told you to find the right bed for it!

I know- that's the bed you got if it wasn't a uni-body.

@Big Bob - any '60's era FE block would be a great addition.

How come the bed doesn't match?

A Ford 3.5L V-6 EcoBoost would be killer in this pickup. Just as long as originality was not a concern. It would make for one heck of a sleeper and conversation piece!

I'll see if I can get a picture on here.I've never posted a pic so not entirely sure how.

@Bobbeh GM Trucks suck if this were a gm it would be a bucket, i didint like the article kinda lame, but gm trucks are not superior in any way fact 9 times outta 10 your likely to piston slap and blow your chevy.

Check the old pic. I think the driver and passenger doors were different and the passenger door lines never matched up to the bed even new. I'm not sure why but that's what it looks like.

As far as the body lines not matching up, Ford offered this body it would fit differnet model trucks, infact I think the 60 model had it..and they shared it to different years, they also have a 'unibody in 62" it had different lines and cab and body fitted together!

Awesome article! So glad to see an OLD truck getting its well deserved restoration. Sometimes...they are MORE than just trucks. But part of the family.

I'll be following along this journey.

Too bad you can't drive thru an In N OUt burger drive thru on the east coast! id be a lot cooler if you did..watch the leather man.

Wasn't this article in Road and Track (?) a year or two ago?

Don't get me wrong, love the article, I reread it a few times before now, and read it again today. But a little comment saying it's a reprint would not go amiss.

Proof of the toughness of another great FORD BUILT TOUGH TRUCK ! I really like the story of how this reliable FORD Pickup took you and your friends camping--Awesome Memories. Glad you restored this 1961 Tough Ford --another reason that FORD TRUCKS are the BEST SELLING,MOST POPULAR,and TOUGHEST TRUCKS on the PLANET!!

What width Gennie steel wheels did you go with?

And is that seat a custom seat redo or a cover kit from LMC? Looks great!

Great story. I'm second owner of a 65 F-100 wioth a little over 30K original miles. Good luck.

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