I bought this truck for $750 when I was 15 years old from a family friend who was going to buy a new pickup. He asked if I wanted to buy his old '56 F-100. He had bought it new and used it for transportation to work and to patrol the hills surrounding Lake Mathews for the Riverside County Sheriff Department. The truck had a 272ci V-8 and a three-speed column shift, and it was baby blue with black bumpers, running boards, and wheels. I customized it with a black tuck 'n' roll interior, a black snap-on custom bed cover, beauty rims, and baby moons. I also had custom side gates built, with the help of my dad, to haul my show sheep and the feed and tack for my show cattle. This truck went to all the Southern California fairs for several years (Pomona, Indio, Del Mar, Victorville, Lancaster, Chino, and Riverside). And, during the summer, I used the truck to cruise to the local weekend hamburger joints and take trips to the beach with long board surfboards hanging over tailgate.

During college, I had the engine rebuilt and put 3.92 gears in the rearend. At night, a few of us hot heads would get together and drag race in the parking lot. One of my friends had some racing slicks mounted on wheels that fit my truck, so I would put them on for the runs. We would race for $5 per gear. Because the parking lots were a bit short, we only made it through two gears. What a blast until the security patrol chased us off campus.

On a rainy Saturday night, January 18, 1964, I received my first speed-contest" ticket in downtown Riverside. The ticket was for 35 mph in a 30-mph speed zone. The problem was I was drag racing my cousin, utilizing the signal light as our starting light. Little did we know an officer was right behind us. We both got stopped, but being a girl, my cousin cried and the officer let her off. My parents had to appear in front of the Riverside City probation judge with me. I got a $25 fine and 30-day suspension of my license with the exception of a two-day permit to drive my pickup and cattle truck to the Indio Fair because I had already paid my entry fees.

In 1968, I had a bit of an accident. I fell asleep up North and hit a telephone pole at 50 mph sideways right at the left front wheel. The interesting thing is that I came home and ordered a new inner and outer left fender and a new hood from the local Ford dealer. The total cost was around $375, which included shipping from Brazil where they were being stamped at the time. These same three pieces are still on the truck today.

I drove the truck for a couple more years until the water pump shaft broke and it was parked. Months quickly turned into years and the '56 sat while we worked at raising our kids and putting them through college. Then, finally, a few years ago, my wife Pam and I decided to drag it out and build something we could enjoy together. Before starting the buildup we traveled all over Southern California and even back to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, to get our ideas together. We joined Pick-Ups Limited and received a lot of "don't do this like I did" from many members. This really helped with decisions on what and what not to put on our truck. My dad, who was in his eighties, helped me tear the truck apart and is responsible for the beautiful bed wood in the truck.

During our travels, we ran across Rob MacGregor from No Limit Engineering and saw a lot of trucks he had his hand in. When it came time to really get serious on the buildup, we decided to put the '56 in his capable hands to get the chassis rolling and a few custom touches incorporated into the body. Manuel Lam at Lamborg's Auto Body & Painting in Yucaipa, California, was entrusted with the task of massaging the body into good enough shape to wear the black coat that was planned for it.

Mark Lopez at Elegance Auto Interiors in Upland, California, took the painted cab and added some Platinum Ultraleather to the Glide bench seat and interior surfaces--working around many of the custom touches No Limit had built. A couple of the more unique ones are the Vintage Air A/C unit that has been modified to work behind the seat and the electric-motor driven drop-down switches panels under the dash.

It took three and a half years to finally get to the point where it was completed enough to haul it to the 2003 SuperNationals for its first show, where to our surprise, it received a Top 25 award. We have plans to drive it to Knoxville, Tennessee, with the Super Tour from California in 2006 for the anniversary of the '56 F-100.

We've had a blast this past year making new friends and finding old ones at the cruises and car shows. It would be hard to be happier with the way the truck turned out. I think by spending the first year planning the project and then staying with the plan saved us from many problems.

F A C T S & F I G U R E S
Al and Pam Ubrun
Riverside, California
1956 Ford F-100

CHASSIS

Frame / Manufacturer Modified stock / Ford
Modifications boxed front rails, C-notch and boxed rear, shortened front frame horns
Rearend / Ratio Currie Ford 9", 3.73
Front Suspension No Limit Wide Ride with Air Ride Technologies ShockWaves, heavy duty anti-roll bar
Front Brakes SSBC discs, drilled, and slotted
Rear Suspension No Limit four-link and Panhard bar, Air Ride Technologies ShockWaves
Rear brakes Ford Explorer disc, drilled, and slotted
Steering power rack-and-pinion
Front wheel make, size Wheel Vintique, Cruzer, 17x7
Rear wheel make, size Wheel Vintique, Cruzer, 17x9.5
Front tire make, size Yokohama 225/55 R17
Rear tire make, size Yokohama 265/60 R17
Gas tank No Limit 21-gal polished aluminum

ENGINE

Year and make 1996 Gen-5 Chevrolet 454
Engine builder Troy Davis, Riverside Boat & Performance Motors
Displacement 468 ci
Heads GM Oval Port 119cc chamber, ported
Manifold / Induction Street & Performance polished aluminum fuel injection
Headers custom No Limit through wheelwells, coated
Exhaust / Mufflers custom No Limit cross-over, 2.5 / Dynomax
Radiator Fluidyne aluminum
Pulley system Zoops serpentine

TRANSMISSION

Make '93 GM 4L80E
Converter TCI, 2600 stall
Modifications TCI 12-vein oil pump
Shifter Lokar

BODY

Body style / Material pickup / steel
Modifications all cab, dash, door, seams welded and filled, third brake light in back of cab, rounded door corners, filled louvers, cowl vent, and gas filler
Hood stock shaved, No Limit chromed front tilt kit
Bed welded and filled seams, stake pockets,fender bolts and tailgate, rounded stake pockets and rear bed top rail
Bodywork and paint by Manuel Lam
Paint type / Color DuPont base coat / clear coat black with #805 toner
Outside mirrors Champion Custom Aluminum

INTERIOR

Dashboard stock filled and smoothed, custom motor-driven drop-down panel with radio and A/C controls, custom glovebox motor driven drawer
Gauges Auto Meter, No Limit six-hole insert
Stereo / Speakers Kenwood / Pioneer
Air conditioning Vintage Air, behind seat with custom vent system
Steering column ididit tilt chrome
Steering wheel LeCarra
Seat Glide
Upholsterer Mark Lopez, Elegance Auto Interiors
Material / Color Ultraleather / platinum
Carpet black