A lot of us grow up with a picture of a truck in our minds that has stuck out over the years. If we had the time and money we would build it. Dave Babiak was no exception. Since high school he had always liked the pickups of the '50s, especially F-100s. Like many of us, however, Dave lead a busy life; a stint in the Navy and 38 years working for UPS didn't give him much time to build his dream truck. All that hard work paid off after a visit to the F-100 Supernationals in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in 2004. Dave was motivated and inspired to begin his search for his truck. He made an offer on a '55 Ford F-100 that he had seen in the Old Car Traders. That bid was followed by many more and after several months with no deal, Dave began to look elsewhere. But right when he was heading out the door to purchase another project, the seller called, saying if Dave was still interested the F-100 was his, and so the project started. The F-100 had seen farm duty in the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was in very good condition. The only major parts he needed to replace were the front fenders and the front panel of the bed.
With UPS keeping him busy the majority of Dave's life it was impossible to master auto mechanics, welding, and fabricating, but that's not saying that Dave is a slouch in the garage. When Dave purchased the truck it was a complete rolling chassis, but once the truck hit his garage, he tore it down. He then stumbled on Mild To Wild Classics in Albuquerque to order some parts for the suspension. But when he saw the work they performed, he knew they would be the ones who installed the suspension components. Moving along, Dave had the frame sent to Mild To Wild Classics, and a new frontend was installed with TCI Mustang II independent arms. The rearend was also reworked at Mild To Wild Classics using a TCI four-link with Ford Explorer rear discs. The four-link was bolted to a Currie Enterprises 9-inch housing using 3.50 gears and a TSD limited slip.
After the frame was complete Dave knew he couldn't possibly finish the truck within a respectful amount of time, so he decided to let Mild To Wild Classics finish the truck to his specifications. Dave says the most memorable experience he has had so far was: "The day the last nuts and bolts were torqued, the engine fired up, and being able to drive it home."