Most people might find it quite off to hear an F-100 being called an "import," but that's exactly what Mark Merritt has with his '56 Custom Cab. To be more precise, he and many fellow Englishmen fittingly refer to our domestics as Yanks, and this just happens to be his first.

Prior to his overseas acquisition-which actually had been in England for some time, bouncing between various owners-Mark didn't believe he was up to the financial demand of owning a vehicle of such high-octane consumption status, even though his brother had owned a Mustang for the past couple of decades. Whatever it was, something changed his mind back in 1999, and he shelled out the required quid for his introductory American iron project.

The first thing Mark did with his toy was to turn it over to the care of Jimmy Hibberd and his team at Valley Gas Speed Shop in Newbury, Berkshire, England. As it would turn out, Valley Gas would see the entire project through from start to finish, and any jobs they couldn't handle in-house, such as the interior and paint, were subbed out to nearby shops. In the course of two years, the "tatty" Effie was transformed into a real looker-and quite the performer, too.

At first, the '56 was as dodgy as ever thanks to a beam-axle frontend that was due for retirement. Now, with a fresh Mustang II complete with rack-and-pinion steering and power disc brakes, well, it goes without saying that Mark isn't wearing out his forearms keeping the truck between the lines. On the other hand, he may be making more frequent stops for petrol than he's used to in his '55 Pop (Ford Popular...or Anglia to you Yanks!), especially now that there's a Goodwrench 350 under the hood of the Effie. Lookswise, a fresh coat of black acrylic enamel on the exterior and a red leatherette trim job inside, with the right amount of chrome accents, of course, are just what the truck needed to start off its new lease on life under Merritt's possession.