I think I speak for everyone involved with this project when I say, "Whew!" The finale of our project '56 F-100 buildup couldn't have come sooner...well, it could have, but nonetheless, it feels great to finally say it's done! Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the project was comparable to having a tooth pulled or anything, but remember, we're magazine folk, not full-time car builders, so hopefully you can understand the added pressure something of this magnitude would have on us.
Actually, the person who's probably most relieved that the Sacramento Vintage Ford Mail-Order F-100 is a wrap is the man responsible for the majority of the truck's assembly, and that tip of the hat would go to none other than Mr. Tech Center himself, Jason Scudellari, a.k.a. Installation Jason. Sure, Jason didn't have a monthly publication to turn out while he was laboring away on the '56, but he did have to deal with impatient editors--like me--equally impatient publishers, and all the other editor types who were trying to get their magazine projects scheduled in the Primedia Tech Center (we made them wait for us!), all on top of having to photograph a large portion of the tasks he was performing. Yes, I believe Jason deserves an extra "atta-boy" for his effort, but there are others who deserve recognition, as well.
Upon his recent arrival to the CLASSIC TRUCKS family, Eagle Scout Grant Peterson was thrown right into the project headfirst with little to no warning. While others would have quickly scurried away, tail firmly clenched between their legs, Grant took on the project with all the fervor and commitment he could muster up. Along with Jason, the two were able to stick to a game plan, working with the various companies involved, and got 'er done. And done she is, as you can plainly see thanks to the artistic photography of Randy Lorentzen, who came in during the top of the ninth inning, making room in his schedule where there was none, to get the F-100 shot in the studio.
Obviously, there are many others who must be thanked for helping us complete our huge task of building a '56 Ford pickup from 100 percent new parts. First off, despite our "novice" efforts of wanting to modify his handiwork, Todd Walton put his personal agenda aside long enough to provide us with the foundation of the truck's BeBop's Big-Window cab and fenders, Fairlane Company hood, and the Pro's Pick bed. The chassis will ultimately prove to be one of the high points of the truck, what with its modern IFS with power rack-and-pinion, leaf-sprung Currie 9-inch rearend, and disc brakes at each corner. Filling the void between the front half of the chassis is the Smeding Performance small-block Ford powerplant and AOD-E four-speed overdrive tranny from TCI, keeping things as True Blue as possible.
From there, it was all in Sacramento Vintage Ford's court (the main source for the F-100 "kit" for any and all interested parties!), as they supplied everything they offered from their inventory, from the wiring harness to the window glass, exterior/interior accessories, and nearly everything in-between. It's fair to say that our phone bill to their number alone was staggering (good thing we don't have to pay for it!). The goal was to create a "master list" of supplies required to assemble a truck from scratch. Obviously, there were a few things that SVF couldn't provide us with (items they didn't carry), so as you can see by the lengthy source list, there were plenty of reputable manufacturers and suppliers that stepped up to the plate.
Above and beyond the parts suppliers, we also need to give a ton of credit to the individuals that donated their time to the project, which oftentimes is worth more than the average hourly rate. Namely, we owe a debt of gratitude to Jerry Seivers and his crew at the Paint 'N' Place for not only applying the Auto-Air Colors Rock Star Red water-based paint, but for dutifully handling all of the underlying bodywork required to allow the paint to look as good and smooth as it does. Anyone will tell you, a complete paint job is no walk in the park, but these guys sure made it seem like it was, mainly because they took full control and ran with it.
As the project was nearing an end and the time came to install the RodDoors custom upholstery kit, my good friend Rudy at Auto Upholstery of Orange put his customers on hold long enough to stretch and glue our Raisinette UltraLeather and Chamois UltraSuede over the ABS panels to match RodDoors' own effort on their Lassen II bench seat. Rudy also used his super-duper glue to affix the Trinidad Copper carpet to the cab's floor. Along with the Dakota Digital instrumentation and ididit chrome column with a Lecarra wheel, the interior has a nice, classy feel to it without being too modern looking.
While it would seem the truck was finally ready to hit the road, we weren't taking any chances, so we scheduled an appointment with the folks at Westech in Mira Loma, California, to get the engine and trans dialed in. They put the truck through its paces, fine-tuning everything from the Edelbrock fuel system, the TCI overdrive computer, to the Performance Distributors ignition system, and all the way to the cooling system. Once they'd performed their magic, we knew we could get behind the wheel of the F-100 with confidence.
Vibrant Rock Star Red (from Auto-Air Color's water-based line) paired with brilliant chrom
Avoiding any issues with stock-type hinges, we opted for a CPP flip kit for the Fairlane C
An ididit tilt column, Dakota Digital gauges, Vintage Air climate control, leather-wrapped
Whether you're into classic or contemporary, the interior on our F-100 reflects a little o
As you can see, the Pro's Pick bed got a special treatment by the Paint 'N' Place. Instead
We may have fallen short of our original goal of having the first 100-percent aftermarket F-100, but pulling off the feat of just completing the project was satisfaction enough for us. It was indeed an adventure, one that none of us will soon forget. The entire staff of CLASSIC TRUCKS past and present would like to thank everyone who lent a hand in one way or another, ultimately assisting us in reaching this point of our Mail-Order F-100--The End!