When Larry and Cathy Campbell started rebuilding this truck, they had no idea the work would become a form of therapy for them. They were in the middle of the second rebuild a couple of years ago when flames tore through half of their Elmira, New York, home one chilly winter morning. Once they overcame the initial shock of the damage to their home, they shifted from the truck project to rebuilding after the fire.
Larry acquired the '59 F-100 10 years ago after a friend turned down the opportunity to buy it. The truck, originally from Texas, had been lingering in a barn for a number of years in Lockport, New York, and was in reasonably decent condition when he brought it home in '96. The truck had already been restored with a repaint and engine rebuild, so it was ready to drive and made a great start for a nostalgia project.
Larry is a hot rodder, so driving a stock truck was not on his agenda. He liked his acquisition's overall design and Y-block engine, so he didn't alter too much in those areas.
Thinking back to his school bus-riding days when he became interested in the modified cars the older guys were driving, Larry decided he wanted wide whitewalls on black wheels-"the look" when he was in high school-for his recently acquired hauler.
One of the first items on the "to do" lists was changing the interior to match the truck's green and white exterior. Larry took the pickup to Flyboyz Street Rod Designs in Horseheads, New York, where the stock seat, door panels, and headliner were treated to new green and white vinyl coverings. Green carpeting covered the floor. All the stitching was done by shop owner Brian Schuler.
Larry had removed the original gas tank and mounted a 15-gallon TANKS unit between the chassis rails, so he asked Flyboyz to sew up a special pouch to use for storage in the back of the cab, where the old tank was located. After his friend Charlie Quick punched 132 louvers in the stock hood, Larry painted the Effie in original '59 colors using PPG green and white.
The truck was soon deemed ready for cruising duty whenever Larry and Cathy were not out with their chopped '36 Dodge hot rod pickup. With two trucks in the garage, deciding what to drive every time they wanted to go for a ride was a tough decision.
It wasn't long after that they decided they should do a complete rebuild, so they began the arduous task of taking the truck apart. That's where the project was when the fire occurred. They found themselves setting aside the wrenches for the tools necessary to put their house back together.
Almost two years went by before they felt they could continue work on the truck. When they did, the project went quickly. Stewart-Warner instruments were set in a Haneline dash panel. A Moon Equipment steering wheel was chosen to top off a '79 GM van column. A Vintage Air system controls the climate for cruising, and Juliano's seatbelts were added. To finish the interior work, Larry installed new wiring from American Auto Wire.
Larry located a '57 Ford 312 Y-block engine that was bored .030 over. Desiring to keep things simple, he added an Edelbrock 600 carburetor and Pertronix distributor along with a pair of Y-block ram horn headers he'd found at a swap meet. Thunderbird aluminum valve covers and a Cal-Custom air cleaner give the engine the necessary sparkle, with a little help from a Powermaster alternator.
A Ford C-4 transmission of '83 vintage was bolted to the engine, only after they finally found a Flat-O-Mastic Y-block-to-C-4 adapter. A Lokar shifter was installed, and Cook Brothers in nearby Horseheads was called upon to shorten the original driveshaft. Larry bought a complete Mustang II front suspension from Fatman Fabrications, which got the front of the truck down where it belongs, a drop of 8 inches. Monroe shocks soften the ride, and brakes consist of 11-inch rotors and GM calipers.
While he was under the truck, Larry brought the back of it down 6 inches by flipping the rear axle, installing 1 1/2-inch adjustable mounts for the front section of the rear springs, and C'ing the frame. He added a sway bar to stabilize the ride and found a set of gears for the '59 rearend for boulevard cruising without being harsh on the budget.
The rolling stock consists of Wheel Vintiques steelies powdercoated black, 15x6 fore and 15x8 aft, wrapped with BFG Classic Coker wide whitewalls. Tire sizes are 225/70Rx15 up front and 255/70Rx15 out back.
All that remained to be done was having the front bumper chromed by Sandy's Bumper Mart in Syracuse, New York, and stretching a tonneau cover across the bed. Soon Larry had the truck back on the streets, enjoying the sound from the dual exhaust he added at Steve's Lifetime Muffler in Elmira.
Larry credits his wife, Cathy, and his friends Mike Ames, Bob Baker, and Charlie Quick with making the rebuild possible. We liked the little hauler so much that it garnered one of our Top 10 Picks at the Goodguys '06 show in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
|Facts & Figures|
|Larry & Cathy Campbell|
|Elmira, New York|
|1959 Ford F-100|
|FRAME ||stock |
|MODIFICATIONS ||C-notched |
|REAREND / RATIO ||Ford 9" / 3.00:1 |
|REAR SUSPENSION ||stock, adjustable spring mounts |
|REAR BRAKES ||drum |
|FRONT SUSPENSION ||Fatman Mustang II |
|FRONT BRAKES ||GM 11-inch disc |
|STEERING BOX ||rack-and-pinion |
|FRONT WHEELS ||Wheel Vintiques, 15x6 |
|REAR WHEELS ||Wheel Vintiques, 15x8 |
|FRONT TIRES ||Coker Classic 225/70R15 |
|REAR TIRES ||Coker Classic, 255/70R15 |
|GAS TANK ||TANKS, Inc. steel 15-gal.under bed, |
|ENGINE || '57 Ford 312ci Y-block |
|BUILT BY || owner |
|HEAD || stock |
|MANIFOLD / INDUCTION || stock / Edelbrock 600 |
|IGNITION || Pertronix |
|HEADERS || Y-block ram's horn manifolds |
|EXHAUST || Steve's Lifetime Mufflers |
|TRANSMISSION || '83 Ford C-4 |
|SHIFTER || Lokar |
|STYLE || F-100 |
|FENDERS || stock |
|HOOD || stock, louvered |
|GRILLE || stock, replated |
|BED || stock |
|TAILGATE || stock |
|BODY WORK AND PAINT BY || owner & Mike Ames |
|PAINT TYPE / COLOR ||PPG, green, white |
|HEADLIGHTS / TAILLIGHTS || stock |
|BUMPERS || stock, replated |
|DASHBOARD ||stock w/Haneline insert |
|GAUGES ||Stewart-Warner |
|AIR CONDITIONING ||Vintage Air |
|STEERING WHEEL ||Moon Equipment |
|STEERING COLUMN ||'79 GM van |
|SEAT ||stock bench |
|UPHOLSTERY ||Flyboyz Street Rod Designs |
|MATERIAL / COLOR ||green & white vinyl |
|CARPET ||green wool |