We all do things out of comfort, familiarity, or both. Once you find something you like, it's easy to stick with it; after all, once you've already been down the road, you'll know the way a little better next time, right? Not always. Chris Meier has fond memories of the '55 F-100 he used to own, and he recently thought he might like to have another. It just so happened his friend Julie Glinski had had a '55 in her backyard some time ago, and as fate would have it the two bumped into each other in April 2002 and Chris asked what ever happened to it. She said it was just rusting away at her place, so the deal was made and the ball began to roll.
Chris' uncle Jack Meier was pretty enthusiastic about the new project, and the two got serious about it-much more than Chris had planned on. Within a week the Ford was totally disassembled and in a million pieces at Jack's house in Elsinore, California. Chris was there every weekend sanding away, while Jack handled the major tin work as well as any welding and reconstruction duties. Jack had a couple of tricks up his sleeve. One was to widen the stock rear fenders 3 inches in lieu of tubbing into the bed, and the other was to mount custom dual gas tanks complete with handmade gas doors so the truck would be capable of some serious cruising. Amongst the cutting and welding Jack frenched a pair of custom dual taillights into the heavily massaged fenders.
After a year and a half of working on the '55 at Jack's house they decided to move the project to Hot Rods & Custom Stuff in nearby Escondido, California, so they could execute the rest of the build the way the two had envisioned. From here it began to turn into a real show truck. Shop owner Randy Clark suggested using a Total Cost Involved chassis complete with a Mustang II front crossmember and a rear four-link with coilovers and GM 11-inch discs at each corner. Between the new 'rails they installed a complete drivetrain built by Total Performance in Santee, California. The running gear is comprised of a '93 302 Ford with Edelbrock RPM heads and intake along with a Crane cam, Holley 620-cfm carb, fire from MSD, and a March serpentine system to keep everything running together. Total Performance also built the Ford 8.8 rearend with a 3.73:1 Posi and a Ford AOD trans. Surrounding all of this are pipes from Bassani, headers from BBK, and Mac Performance Products Mufflers.
Over Jack's bodywork, Hot Rods & Custom Stuff laid down the subtle yet striking Honda Accord Havasu Blue from PPG and rubbed it out to perfection. The Intro Matrix 17- and 18-inchers leave little to be desired, with much needed traction coming from Nitto's NT Z-rated tires. Sharp eyes might notice the '56 grille hiding in the nosed front end. Once the Adjure halogen headlights, Eclipse stereo, and Jatuba bed wood were in it was off to Redlands, California, to Lupe Sandoval's shop for some stitchwork. The Dodge Intrepid six-way power seats were covered in bone-color leather with amber boar print inserts, which carry through the rest of the interior. The stunning upholstery dictated the use of Palomino wool carpet so as not to leave Chris' feet unloved. The billet dash panel holds Ford Motorsport gauges that add just enough sparkle along with the ididit column and Vintage Air controls.
With everything dialed in, Chris and his family were set to cruise in a truck that far surpassed any of their original intentions or plans, but what the hey. We caught up with them at the Goodguys show in Del Mar, California, which was the truck's first major event, and they'll be at Pleasanton and everywhere in between as long as they can drive their Effie there-no trailer rides for the Meiers.