In May 2005, Forney, Texas, building contractor and Blue Oval enthusiast Terrence Marler had just sold his '63 Ford F-100 pickup and was looking for, in Terrence's own words, a "new workhorse to make trips to the Home Depot with."
"I spotted an ad in a local Wal-Mart offering a 'restored' '56 Ford F-100 pickup in Humboltz, Tennessee. It was your basic '56 Ford F-100 small-window, 292-cid V-8 engine. No air, no radio. I bought the truck for $10,000 and brought it home." Quite typically, the old Effie had a few minor dents and dings that Terrence wanted repaired.
"Overall, the truck was in really good condition, but 50 years has a way of catching up. That's where my friend and neighbor Jimmy Pederson came in. Jimmy owns his own body and paint shop in Forney. After crawling around the truck for a while, he spotted signs of rust on the doorsills and above the headlights. He also pointed out some small dents I had not seen. We discussed what needed to be done, and we came to the conclusion that an entire makeover would be a pretty good idea."
After completely dismantling the F-100, Terrence and Jimmy sent all the body panels out to be media blasted, which revealed even more problem areas. "During the day, Jimmy would work on the truck in between other jobs, and every evening I would come home and work on my new pride and joy for a couple of hours after dinner." Terrence related that the UPS man got to know them very well during the two-year rebuilding process. "Mid-Fifty Ford Parts in Golden, Arizona, became my main parts supplier. They carry almost everything you need to restore a '53-56 F-series Ford pickup."
While Jimmy and his crew were straightening out the Effie's 51-year-old sheetmetal, Terrence started freshening up the chassis, starting with the I-beam front axle. Terrence also rebuilt the semi-elliptic six-spring rear suspension along with the 3.92:1-geared semi-floating hypoid rear axle and two-shoe anchor hydraulic brakes. In keeping with the restoration theme, Terrence elected to retain the OE 15x5-inch two-piece drop-center steel disc wheels (and pie-tin hubcaps), wrapping them in P235/75R15 Kelly rubber.
When it came to the Effie's 272-cid V-8 and on-the-column Synchro-Silent three-speed transmission (with a 10.5-inch hydraulic clutch), Terrence performed a basic rebuild using a combination of NAPA- and Concourse-brand engine parts. "When I rebuilt the engine, I took some liberties by installing a 2V Holley carburetor and a K&N air cleaner assembly along with a set of chrome valve covers. A set of thermal-coated Sanderson headers with Flowmaster mufflers give the truck that throaty sound I like so much."
Once the crew at Pederson's Auto Body completed the bodywork on the F-100, the truck was sprayed in DuPont Snowshoe White and Sea Haze Green. "It seemed that neither Jimmy nor I could hold back from doing our best on what originally started out to be a truck intended for weekend lumber and gravel hauling. One Sunday, he asked me if I wanted to color-sand the orange peel finish. I indicated that it really didn't make any difference and that orange peel would probably be more durable. The following Monday when I went to the shop, the hood had been polished to a show-car luster, and Jimmy was grinning from ear to ear. I didn't help matters by purchasing polished stainless steel hardware, which was far more durable than stock. It was clear at that point the F-100 was going to be far too nice for regular work duty."
Although the inside of Terrence's small-window Effie looks stock, it too has been (slightly) upgraded. "The original door panels and headliner were gray painted cardboard; not very attractive, much less very durable. I had local upholsterer Alton Starnes reupholster the seat in two-tone gray vinyl, while I redid the doors and headliner myself. My wife Linda can now see that all those long hours and dollars invested helped create something that all ages can appreciate, from young boys who think they're looking at Tow Mater from the Disney-Pixar movie Cars, to old men who drove these trucks when they were brand new. She really enjoys going to shows and explaining what was done, and in doing so, it gives us more time to spend together."
"Probably one of the more enjoyable experiences I got was when I was able to meet the Mid-Fifty Ford Parts crew in person at the F-100 Super Nationals at Knoxville. It seems everybody loves the work truck that turned into a hobby!"
|Facts & Figures|
|1956 Ford F-100|
|FRAME:|| stock |
|REAREND RATIO:|| stock / 3.92:1 |
|REAR SUSPENSION:|| stock leaf-over |
|REAR BRAKES:|| stock drum |
|FRONT SUSPENSION:|| stock I-beam, parallel leaf |
|FRONT BRAKES:|| stock drum |
|STEERING BOX:|| stock |
|WHEELS:|| stock, 15x5 |
|TIRES:|| Kelly, 235/75R15 |
|GAS TANK:|| stock 18-gal |
|DRIVETRAIN ||ENGINE:|| stock 272ci Y-block |
|HEADS:|| stock iron |
|VALVE COVERS:|| aftermarket chrome |
|MANIFOLD / INDUCTION:|| stock / Holley 2V |
|IGNITION:|| stock points, ACCEL wires |
|HEADERS:|| Sanderson |
|EXHAUST / MUFFLERS:|| steel / Flowmaster |
|TRANSMISSION:|| stock 3-speed |
|SHIFTER:|| on-column |
|STYLE:|| F-100 small-window |
|MODIFICATIONS:|| none |
|FENDERS FRONT / REAR:|| stock |
|HOOD:|| stock |
|GRILLE:|| stock |
|BED:|| stock |
|BODYWORK AND PAINT BY:|| Jimmy Pederson |
|PAINT TYPE / COLOR:|| DuPont / Sea Haze Green, Snowshoe White |
|HEADLIGHTS / TAILLIGHTS:|| stock |
|OUTSIDE MIRRORS:|| stock |
|BUMPERS:|| stock front, no rear |
|DASHBOARD:|| stock |
|GAUGES:|| stock |
|STEERING WHEEL:|| stock |
|STEERING COLUMN:|| stock |
|SEAT:|| stock |
|UPHOLSTERY BY:|| owner |
|MATERIAL / COLOR:|| vinyl / gray |
|CARPET:|| black rubber mat |