What's worth doing is worth overdoing, right? This is one of my favorite sayings, and it really does pertain to most things in life. But perhaps it hits home best when it comes to building and/or working on old trucks. Plenty of us are appeased with a simple bailing wire fix or a "good 'nuff" attitude concerning our truck's fit and finish or lack thereof; hey, as long as it runs, that'll do. That is just fine as long as we're all having fun, but out on the other end of the spectrum we find people like the team at the Roadster Shop in Elgin, Illinois. Loyal readers should be familiar with the quality work the Roadster Shop has been churning out of their not-so-little shop in the Midwest since we have been following the build on Mike Crimaldi's '53 F-100 during the last year.
This story begins back in '78 when Mike's dad gave him an F-100 at the age of 15 as payment for a summer's worth of work in the family business. Like many teenagers at this point in life, he started his lifelong affair with the automobile, and this model of F-100 specifically. Mike went on to date his high school girlfriend, Lisa--who would later become his wife--in the old Ford, which cemented the bond with the truck even more. Not to mention all the years of loyal service it gave him into young adulthood and the memories gathered along the way. But pretty soon real life, like raising a family, got in the way, as it tends to do. Mike found he didn't have a place to keep the '53, and he reluctantly sold it.
Almost 25 years later, someone brought up F-100s at a family reunion, and Mike shortly found himself the owner of a '53 F-100 as well as an F-500. He hauled both trucks to the Roadster Shop to see if they could make one decent driver out of the pair. Mike wasn't concerned with having a full-on show truck, but he still wanted something that would be somewhat peppy and fun to drive that he could take to a cruise night here and there. He wasn't sure about the details, so the Roadster Shop took the reins and got started on a new chassis for the '53 since the stock underpinnings weren't Mike's idea of a "fun" ride.
As work began on the chassis, the consensus at the Roadster Shop was that it'd be a cool idea to set up the Heidt's Superide II IFS four inches in front of the stock axle centerline for a more aggressive and modern look, which became the catalyst to push the envelope and not just build "another" F-100. In turn, that brought about the forward-thinking rendering of the '53 by Eric Brockmeyer Designs. Mike agreed, and the Stage III chassis commenced with its stretched wheelbase, triangulated four-link, Ford 9-inch stuffed with 3.90:1 gears, and Detroit Trutrac. At each corner are QA1 Proma-Star coilovers and 11-inch Wilwood disc brakes hiding behind 20- and 22-inch Billet Specialties Rail wheels blasted and painted a matte silver color that would soon cover all the pieces of the truck that would normally be sent to the chrome plater.