Have you ever driven down a highway and noticed a barnyard find and wondered just what it would be like to bring it back to life? This story is just that case; a second chance at life for this onetime show scene truck from the ’70s.
Lonny Moore was driving down one of those highways and turned up his very own barnyard find. Upon talking to the owner, the truck was purchased for $800 and hauled home. After a bit of research on the truck, Lonny found out that he knew the original owner, Gene Sisk. Gene had originally built the truck back in the ’70s. Lonny contacted Gene to tell him he had found the truck and was going to rebuild it. This made Gene want the truck back, so the decision was made that Lonny would rebuild the truck with his guys at Lonny Moore Collision, and then Gene would buy it back as soon as it was completed.
The truck was rebuilt and time had passed. Lonny received a call from one of Gene’s family members to let him know that Gene had passed on. The family offered to sell the truck back, but Lonny declined due to the amount invested in it. A couple more years had passed and Lonny received another call, this time from Gene’s daughter. The family really wanted the truck to go to a good home and after some back and forth on pricing, things finally came down to a deal and a handshake.
Once back in Lonny’s hands he decided to give the truck another makeover. This time he would take the truck down to its frame so he could design the truck to his own taste. The frontend was swapped out with a Mustang II-style IFS setup fitted with a set of Heidts spindles and Aldan drop springs were mounted up. Out back, a four-link was installed along with a set of Aldan coilovers to complete the pickup’s new stance. As for running gear, Lonny decided on a fresh GM Performance HO 454 big-block backed by an overdrive automatic. The motor was dressed up with numerous goodies from Street & Performance to add a bit of flash.
While the body was off the frame, the guys at Lonny’s shop sanded things down to the raw metal. A ’53 F-100 grille was modified to fit in place of the stock one. Out back, a one-off fuel filler assembly was installed below the tailgate. While back there, the rear fenders were modified to allow some big rollers to tuck into the wheelwells nicely. It was soon time to make the decision on how to finish out the bed. Lonny called up Dan Carpenter for one of his amazing wood bed kits. Then they put the body into the paint booth and a beautiful coat of DuPont Lexus Mid-Green was laid down over the exterior.
Lonny chose to keep his clean, smooth theme on the outside and flow it into the interior. So he had Sam Wright take a bench seat from a ’98 Chevy truck and give it a new look with soft tan leather. A set of Classic Instrument gauges were placed into the dash above the Flaming River steering column, and in order to keep things cool while driving down the highway, a Vintage Air system was installed as well. Wrapping things up, a Budnik “Knife” half-wrapped steering wheel was added to the package.
Budnik Wheels was called up again to machine a custom set of 20x10 and 22x12 rims. To wrap those massive rims, Lonny chose BFGoodrich to make his wheel package complete. With the wheels mounted on his ’56 it was time to set it down on the ground. It was just what Lonny hoped for – one mean green low machine with the sound of a big-block making its presence known on the streets.
Lonny would have loved for Gene to see his masterpiece, so he decided to show off the truck to Gene’s daughter. The smile on her face made Lonny know he did the right thing by purchasing the truck and once again giving it new life. So the next time you’re driving down a country road and see an old truck in a field, hopefully you’ll see the potential it has to be an award-winning truck like Lonny’s.
"The next time you’re driving down a country road and see an old truck in a field, hopefully you’ll see the potential it has to be an award-winning truck like Lonny’s."
1953 Ford F-100
Frame: Modified stock
Modifications: Custom crossmembers
Rearend / Ratio: 9-inch / 3.50:1
Rear suspension: Aldan coilovers, four-link
Rear brakes: Drum
Front suspension: Heidt’s IFS
Front brakes: GM
Steering: Flaming River rack-and-pinion
Front wheels: Budnik 20x10
Rear wheels: Budnik 22x12
Front tires: Nitto 225-40R-20
Rear tires: Nitto 275-35R-22
Gas tank: Galen Frick Fabrication
Engine: 454ci HO, Chevrolet
Valve covers: GM Performance
Manifold / Induction: GM Performance
Ignition: MSD, Mallory
Headers: Street & Performance
Exhaust / Mufflers: American Muffler, Flowmaster
Transmission: GM 700-R4
Modifications: Shift kit
Shifter: Flaming River
Fenders front / rear: Stock
Grille: 1953 Ford F-100
Bed: Dan Carpenter, 3-inch wheel tubs, custom bedrails
Bodywork and paint: Lonny Moore’s Collision Repair
Paint type / Color: DuPont / Lexus Mid-Green
Headlights / Taillights: 1953 Ford F-100
Outside mirrors: FoMoCo
Dashboard: Modified stock
Gauges: Classic Instruments
Air conditioning: Vintage Air
Steering wheel: Budnik
Steering column: Flaming River
Seats: ’98 GM Silverado
Upholstery: Sam Wright, Baldwin, KS
Material / Color: Leather / tan
Carpet: Mercedes-Benz, tweed