Terry Altman’s very first vehicle as a teenager was a 1953 Ford F-100. It was with that same truck that he began to find a discover a future in the auto collision repair industry. Over the decades that followed, Altman perfected his craft and grew his business. In 2008, he conceived the idea for this particular 1954 Ford F-100 panel truck build. And while it didn’t seem like a difficult project for a man of his skillset and resources, it would go on to prove to be the most challenging build he’s ever undertaken.
Appropriately named “Capone,” the beautiful machine seen has taken tons of blood, sweat, and tears, and 10,000 hours of intensive labor by Altman himself to get to where it is today. He was always fond of the visual proportions of the Chrysler 300 of the time. Taking the measurements of the car revealed to him that there is a 2:1 ratio between the body height and the roof height. And that’s what Altman decided to implement in his F-100 panel truck creation.
This goal necessitated quite a bit of surgery to the Ford truck’s body panels. To start, the rear and front were each shortened by 6 inches. The tail end also saw a 5-inch increase in width, which meant Altman needed to fabricate a new tailgate. The doors were lengthened by 6 inches, and the roof was cut off and replaced with a custom construction. It is also wrapped in marine-grade material with no stitching, built by Altman with an unbelievable level of craftsmanship.
The build has a supremely clean look, with much of the surface shaved down and smoothed. The sophisticated simplicity of the body is complemented by the intricacies of the build’s front end. Altman’s creativity led him to combine front fascia elements from 1953, 1954, and a 1956 Ford F-100 to achieve the look. A great deal of custom fabrication was done, as well, to get the face to look just the way he wanted it.
Peeking through the custom grille is a larger Griffin radiator. It does well to maintain a somewhat stock look. What sits behind it, though, is far from stock. Popping the hood will reveal a thoroughly-built 460 V8 engine that has been bored to 509 ci. The mill puts the power down via a BTE Powerglide transmission, a 3-1/2-inch aluminum driveshaft, and a Currie rear end.
The gorgeous exterior is nicely complemented by the equally impressive interior work. Amazingly, this would mark only the 4th interior Altman has ever built. The jaw-dropping design features a ton of beautiful leather all around. And the dashboard was repositioned to match the starting point for the doors. A slew of modern tech is at work here, including a Dakota Digital instrument cluster, PCS shift control unit, and AC vents using housing built by Trique Manufacturing, a company owned by Altman.
Capone rides on RideTech air suspension system, allowing the stance to be adjusted as needed. Speaking of the stance, the truck’s rolling stock comes courtesy of Detroit Steel Wheel Co. It’s a set of unique Mobsteel wheels measuring 20×11 at the rear and 18×8 at the front, all wrapped in Nitto tires, rounding out the head-turning design.