Yes, Gary Coe's truck is indeed a '57 F-100 Custom Cab...thing is, the only actual parts from a stock '57 that will still fit are the front and rear glass and the glovebox door; everything else is unique to this truck, thanks in no small part to a seriously talented crew from Steve's Auto Restorations (SAP) in Portland, Oregon. But instead of us simply regurgitating Gary's lavish tales of how the truck came to be, why don't we let him do the talking?
"Ever since my dad purchased a '57 F-100 Custom Cab new in 1957, I have always had a special admiration for them. And while it seems there are thousands of '53-56 F-100s out there, I felt it was time to bring a new level of respect and interest to the '57-60 models.
"Back in 1999, my wife and I were on vacation when I spotted a '57 Custom Cab alongside the highway with a For Sale sign on it. I immediately pulled over, backed up the shoulder, and walked over to the fence to check it out. After numerous calls, I was told the truck had been sold. Despite missing out, that occurrence renewed my interest. After building many Mustangs, early Thunderbirds, and a '57 Ranchero, I was finally ready for this truck.
"I own a towing company, and we end up with many unclaimed vehicles. One day, while walking through the auction yard, I stopped in my tracks, as I had come upon a '57 F-100. With the recent experience still fresh in my memory, I made certain I was the high bidder. Once in my possession, I stashed the truck in a warehouse while I decided what to do with it.
"Since I have a 30-year relationship with Chuck Barr from Steve's Auto Restorations, I had him, owner Steve Frisbee, and designer Dave Brost come down to take a look at the truck and explain to them my vision. Among other things, I wanted to make sure the 2 inches above the windshield were chopped, the 1-inch lip around the body trimmed, and that it was as low as possible. Also, I wanted a '55 Olds-style frenched seam on a tan leather dash cover.
"From here, it was officially in the hands of Steve's Auto Restorations, and as it progressed, Brost made a number of suggestions that made sense to me. Among them, the body was sectioned 1 1/2 inches below the door handles, and along with that, material was added to the top of the bed to match the cab's height and contour. Also, the contour was tapered down from the cab height at the front to the stock height at the rear. With the (now) pancaked hood, from the side you can see the straight side body line, while the beltline droops in the front and rear.
"I've had this truck five years now. When I walked into SAR to pick it up for its Portland Roadster Show debut, it sat very low. My comment, meant positively, was, 'Wow! That's low!' Chuck replied, 'I told the guys that would not be a problem, because you know how to drive low cars!' Indeed, I do."
It was obvious from the first moment we met Gary that he was overly happy with the outcome of his truck, as he was more than willing to go into great detail about each and every little thing on it. Sure, the F-157 is in a class of its own from pretty much every aspect. However, regardless of its financial status or its first-class rebirth, it has lived up to Gary's original intent to bring a renewed respect for the "other" F-100s. Just from our initial meeting with him at Del Mar, the most frequently overheard comment toward his truck was, "I'm not normally a big fan of '57-60 Fords, but I like this one!" Yes, indeed, we do!
Facts & Figures
1957 Ford F-100 Custom Cab
|CHASSIS ||FRAME: 100% custom-built |
MODIFICATIONS: Steve’s Auto Restorations, Portland, OR
REAREND / RATIO: Aldridge Motorsports 9” Ford / 4.11:1
REAR SUSPENSION: custom 4-link w/coilovers & Panhard
REAR BRAKES: Baer dual-piston
FRONT SUSPENSION: Heidt’s tubular-arm, coilovers
FRONT BRAKES: Baer 4-piston
FRONT WHEELS: Budnik Fontana, 18x9
REAR WHEELS: Budnik Fontana, 20x10
TIRES: BFGoodrich g-Force T/A
GAS TANK: hand fab’d
|DRIVETRAIN ||Year and make: ’96 Cobra 4.6L |
VALVE COVERS: Cobra, custom-painted
INDUCTION: Kenne Bell supercharger w/
custom intake by SAR
EXHAUST / MUFFLERS: polished stainless
TRANSMISSION: Lentech Ford AOD
MODIFICATIONS: Lentech 2,500-stall
SHIFTER: ididit column
|BODY ||STYLE: Custom Cab |
MODIFICATIONS: chopped, channeled, &
FENDERS: reworked with molded headlight bezels
HOOD: pie’d, fully skinned underneath
GRILLE: reworked, headlights separated
BED: reshaped bedrails, rear panel and tailgate leaned forward, mahogany inlaid wood w/one-piece stainless insert
BODYWORK AND PAINT BY: Steve’s Auto Restorations
PAINT TYPE / COLOR: House of Kolor / Blue Blood Red
HEADLIGHTS / TAILLIGHTS: Hummer
BUMPERS: ’64 Econoline rear on front; ’64 Econoline front on rear (both heavily modified)
|INTERIOR ||DASHBOARD: custom, ’55 Olds styling, |
GAUGES: ’96 Cobra
AIR CONDITIONING: Vintage Air w/hidden controls
STEERING WHEEL: Flaming River
STEERING COLUMN: ididit
SEATS: Glide bench
UPHOLSTERY BY: Paul Reichen
MATERIAL / COLOR: leather / tan
HEADLINER: ribbed to match hood