COMPACT CUSTOM – STEVE PIERCE 1964 FORD FAIRLANE CUSTOM PICKUP

When most guys visualise building a custom, the unassuming Compact Fairlane sedan is not high on the list of  targetted vehicles. A ute however is even further from their aim. So what possessed the owner of this one-off ’64 to spend a quarter of a century building a car that no one else would consider contemplating? Well that is really both the question and the answer in one for creator Steve Pierce, who conjured up the concept with a good mate over a few beers… 25 years ago. So we’ll step back into the past, when it seamed like a really good idea at the time, and start from the beginning.

Steve was enjoying knocking back a few well earned ales with good mate John Ray when their imagination focused on a 1964 compact Fairlane shell he had languishing in his backyard. With ideas running riot the unloved body was soon cut into pieces and reconfigured like a jigsaw into something that resembled a ute. That was the easy part. Making all the individual pieces fit seamlessly would become a long journey of endurance for Steve with the project often shelved for long periods of time while he concentrated on building numerous cars for himself and friends. Every now and then he would find motivation from club members, friends and his wife to get back into it and further advance its status until about two years ago he rolled up his sleeves, dug deep and burnt the midnight oil until completion. 

“It was like my project in between projects” Steve says, “when I had nothing else to do I would drag it out of the corner, uncover it and work on it until something else come up or I lost motivation, but it was always at the back of my mind,” he confesses. 

His approach throughout the entire project was to complete a custom that anyone with imagination and determination could build on a budget. Period! Creative thinking and hard work rather than catalogues and cash. 

Being a member of the Confederates Rod & Custom Club for 14 years and towering six foot plus Steve may look like a lanky Yankee but he truly is a true blue Aussie battler. His tenacious approach of massaging metal combined with his passion for the custom car scene is wholesome and honest. His home grown custom ute is a true reflection of the character behind its creator and the enthusiastic public response bestowed upon it since debut is well deserved. Picking up Koolest Aussie Kustom at the Kustom Nats in Phillip Island 2012 was befitting and the icing on the cake, which took Steve completely by surprise. 

Steve would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark Cravino-Exhaust headers, Frank Kos-Profile Glass, Gossy, Ted Edem-Upholstery, John Tait for his help and motivation as without him it may not have ever been finish, John Ray-original concept and to his wife Evalyn, for her patience and understanding.

BY DALE HABERFIELD, PHOTOS DALE HABERFIELD. FULL FEATURE CRUZIN #155, SEPTEMBER 2013.
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