Stuck bolts, busted knuckles, burned coffee—there’s any number of reasons why you might hear a little choice language exchanged around the typical auto shop. But of all the four-letter words you’re likely hear in the garage, only one is enough to make even the burliest wrench-turner blush:


Rust is a simple fact of life for enthusiasts across much of the country. Not even the toughest Detroit iron is immune to the constant barrage of frozen slush and road salt brought on by an average Midwestern winter. But for Brian Reed, a little iron oxide has never been a cause for alarm. In fact, he’s dedicated much of his life to keeping wrecked, rusted, and run-down rides out of the scrap heap.

white 1964 Ford F100 pickup truck restomod, front quarter
(Image/Summit Racing – Todd Biss Productions)

Brian’s history of automotive rescue started well before he could get behind the wheel, lending a hand at his dad’s garage cleaning cars, emptying the trash bins, and gaining valuable hands-on shop experience. “When I was 15 and getting ready to drive, my dad bought me my first car: a wrecked Volkswagen Bug. I loved it,” recalls Brian. “I put it back together in my parents’ garage, and by the time I was 16 I’d sold the first one and bought another one. At that point I realized I could do this again, and again, and again—and it never stopped!”

These days, Brian runs the show at Buckeye Collision Center, in Marion, Ohio, and his automotive tastes have graduated from Beetles to Blue Ovals, breathing new life into busted Broncos, downtrodden Super Duties, and most recently this 1964 F100. Dragged from a front yard in rural Ohio, where it had sunken up to its axles and developed an acute case of body rot, this crusty Custom Cab has become the ultimate expression of Brian’s love for wayward hot rods.

Following its retrieval, the truck was parked safely within the walls of Brian’s shop while he and his head builder, Virgil Thoroughman, got back to the business of fixing fender-benders and completing customer builds. But finally, nearly five years later, it was the F100’s time to shine…figuratively speaking. “I didn’t really have a direction for the truck until after we started,” recalls Brian. “All I knew is I wanted the bottom of the truck, inside the cab, and under the hood to look brand spankin’ new, and the outside of the truck looking like we didn’t touch it.”

white 1964 Ford F100 pickup truck restomod, rear driver side
(Image/Summit Racing – Todd Biss Productions)

Starting with a fully boxed pre-fabbed frame, Brian and Virgil got to work salvaging whatever bodywork they could from the F100. “The goal was to take it apart, put the cab on the new chassis, put the motor and tranny in it, and not have to get too carried away fabricating and modifying and building,” says Brian. Of course, simply dropping a 60-year-old body onto a brand-new chassis is about as likely as casually slipping into your old prom tux, so a good bit of finagling was required to make everything line up. “We practically re-built half the chassis,” says Virgil. “It took quite a while, but it’s a great fit now.” “We didn’t put one shim in this truck,” adds Brian. “It’s put together like it’s supposed to be. We take pride in that—just like in the collision shop. It fits the way it was built, if not better.”

But the underbody upgrades don’t stop there! Other highlights include a Mustang II-style subframe with 2 inch drop spindles up front, a 4-link setup out back, plus QA1 shocks and RideTech springs at all four corners.

Coyote 5.0L engine in a white 1964 Ford F100 pickup truck restomod
(Image/Summit Racing – Todd Biss Productions)

Naturally, the truck’s AMC V8 and transmission were put out to pasture (clearly not this truck’s first engine swap), and now it’s an all-Ford affair under the hood. Brian opted for a factory-fresh Ford Performance Coyote 5.0 backed by a 6R80 tranny. “I pick on him all the time because I think the truck should have a manual in it,” says Virgil. “I’m getting old!” laughs Brian. “I just want to put it in drive and go. I don’t want to have to sit and shift, I don’t want to have to hold my foot on the clutch, I want to put it in drive and drive.”  

And drive it does! According to Brian “It’s just like driving a modern car—but a lot cooler. When you really put your foot into it, it just rips the tires loose. It’s fast, man.”

flush exhaust tip ports on a vintage truck
(Image/Summit Racing – Todd Biss Productions)

If the muscular tone from the truck’s custom side-exit exhaust doesn’t get your head turning, the paintjob (or maybe lack thereof) definitely will. More than 60 years in the making, the F100’s patina’d finish is a combination of genuine rust and layers of skillfully applied airbrushing. “Originally when I was thinking about patina I wanted more—I wanted it covered. But I left it up to my paint guy, Tom Lusch,” explains Brian. “He’d never done anything like this before,” adds Virgil. “He’s a custom paint guy—he usually airbrushes nice, fancy stuff, and he said this was harder than doing a nice paintjob.” A matte clearcoat prevents further corrosion while keeping the finish looking aged to perfection.

Of course, all that patina makes the truck’s bright work really pop, featuring a genuine new old stock grille and headlight bezels, plus high-quality reproduction bumpers, badges, door handles, and mirrors. The look is complemented with hand-applied graphics featuring none other than the Buckeye Collision logo (including the original phone number) plus a cartoon coyote teasing the engine upgrade lurking under the hood.  

vintage body shop livery on side of a pickup truck
(Image/Summit Racing – Todd Biss Productions)

Out back, you’ll find even more clues that this F100 might be more than just an old shop truck. Lower the tailgate and you’ll see what appears to be a brand-new F100 bed. Except it’s not. The Ford’s original bed floor was too far gone to salvage (and that’s really saying something), but rather than source a direct replacement, Brian and his crew dropped in some sheet metal from a 2008 Dodge Ram, and the wheel tubs have been widened to accommodate the beefier rolling gear underneath. One more clue: the custom pro-touring style wickerbill spoiler mated to the tailgate.

vintage weathered truck tailgate
(Image/Summit Racing – Todd Biss Productions)

Resisting the allure of a farm-fresh interior, Brian called up Angie’s Upholstery in Upper Sandusky, Ohio to re-cover the bench seat in period-correct plaid. Other improvements include a Billet Specialties Victory 14 inch steering wheel, a custom 32 inch tilt steering column, and a slick Dakota Digital RTX gauge kit housing a speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, digital display, and more all in a single unit—all while looking bone stock.

Don’t worry, Brian, your secret’s safe with us!

Interior of a restomodded Ford F100 truck
(Image/Summit Racing – Todd Biss Productions)

More than a decade after being rescued from the scrapper, Brian’s pickup had finally completed its long journey from rusty lawn ornament to rowdy road warrior. But the story isn’t over! This “old work truck” has already been treated to a new set of rollers and further interior upgrades, plus Brain says a few laps around the autocross circuit aren’t out of the question. And the best part is you can check it out for yourself! Watch our video walkaround of his unforgettable F100 below, where we take a look at its long list of stealthy upgrades and see how it handles on the open road.


1964 Ford F100 Fast Specs

Owner: Brian Reed • Marion, Ohio


Engine & Transmission




Special Thanks

Thanks to Mark Arnold at Designs on the Mark for the lettering, Tom Lusch for the patina and airbrushed rust, and the entire crew at Buckeye Collision.

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Author: Dan Michaud