It took three and a half years to build, working under a Harbor Freight tent. Tom Burges, the owner of a beautiful purple ’56 F-100, wanted something to bring back his childhood memories and keep him off the couch. So he decided it would be beneficial to start a ’56 Ford F-100 truck project.
A friend of Tom’s by the name of Bob Uber knew of a truck near his home in Fillmore, California, and convinced Tom to take a look at it. It didn’t take much for Tom to agree to the project because the price was right and the project looked like it needed way too much work.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with Tom on several projects, mostly mine, over at Deuces Wild Hotrods & Customs, also in Fillmore. Tom is a retired truck driver and would stop by the shop to lend a hand to whoever needed it. It was always nice to see Tom around the shop because of his wise comments and willingness to help out with anything. Tom would never brag or boast about his accomplishments and that included the building of his truck.
One day he stopped by the shop as I was working and all I could hear was the roaring of a built 302 with 3-inch exhaust. I had to stop what I was doing and walk outside to see what was making that sweet gearhead sound. Surprised, it was good ol’ Tom in his work clothes ready to get dirty.
So when faced with a project that was full of rust and dents Tom jumped in and tackled the hard parts first. The driprail on the roof line had 3 inches of rust and Tom jokingly said, “It dripped alright.” The bed floor was gone, there was broken glass, and the passenger door was caved in. Tom’s attitude to try and fail, but never fail to try has really taken him far with the build process. Tom said to himself, and everyone in earshot, “It’s time for me to learn to do some bodywork.” Just when he thought the truck was getting closer to being finished, Tom and Bob pulled the bed off the truck and discovered more rust. Bob suggested that he put a CPP disc brake kit on it and clean the frame up a little.
Cleaning up the frame a little lead to tearing the cab off, completely sanding it to bare metal and painting it gloss black. Tom said he thought the hard part was all over, but little did he know that to get the body perfect he would spend a year and a half learning to fix his mistakes. “Dent pulling, primer, sanding, guide coat, sanding, sanding, sanding, and then do it all over,” Tom said. Now that everything was as close to perfect as Tom could get it, he took the truck all apart and sent it over to the painter. Tom said his favorite part about the truck is how everyone comments on how perfect the paint and panels are.