1955 Ford F-100 Truck - Yellow
Another Fine Effie Find
Here at the plushly carpeted and well-lit Truckin' editorial offices, various staff members can be relied on to exhibit certain strengths and talents particular to their own interests. In the case of ultra-clean vintage Ford F-100 trucks, Staff Technical Editor Bob Ryder is the man. Bob always brings home the bacon when it comes to discovering the best of the new, feature-worthy Effies making the rounds on the show circuit. The fact that Bob travels to a bunch of F-100 events every year may have something to do with his success. Whatever the reasons or methods, there's no denying that Bob is the Effie King of Truckin'. The beautiful, bright-yellow '55 F-100 presented on these pages is one of Bob's recent discoveries in a long line of magazine-worthy F-100s. As Bob was canvassing the recent 24th Annual F-100 Supernationals held in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, he ran into Ray Osborn of Ralston, Nebraska, and this clean Effie bearing the very appropriate license tag, YEL-LOW.
Vintage truck restoration projects typically take a long time to accomplish and this one was no exception. Ray purchased his project mule for a paltry $1,300 back in 1977. Several years and $22,000 later, a star was born. Ray began the transformation of his Effie by altering the suspension to lower the truck. Various suspension components robbed from a '78 Mercury Cougar allowed Ray to bring down the front end by 6 inches. A bit of tweaking along with a C-notch and a pair of Monroe air shocks brought the rear down 8 inches. To complete his rolling chassis, Ray chose 15x8-inch and 15x10-inch Center Line rims. Ray's rubber of choice was P265/65R15 BFGoodrich tires in front and P285/70R15 BFGs in the rear. Go-power for Ray's vintage Ford was provided by a 351ci Windsor V-8 assembled by Smiley's Machine Shop in Omaha, Nebraska. Ported and polished '69 Ford V-8 heads along with an Engle RV camshaft gave the engine new life. The powerplant was mated to a '78 C6 transmission rebuilt by Omaha Drive Line. Ray's Effie puts the power to the pavement through a refurbished Ford 8-inch rearend equipped with Traction-Lock.
Deciding that full-blown body modifications were beyond the scope of his skills, Ray handed his prize possession over to the experts at P&B Street Rods in Bellevue, Nebraska, for some sheetmetal modification. Using the stock Ford steel body panels, Ray had P&B chop 7 inches out of the roof and then the hood was pie-cut by 3 inches to better blend with the recontoured roofline. A wider, stepside bed from a '79 F-100 was installed with a modified tailgate and LED brake lights. A custom metal tonneau cover was fabricated and fitted with the rear wing and third brake light from an '87 Trans Am.
In order to spruce up the interior of his now-radical ride, Ray took the Effie to Recover, an auto upholstery shop in Omaha, where seats from Mr. T's were covered in tan leather, and a tan and white leather headliner was installed. Ray added a Dakota Digital instrument cluster, air conditioning from Vintage Air, and power windows from Specialty Power Windows. A compact sound system borrowed from a Lincoln Mark VIII fit nicely in the vintage interior without being obtrusive.
The last part of Ray's reworked F-100 project was the application of several coats of Ditzler School Bus Yellow inside and out of the truck. The bright-yellow color had the effect of making Ray's Effie stand apart from the rows of vintage Fords at the Supernationals. One look at the photographs on these pages attests to the fact that Bob Ryder had again accomplished the feat of finding the few and finest F-100s available for inclusion in this magazine.