Out of sight, out of mind, right? This may hold true for many things, and the engine compartment is one of those. But one of the nice things about a truck versus, say, a street rod is that we can shut the hood and no one is the wiser as to what's underneath, whether it be good, bad, or indifferent. Most of us would like to be proud of what we have under the hood so we can show it off, but what if you had more to show off than just the powerful, gas-guzzling V-8 between the fenders?
That's exactly what the team at the Roadster Shop was thinking when they wanted to give the sheetmetal surrounding the World Product's big-block in Mike Crimaldi's '53 F-100 a facelift. The Roadster Shop has put so much work into the rest of the truck, why should they stop now? They had already made a virtually new firewall, one that curves forward ever so slightly with a nice concave recess for the motor, not a sunken box that looks like it took two minutes to bend up in the sheetmetal brake. In fact, there might not be a single sharp corner anywhere on the whole truck! So now they needed to make the inner fender panels and surrounding areas match the firewall's grace, followed by fabbing a custom-made crown-or an air cleaner, if you want to get technical-for the mighty Rat motor.
Of course, such an undertaking requires special tools and the skill to use them, like an English wheel, a planishing hammer, shrinking and stretchers, etc., but that's why places like the Roadster Shop are in business, right? So check out what should be our last installment of this F-100's build, because we are booking our plane tickets to the Goodguys show in Des Moines, Iowa, and driving from there to the Roadster Shop in Elgin, Illinois, to shoot the finished truck for a full feature before driving to the Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Enjoy!
Here at the Roadster Shop, they are working on remodeling the rather plain stock engine ba
...Once the basic shape and size of this inner fender panel is figured out, the template c
With the new inner fender panels in place, Jeremy Gerber got to work on the pieces that wi