Spent gasses get dumped through a set of white coated Hedman headers and Cherry Bomb mufflers exiting through a 2-inch chrome-plated belly burner-style exhaust. For smooth shifts a rebuilt Chevrolet TH350 trans moves the power rearward through a custom driveshaft. When it came time to evaluating the body, one thing for sure was that the original patina needed to be preserved. The time and effort put forth into the body's restyling had withstood the test of time, although everything had dulled to the point where the original color was barely recognizable.

Derrick got started by first wet-sanding the body and followed by buffing what was left of the red candy vibe back to life. Sure there were plenty of nicks and chips, but they tell the story of the old Ford's journey. The numerous body updates included the striking addition of canted quad headlights starting with a pair of '59 Chevy headlight bezels. In order to accomplish this feat, the entire frontend sheetmetal was reworked including the grille opening, molding the hood, extending it, and rolling its front edges, tucking the fenders and rolling the edges, and a custom front roll pan.

As with all customs, they continue to evolve and this was apparent with Derrick crafting up a new chrome tube grille, and adding Buick portholes to the hood sides. Working our way rearward, a set of classic Appleton spotlights were still in good shape as were the detail spears along the running boards. The roof paint was burned from years of the sun's rays, so Derrick dusted the area in white gloss and patina'd it to match the rest of the truck's aura. Around the back is a custom roll pan which ties in the bottoms of the rear fenders featuring quad '59 Cadillac taillights as well as a sunken license plate area and smooth tailgate. The final icing came with a set of Pesko-added pleated white pearl inner wheelwell liners...cool!

The inside of the truck was pretty much gutted and left for dead. First stop was to have good friend Dennis Dagliere rewire everything and get the truck running again. From there, Derrick prepped all interior sheetmetal for a fresh coating of white glimmer, followed by the installation of a set of vintage Stewart Warner dials in a custom aluminum insert. A modified Chrysler tilt steering unit with a column shifter was capped with a '62 Chevy Impala steering wheel for plenty of style, while resin teardrop dash knobs complete the look. A hidden Sony head unit supplies the tunes through a set of nifty old chrome marine speaker covers.

To complete the interior, the stock seat was cut down and treated to yards of pleated white pearl vinyl by CZ's Upholstery of Southington, Connecticut, who also covered the Pesko-built custom door panels. A '62 Ford Falcon console looks right at home bolted in place. The look of a vintage shop truck needed one last detail so Derrick had One Arm Bandit, Charlie Decker of Windsor, Connecticut, letter the doors and add just enough of his masterful lines wherever needed. The completed build took Derrick only three short months (of course there was some help from a few of his fellow car club members, The Others) to allow him to debut the hauler at the wicked cool basement show at the Detroit Autorama where it dazzled the crowds. Even his girlfriend Katie has taken a shine to the truck, logging plenty of road time with it. All we can say is well done as the Scarlet Hauler's latest caretaker has brought it back to life to cruise the streets once again!

1956 Ford F-100

Derrick Pesko
Meriden, Connecticut


Frame: stock
Modifications: C-notched, boxed rails
Rearend / Ratio: '67 Ford 9-inch / 3.73:1
Rear suspension: leaf spring with flipped perches, KYB shocks
Rear brakes: Ford drum
Front suspension: Gibbons torsion bar IFS, Fatman drop spindles, KYB shocks
Front brakes: Mopar disc
Steering box: Mopar with GM pump
Front wheels: Ford 15x7 steelie
Rear wheels: Ford 15x7 steelie
Front tires: Coker / Firestone G78-15
Rear tires: Coker / Firestone L78-15
Gas tank: stock


Engine: '70 Chevy 350ci V-8
Heads: stock iron
Valve covers: early Corvette finned aluminum
Manifold / Induction: Edelbrock Performer / Edelbrock 650-cfm four-barrel
Ignition: MSD
Headers: Hedman
Exhaust / Mufflers: Custom 2-inch chrome belly burners / Cherry Bombs
Transmission: GM TH350
Modifications: stock
Shifter: Chrysler column shift


Style: pickup
Modifications: tucked front fenders, front roll pan, canted quad headlights, molded hood, rear roll pan with molded taillights and license plate
Fenders front / rear: modified stock front / stock
Hood: stock modified with rolled and extended front edge and Buick portholes
Grille: custom, chrome tube
Bed: stock with tonneau
Bodywork and paint by: original unknown / touchup by Allstar Hotrods, Meriden, CT
Paint type / Color: unknown mfg / candy red
Headlights / Taillights: '59 Chevrolet bezels / '59 Cadillac
Outside mirrors: stock
Bumpers: never!


Dashboard: stock
Gauges: vintage Stewart Warner with custom aluminum insert
Air conditioning: cowl vent
Stereo: Sony head unit with matching amps and speakers
Steering wheel: '62 Chevy Impala
Steering column: modified Chrysler tilt
Seats: lowered stock bench
Upholstery by: CZ's Upholstery, Southington, CT
Material / Color: vinyl / white pearl
Carpet: none yet