In late September of '55 Jack Reid's grandpa, aka Pawpaw, bought a '56 Ford to aid in carrying feed and flour at the mill. The pickup was the first '56 that the local dealership received and when Jack's Pawpaw brought it home his first impression was what a cool grille and cab, but the color he said was "yucky". They used the pickup as a typical farm truck and were not too concerned how the bed looked after the new car smell wore off. Jack was about 13 years old at the time and was granted permission to drive the '56 around the farm's pastures to do chores. But when Jack finally turned 16 he was able to make flour deliveries and take the Ford on the highway.
By '61 he was off to college with dreams of a career as a sales rep. The truck was left back at the farm, but Jack never forgot the first time he got to drive it into town. The farm was sold in '73, but somehow the truck stayed out of the deal. Lucky for Jack the pickup got passed down to him-unlucky for the truck as it was well worn from the farm abuse. Jack had the truck repainted to the original color and got new rubber floor mats-that was about all he could afford at the time.
By the '90s the truck needed a new makeover and the desire to do it was definitely there for Jack. He and his wife, Maxine, went to the F-100 Supernationals in May of 1994 to get some ideas from fellow Ford owners. Over 600 pickups were at the show and not a one had the yucky green color. It was at that time Jack realized his truck looked OK in the Meadow Mist stock color, and the first thing he would do when he retired was to finish the truck.
Maxine kept insisting to Jack that they were not getting any younger and that they should enjoy driving a finished truck before it gets too late. Then, they could enjoy it to its fullest, plus attend car shows from all over. Jack went to see his good friend Dan Carpenter to get some direction on getting the Ford's old exterior put back into new light. Dan recommended that he visit Bob Hancock of Southern Street Performance in Kodak, Tennessee, and give him a game plan for the build.
Bob, Maxine, and Jack all sat down and discussed that they wanted to retain the stock body look but transform the truck into the modern-day running gear and comforts. Wanting to transform the truck into something that Jack wishes Ford would have made, he and Bob set off to refinish the bed. They purchased a Dan Carpenter drop sill bed with hard rock maple wood from a supply house.
They used Wheel Vintiques' steel wheels and painted them to match the exterior topped with small hubcaps and beauty rings. The original paint was then resprayed for the third and hopefully final time by Dale Payne in Knoxville.
Next, the suspension needed to be addressed. A Fatman Fabrications Mustang II kit was welded in to drop the frontend. A 9-inch Ford axle was placed in the rear helped by a set of lowering monoleafs. Maxine wanted to design the interior and picked the tan color and leather with the help of Steve Holcomb from Pro Auto Custom Interiors. Roger Carter of Morganton, North Carolina, did one of the final finishes in the interior; he took the stock steering wheel and reduced it to 15 inches.
Jack and Maxine drive this truck, and the current odometer is at 13,925 miles. Hopefully, by the time you read this article several hundred more miles are added.