Fond Memories – Bev and Terry Bryant’s 1960 Ford Starliner
Memories can be strong forces in our lives. Some will argue that when you get right down to it, few things shape our personalities, perspectives, and the core of who we are more than memories. Memories certainly play a significant role for many car enthusiasts, who often draw on fond recollections of cars from their formative years when seeking out new projects. That was the case for Bev Bryant, whose memory of her family’s 1960 Ford Starliner has stuck with her through the decades. Bev’s husband, Terry, wanted to build on that memory.
The couple visited Walton Customs to discuss the idea with shop owner Scott Walton. Looking at some of the shop’s custom projects, they asked what it would take to update an older car like a Starliner with modern amenities like fuel injection, disc brakes, and air conditioning. Scott assured them he could tend to anything they might want. Two weeks later, Terry returned with a clean and solid 1960 Ford Starliner in a trailer.
Using Eric Brockmeyer concept illustrations as guidelines, the Walton Customs team dug in, starting with a new Roadster Shop chassis to provide the desired ride, handling, and stance. It was equipped with goodies like a 9-inch rearend and 14-inch Wilwood brakes, with 18- and 20-inch Billet Specialties Legacy wheels getting it rolling.
The Bryant’s opted to do more than just add fuel injection to an old Ford engine – they decided an entirely new 5.0-liter Ford Racing Coyote engine. They complemented it with billet valve covers from MMR, a 6R80 transmission, electronic controls from Power by the Hour, and a stainless exhaust with Borla mufflers.
Though the body was left essentially stock, it was refined and massaged to achieve uniform gaps and fit. The rockers were also extended, the bumpers tucked, and custom floors and engine bay paneling built. When the metalwork was complete, Randy Borcherding at Painthouse did all of the prep work necessary to achieve the beautiful finish in a brilliant blue hue dubbed Bluecherding Pearl.
Cato Custom Upholstery worked from the Brockmeyer renderings to create the updated interior, using modified 2010 Mustang seats stitched in light and dark tan Relicate leather, with square-weave carpeting on the floor. The Walton team smoothed the dash, fitted the A/C vents and Dakota Digital gauges, added a ’65 T-Bird console with a Lokar shifter, and picked out a reduced-diameter ’55-’57 T-bird steering wheel to top the ididit tilt column.
Since completion last summer, the Bryant’s 1960 Ford Starliner has earned plenty of attention and accolades, including a PPG Dream Car pick last year in Columbus. The refined Ford may not be exactly like the one from Bev’s childhood, but that’s the great thing about memories – sometimes you can embellish a little to make them even better.
Photos by Damon Lee