It all started with grandma. When Robert Anderson was a freshman in high school--dreaming about driving--his grandma got him a subscription to CLASSIC TRUCKS. The rest was left up to a young boy’s dreams. Robert instantly had wide eyes when he saw the custom Ford trucks in the magazine. (Who could blame him? They’re cool.) In particular, he wanted to purchase a ’56 Ford, because he liked the front grille. He managed to get odd jobs building fences, hacking tree limbs, and mowing lawns to purchase his very own tailgate mobile.

Robert searched high and low and waited for the newspaper to come every Sunday so he could read the classifieds. On one lucky Sunday Robert saw a ’56 Ford for only $1,200 and decided to take his dad with him to see if it was a smart purchase. The truck was all there, but the brakes were leaking faster than you could put fluid in the master cylinder, and the windshield worked better as a kaleidoscope than a wind brake. Luckily, his parents shelled out the extra cash to fix the stoppers and windshield; the rest, however, was up to Robert.

It was around 1998, a few years out of high school, when Robert wanted to lower the F-100 by welding on a Camaro front clip to provide a smoother look and ride. With great intentions we tend to get ahead of our pocketbooks and either let our projects sit or, in worst-case scenario, sell them to the highest bidder. So the truck sat in the garage with pieces scattered everywhere. The F-100 was looking more like a laundry table than a piece Americana.

A few years later Robert was passing through Lake Elsinore, California, and knew of a Ford F-100 builder, Bobco, from all the old CT magazines he used to read. He made his way inside to check out the F-100s that were being worked on and instantly hit it off with the owner, Bob.

This is also where Robert saw a lot of the trucks he grew up reading about on the walls of Bob’s shop and office. Robert told himself that one day he would come back and have Bob help convert his boyhood dreams into a reality, but at the time he was working on creating a new business to provide for his wife, Kristen, and future family.

Skipping ahead to 2005, Robert had saved a few pennies and contacted Todd at Walton Fabrication to build a custom frame. When the frame was done it also sat for a few years until his piggy bank was replenished--and, with kids in the house, the frame was taking up much needed space. In 2008, almost 10 years after Robert met with Bob at Bobco, he returned--this time with his ’56 F-100.

The usual rust repair was performed, along with tons of other slight tweaks and modifications Robert could afford. Most of the attention was spent on getting the bodywork ready for paint. "The paint gets the most recognition from strangers," Robert says. The chance to build the dream ’56 Ford is, in most cases, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Robert would like to thank his wife, Kristen, for putting up with his shenanigans, as well as everyone who took part in the build, no matter how small. CT