1951 Ford F-1 Restoration Is Literally a Labor of Love
Illinois couple have been cruising in the Ford truck since 1966, and 52 years later, they’ve decided to give it a breathtaking restoration.
A great many couples in the automotive community fell in love with help from a car or truck and for Jim and Melody Miller, that vehicle was a 1951 Ford F-1. Jim had it when the two met and 52 years later, the couple decided to have a full restoration performed. The results are breathtaking and the story is something that many car-loving-couples dream of when picturing their future together.
Cruising Since 1966
According to the News Tribute, a young woman named Melody met a man named Jim at his sister’s house in Cedar Point, Illinois, back in 1966, and today, Jim and Melody are known as the Millers. They have been together since that meeting back in 1966, getting married in November of 1968 and living their entire lives in Peru, Illinois.
When they met, Jim was driving his 1951 Ford F-1 pickup and the antique pickup has been in their lives ever since. In 2015, Jim decided that he was going to tear the truck apart to restore it, but it proved to be too much work for him. This led Melody to begin calling body shops in the area to ask for quotes, but in almost every case, she was told that the old Ford truck was too rough – too far gone. However, the folks at Juan’s Auto Body was willing to take on the big project.
“Juan and I talked about it. When we took this, on we really loved the back story,” said project manager Jamie Walters. “It’s such a rare thing to have a truck like that purchased in the area from a couple who’s been married for 50 years and dated in the truck. It’s been in their family its whole life. For me that was just really cool. I thought that was something special.”
The Millers’ Ford was in bad shape when it arrived and it ended up being a total rebuild – one which carried a cost that frequently upset Melody, but Jim assured her that “it’ll all work out”. It did, thanks to the team at Juan’s Auto Body. The project took nine months, starting back in October 2017 and officially ending last month, on June 6, when the couple was presented with their beautifully restored antique Ford truck.
“Everything on the truck was replaced. Every nut, every bolt is brand new. The only original part on it was the bare chassis, the cab and the hood. We managed to save the hood because they don’t make reproductions for that year,” Walters said.
When the Millers were presented with their restored 1951 Ford F-1, Jim was elated and Melody was brought to tears at the sight of their truck in better-than-new form.
Photos: News Tribute