From Flooded Out to Firing on All Cylinders: Clint Black’s Iconic 1960 Ford F-100 Revival

Music City Trucks and Clint Black's 1960 Ford F-100 finished

Clint Black’s Iconic 1960 Ford F-100

Clint Black’s connection to his ’60 Ford F-100 runs deep, dating back to 1989 when he showcased it in the music video for “Killin’ Time,” a chart-topping hit that soared to #1 on the Billboard country charts. This classic truck, also featured in the video for his song “Better Man,” boasts a rugged charm with its timeless rounded cab, subtle stylish lines, and an iconic grill.

Restored 1960 Ford F-100

A Rodeo Debacle and a Coat Hanger Fix

The story of this truck took an unexpected turn during an attempt to make a grand entrance at the Houston Rodeo in 1991. Unfortunately, the truck broke down halfway to the stage, leaving Clint to make a memorable walk to his performance in front of 40,000 loyal (and sympathetic) fans. In a display of ingenuity, the shifter linkage on the transmission was temporarily fixed with a coat hanger as a placeholder for the missing cotter pin, just enough to get the truck off the rodeo grounds. Since that day, the F-100 has been patiently awaiting the care and attention it deserves.

A New Beginning: Music City Trucks to the Rescue

After spending two decades tucked away in a barn and later moved to a storage unit, the time finally came for this vintage beauty to be revived. Clint Black entrusted Joel McMillan and Eric Smart of Music City Trucks to restore his cherished truck to its former glory just in time for his 35th Anniversary of Killin’ Time Tour! The crew accepted the challenge with enthusiasm, ready to breathe new life into this iconic vehicle.

The restoration process began with pulling the engine and transmission. Upon doing so, the team quickly discovered significant amounts of water inside the crankcase of the motor as well as the transmission. After some more investigating, the transmission was found to be salvageable. The motor, on the other hand, was completely locked up and had no possible chance of being repaired in time for Clint’s tour.

After this discovery, a few phone calls were made and a replacement 223 inline-six out of a ’64 F100 was found in a junkyard a few towns over. A leak down and compression test on the donor motor was performed, deeming it worthy as a replacement. The guys’ gave it a thorough cleaning, a few coats of Corporate Ford Blue paint courtesy of POR-15, plus all new components for the fuel, electrical and ignition systems.

An overhaul of the truck’s suspension system was next. The old, rusty leaf springs, shocks and brakes were removed, and replaced with brand-new components to ensure a smooth and reliable ride. Plus a complete rebuild of the truck’s iconic Ford 9-inch rear axle, including new bearings, races and seals. The original ring and pinion were also swapped for a set of 3.70 gears.

Old truck bed wood from original Killin' Time truck as featured in Clint Black's music video
Restored BedWood with black walnut, a nod to Clint's name. BedWood kit is from Summit Racing

Overcoming Challenges and Uncovering Surprises

As the restoration progressed, the team encountered several unexpected challenges. One of the most surprising discoveries was the state of the rear shocks. Eric and Joel noticed they were completely shot, easily movable by hand, with broken studs that required immediate attention.

Despite these obstacles, the team remained committed to their mission. They meticulously rebuilt the transmission, installed the new engine, and completely restored the old wood bed, among other improvements. Every step of the way, they worked to ensure that this special truck would not only look stunning but also run like a dream.

The team also dealt with various “quirky” issues. The truck had been held together with electrical tape and zip ties, remnants of old repairs that needed modern solutions. The rust and water damage were extensive, including a bed that was more hazardous than useful. They replaced the entire floor and completely rewired the truck

The new LED RetroBright headlights, courtesy of Holley Performance, were a standout upgrade. Designed to look like the original sealed beams, these modern lights offered a significant improvement in visibility and safety while maintaining the truck’s classic look. The team also tackled the droopy headliner, replacing the old, worn material with new fabric, and carefully gluing it back into place.

The installation of a classic style radio kit, complete with high-quality speakers, ensured that Clint could enjoy his favorite tunes while driving. Despite the truck never having had a radio from the factory, the team seamlessly integrated this modern convenience.

Original engine in Black's 1960 flooded F-100

Finished “Killin’ Time”

The final stages of the restoration involved crucial pre-trip inspections. The team checked brake line fittings, engine and transmission mounts, and suspension components, marking all suspension bolts with paint for easy post-drive examination. They ensured all fluids were topped off and all electronics, including the newly installed radio, were functioning properly.

After extensive testing and last-minute adjustments, the truck was ready. As the team drove it to meet Clint Black at the Grand Ole Opry, the satisfaction of seeing their hard work pay off was palpable. Clint was thrilled with the results, from the engine swap to the bed’s black walnut floor. The truck, now equipped with all new drivetrain and modern conveniences like a new radio, was ready for its next chapter.

Clint Black in studio with Eric and Joel from Music City Trucks

The revival of Clint Black’s 1960 Ford F-100 is more than just a truck restoration; it’s a journey through time, music, and memories. Thanks to the dedicated skillful team at Music City Trucks, this iconic vehicle is now ready to hit the road and continue its legacy. From a flooded barn to a born-again restoration, Clint’s F-100 is back on the road, reminding us all of the timeless beauty of classic cars and the stories they tell.

As the truck prepares to hit the road once again, fans can follow along with the restoration process by tuning into POWERNATION and following Music City Trucks on social media.

Watch the full build from start to finish

Stay tuned for more updates and behind-the-scenes looks at this remarkable restoration project. We’re done ‘Killin Time’ on this classic F-100, and it’s ready to make history once again.

Read More from PowerNation