1956 Ford F-100 - F-This - Classic Truckin Section
Two custom trucks may look the same from a distance, but when scanned closely, their differences become clearer and clearer. As Truckin' editors, we travel to shows all over the country, and in doing so, have the privilege of admiring the most beautiful custom trucks on the planet.
Having been exposed to thousands of custom trucks, both early and late-models over the years, we sometimes tend to take the incredible craftsmanship for granted. But when we came across Rick and Retha Clutters' immaculate '56 Ford F-100 at the Goodguys Show 'n' Shine in Del Mar, California, it stopped us dead in our tracks. The smooth, glistening Spanish Gold Effie exposed its Swiss Army Knife pose for all to admire. Presently, Rick is retired and enjoying his life's journey in Lancaster, California. Rick owned three new-car dealerships and 15 franchises for some 30 years, during which time he owned numerous custom cars, trucks, trains, and planes. While looking for another builder to create his latest dream, a staff editor friend from Hot Rod directed Rick to Jordon Quintal of Super Rides, in Escondido, California. Rick had Jordon build his previous custom, Envy, a '57 Chevy BelAir. His respect and appreciation for Jordon's talented craftsmanship throttled Rick to have him work his magic again, building Rick's current pristine passion.
Jordon worked with visionary artist and builder Chip Foose to sketch four renderings of the '56 Ford F-100 big-window. Rick and Jordon pondered over the renderings, taking segments from each drawing and compiling them into this final result.
The framerails and crossmembers were constructed from 2x6-inch rectangular tubing. To achieve the sleek, smooth mono frame appearance, each TIG-welded joint was filled and sanded smooth to create a seamless custom frame. A Heidt's front suspension crossmember was fused between the framerails. A pair of Heidt's Mustang II front drop spindles were linked between the upper and lower control arms with ball joints and urethane bushings. A Heidt's steering rack was teamed up with a Chevrolet type II power steering unit. The Wilwood master cylinder feeds four Wilwood twin-piston calipers that apply the pressure to the Wilwood 13-inch rotors. All of the brake lines were made of hand-bent stainless steel that was then chrome-plated. F-this, as it is known, rolls on a set of one-off 18x8-inch Boyd Coddington billet aluminum wheels up front, wrapped in BFGoodrich 235/40ZR18 rubber. Jordon arched and notched each framerail to allow plenty of clearance between the framerails and rearend axle housings. When the Air Ride Technologies Shock Wave pneumatic shocks are deflated, a Heidt's triangulated rear suspension and Panhard bar anchors the smoothed, plated, and painted Currie rearend that's stuffed with 3.10 gears. An Air Ride Technologies Shock Wave shock system allows the rearend's ride height to be pneumatically adjusted. To hook up the asphalt on the power end, a set of one-off Mickey Thompson Sportsman Radial prototypes 31/18XR20 LT mask two, one-of-a-kind Boyd Coddington 20x15-inch one-piece billet aluminum wheels.
The mountain of an engine started with a Chevy 502ci cast-iron block that was machined, bored, and stroked by Greg Scott Racing Engines to the equivalent of 540ci. A pair of Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads were ported, polished, and deburred. An Isky cam with 280/280-duration and .680/.680 lift delivers an aggressive heartbeat for the 540ci power plant. The 871 BDS Blower houses the internal injectors and is capped by a Hilborn bug catcher. Jordon then designed and fabricated the 2-1/8-inch headers that merge into 4-inch collectors. The headers were sent off to Doug Brown for coating and chroming. The exhaust flows into a pair of polished, stainless Borla mufflers and exits out the side of the running boards. A manual Richmond six-speed transmission distributes firm shifts to the Oceanside Driveline chromed driveshaft linking the 800 hp to the beefed-up Currie rearend. The polished billet aluminum shifter was designed and machined by Jordon.
The elegant body modifications are endless. The entire body was shaved, eliminating door handles, badge moldings, and mirrors. The all-steel cab was chopped, lowering the roofline 3 inches; the team then stretched the lower portion of the cab and doors vertically 3 inches, connecting the cab to the running boards. Suicide doors continue the custom flavor. The front steel fenders were welded and molded smooth to the steel hood, making a one-piece front end. The body was channeled 3 inches to achieve a lower ride height while not affecting the front suspension's geometry. Custom, smoothed, wedge-profiled running boards mount underneath the front and rear fenders creating a lower appearance. The oval exhaust tips exit flush with the running boards in front of the rear wheelwell. A pair of Crystalline headlights flank the modified F-this chromed '56 grille. A pair of custom front and rear stainless steel bumpers were recessed into the front apron and rear roll pan. Custom bezels house the round rear dual LED taillights that were frenched into the fenders vertically. The custom-built bed received smoothed tube rails and a smoothed tailgate. A dual actuator-activated bed floor is raised by remote hydraulics, exposing the 18-gallon polished aluminum fuel tank. To show off its incredible flexibility and athleticism, F-this opens up like a Swiss Army Knife-the one-piece front end and bed put in motion with a complex hydraulic system. When the front end and bed are closed, they are solidly located in place by a set of stainless steel locating pins eliminating vibration and shifting while being driven. Every inch of the body surface was smoothed, primed, block-sanded, and then painted with House of Kolor Spanish Gold and color sanded and cleared by Mike May at Pasi's Place in San Marcos, California. The paint's flawless depth is exaggerated by its endless crystal-clear reflections.
Opening the suicide doors exposes us to the incredible stitch work of Armando's Custom Upholstery in Hemet, California. The elegant tan with black snake leather enhances the complete custom package of F-this. One of the most intriguing features is the custom dash with a '57 Chevy gauge cluster filled with Classic white-faced gauges. The custom dash was fabricated with an extended drop apron housing, and recessed phantom inserts conceal the Vintage Air air conditioning unit and vents. The interior's seat moldings were sculpted and formed from steel and then smoothed and painted. The waterfall center console was also constructed from steel, then covered with leather. A smooth, custom billet aluminum shifter, with contour ring and black snake leather boot adds to the console styling. The suicide doors were treated with custom arching armrests covered in tan and black snake leather inserts. Matching tan leather covers the contour of the floor and transmission tunnel. A LoKar go-pedal and Custom Rides brake and clutch pedals with matching pads create style and uniformity. An ididit chrome steering column is capped with a one-off Boyds billet aluminum steering wheel to match the one-off wheels.
A hidden Sony head unit is responsible for concert-quality tunes, powered by JL Audio amps. The JL Audio subwoofers produce the mega bass while four coaxial speakers deliver the mids. A joystick concealed on the left side of the driver seat operates the surround sound audio entertainment.
Since Rick has displayed F-this during its rookie show season, it has received awards at every show it has attended: The Detroit Autorama, The Great 8 at Detroit Autorama, Boyds Pick at Goodguys DelMar, and Ford F-100 Super Nationals Best of Show. Everywhere F-this is displayed, it draws awards, attention, and admiration from endless admirers.
We feel that owners Rick and Retha Clutter along with builder Jordon Quintal hit a grand slam with F-this. Every time F-this steps up and digs in at the plate, it hits another one out of the park.