Though Lance Berry is a ripe old 17 now, it all started when he was 12. His interest in Ford F-100 trucks that is. Obviously, this is a bit before driving age, but that didn't stop his dad from picking him up a '54 F-100 a few months after Lance expressed his interest, so that he could start getting his feet wet. After working on the '54 for about a year and a half Lance decided it wasn't really the truck he wanted. So the search for another was started and a few months (and 100 miles away) the exact truck Lance did want was found.
It was a very rough '56 with some extra pieces, and all for $100! Though he grabbed it immediately, Lance didn't jump right into the project. At age 15 he was smart enough to let is sit behind the barn a few months while he planned and drew preliminary designs of what he wanted the finished truck to look like. In January of 1999 his older sister passed away, so he and his dad dove into the truck, more for the therapy than anything else.
The truck was taken apart and the frame was the first thing to get their attention. It was blasted clean, a late-model Volare clip was added, the frame was C-notched and boxed, the rear leafs were modified, the hangers re-built, and an 8-inch late-'70s Mustang rear was flipped on top of the springs.
To get the truck running, a '75 Lincoln gave up its 460 and C6 for the project. The motor was torn down and rebuilt using a Comp camshaft and lifters, an Offenhauser tunnel ram intake, two 500-cfm Edelbrock four-barrel carbs, Sanderson headers, a MSD 6200 module, a Ford Racing coil, and Taylor wires. To dress it up a bit Ford Racing valve covers, custom wire looms, a custom air box, and K&N filter were also added. Next, the C6 was installed with a B&M shift improver kit and then the whole thing was painted so it would coordinate with the future color of the truck. To finish off things down under, the driveshaft was shortened, the exhaust was installed using 2 1/2-inch pipes leading out to dual Flowmasters, and a custom 25-gallon gas tank, fabricated by his dad, was installed back between the rear frame rails.
Next came the body, and the start of some of the more ambitious work. First the cab was given a 4-inch chop, then the seams were filled, the cab corners replaced, the antenna frenched, and the vent opening filled. But wait, there is more. The hood received a 2 1/2-inch sectioning, the old bed was thrown out and a new one built using larger tubes and lower stake pockets, the tailgate was smoothed, and a Gibbon fiberglass rolled pan was installed. Some of the finishing touches include lowering the bottom of the back window frame 2 1/2 inches and raising the top 1 1/2 inches in order to keep the same size window, fitting flush door handles, and modifying the doors for onepiece glass. Lance then constructed a bed cover with 1-inch steel tubing along with marine plywood which was arched to contour to a '91 Honda wing with a third brake light. The whole truck was painted Bright Silver and Bahama Blue with red pinstriping, and on the tailgate Jeff Hisey painted the Ford motif and trucks which represent Lance's '56 and his dad's 54 F-100s and their joint venture in building the two trucks.
The inside was graced with Stewart Warner gauges, '97 Camaro seats, and gray carpet. The seats, headliner, and doors are all covered with gray tweed. Power windows, power locks, and keyless entry are all installed. And lastly a new stereo and speakers were added.
But the thing that is definitely noteworthy is that Lance wasn't just watching during all this. This was a project he was a part of. He made the design decisions, he learned to weld, he helped pay for parts, and he worked on it almost every day in his grandparents' barn for close to two years. And, now that its done he has gotten to drive it to several shows where he has won quite a few awards including a Top Ten, People's Choice, Best Ford, and Unique Design. All this would be a feather in anyone's cap, however, given the fact that Lance hasn't finished high school yet, we feel it's quite an accomplishment indeed.
F A C T S & F I G U R E S
1956, Ford, F-100
Frame / Manufacturer: modified stock / Ford
Modifications: Volare subframe, boxed, C-notched
Rearend / Ratio: 8-inch Ford / 3.24:1
Rear suspension: modified leaf, Gabriel air shocks
Rear brakes: drum
Front suspension: Volare torsion bar, Monroe shocks
Front brakes: disc
Master cylinder: Mustang II
Steering column: Chevy tilt
Front wheel make, size: Keystone Classic, 15x8
Rear wheel make, size: Keystone Classic, 15x10
Front tire make, size: Goodyear, P205/60R15
Rear tire make, size: Goodyear, N-50-15
Gas tank: Stainless, 25-gallon
Year and make: '75 Ford
Displacement: 460 ci
Camshaft: Comp Cams
Valve covers: Ford Racing
Manifold / Induction: Offenhauser Tunnel Ram / (2) 500cfm Edelbrock
Ignition / Wires: Ford electronic, MSD module / Taylor
Exhaust / Mufflers: 2 1/2 inch / Flowmaster
Year and make: '75 C6
Trans mods: B&M
Shifter: Hurst Ratchet Shifter
Body style / Material: pickup / steel
Body manufacturer: Ford
Body mods: partially boxed front bumper, 4-inch chopped top, smoothed running boards, 2 1/2-inch widened rear fenders, fuel door in rear fender from a Ford Probe, Radiused door corners, tilt front end with convertible cylinders and pump, late model GM flush door handles w/ keyless entry, frenched antenea, filled vent, smoothed seams, Gibbon roll pan, smoothed tailgate, one piece side glass, full size etched rear window, power windows, power door locks
Hood: steel, 2 1/2-inch sectioned
Grille: re-chromed stock
Bed:custom bedside tubes, 45-degree stake pockets, tear dropped bed rails, and custom-built arched bed cover finished in marine vinyl by Wurtzburg Upholstery, Topeka, KS
Bodywork: owner and dad
Painter: owner and dad
Paint type / Color: PPG / Bright Silver and Bahamma Blue
Pinstriping / Graphics:Red / Mural on tailgate by Jeff Hieseg, Topeka, KS
Headlights / Taillights: 7-inch halogen / recessed modified Chevette
Outside mirrors: Modified Suburban
Dashboard:modified stock, re-chromed gage housing, extended 3 inches for billet a/c vents
Gauges: Stewart Warner
Stereo / Speakers: Kenwood CD player with power antenna, MTX 400 watt amp / Clarion in console and kick panels, 12-inch Polk behind the seat
Air conditioning: Ford
Wiring: dad and uncle
Steering wheel: Billet Specialties w/ ididit adapter
Seats: '97 Camaro
Upholsterer: owner, dad and uncle
Material / Color: gray tweed