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1956 Ford F100 & 1957 Chevy Cameo - Double Down

A Ford Vs. Chevy Battle In The Same Garage

Brandan Gillogly
Feb 1, 2011
Photographers: Brandan Gillogly
The average custom truck lover picks their favorite make and sticks with it. That's just the way it is. Not many people cross the aisle. That wasn't the case for Dave and Sandy Forman of Everett, Washington. The couple has built both a Bow Tie and Blue Oval that any gearhead would love to call their own.
Photo 2/13   |   1956 Ford F100 1957 Chevy Cameo custom Trucks
With two formidable boulevard cruisers in their stable, the only downfall to their scenario is having to choose one to fire up and drive off. Bow Tie or Blue Oval? Flip a coin.
The Blue Oval
Taking a look at the exterior of this '56 Ford F-100 leaves little indication as to what hides under the sheet metal. The truly savvy F100 aficionado might notice that the fenders have been reworked a bit, and that overall the truck is much smoother than any F100 that ever left Dearborn, but they'd never guess how much this truck departs from the norm.
Photo 3/13   |   1956 Ford F100 left Front Angle
Extreme Metal & Paint is responsible for the rich PPG silver, a factory Porsche color, that covers the body. Steve Dungan sprayed the paint over every inch of the truck that he smoothed along with Dale VanGemert. The two conspired to remove any distractions from the Ford's exterior, so the corners of the door openings were rounded off, all body seams were welded up, and the running boards were molded and welded to the body and fenders. Anything that didn't add to the truck's appeal was tossed aside or welded over. The stake pockets were filled, the tailgate was shaved and roll pans were grafted on front and rear. The protruding factory door handles were replaced with nearly-flush pieces from a '69 Pontiac Grand Prix. For convenience sake, electric mirrors and a tilt hood were added.
Underneath the tilt hood lies a twin-supercharged DOHC 5.0L V-8 taken from a '94 Lincoln Mark VIII. The Livernois Motorsports-built engine uses an MSD ignition and Edelbrock exhaust and is fed 14 pounds of boost through the dual Procharger P-1SC centrifugal superchargers. The tremendous power is sent through a Lincoln 4-speed automatic transmission to a Lincoln 8.8-inch IRS.
Inside the cab you'll find more extraordinary customization. The door panels, center console and dash from a '94 Lincoln Mark VIII were transplanted into the F100's cab. The wraparound dash looks like it belongs there, and the seats, lifted from a Ford Explorer, feature perfectly matching suede from Trimcraft Upholstery in Snohomish, Washington. An 8-CD changer from Eclipse provides all the tunes necessary for long trips, and yes, this beast gets driven. Believe it or not, it's been eight years since the truck was built and it sees the road frequently.
The most interesting aspect of the Ford is that the Lincoln Mark VIII theme carries on much deeper than just the engine and the fantastically converted interior. You've probably noticed that many parts used in this truck were pulled from a '94 Lincoln Mark VIII. The fact is that the truck is more like a Lincoln in F100 clothing. The reason all of the seams were welded and the running boards were integrated into the body is that there's no frame underneath. The unitized body and suspension of the Mark VIII was joined with the Ford body. All of the suspension, steering, and brakes were used form the donor.
The Bow Tie
While it might not be as wild as the F100, the '57 Chevrolet Cameo was no less ambitious. Once again, Dale VanGemert was the man on call to handle the transformation. Beginning by boxing, notching, and painting the frame, Dale fabricated a two-link and panhard bar that use Firestone 2,500-pound 'bags. The front uses Fat Man Fabrication 2-inch drop spindles and hydraulic cylinders that push on the torsion keys to alter ride height. Fully dropped, the truck can just tuck the lip of its 19-inch Makaveli Lugiano wheels and Pirelli rubber.
Photo 7/13   |   1957 Chevy Cameo left Side Angle
Starting off with an already rare Cameo, Mike Taylor took on the responsibility of setting even further from the crowd. A custom front bumper was filled with mesh grilles and Bow Tie marker lights, as was the customized one-piece factory rear bumper, before both were prepped for paint while the rest of the trim was left chrome. Mike smoothed all of the panels before spraying them PPG Dark Shadow Gray with the bed accent painted two shades lighter.
The Formans went more conventional with this interior, choosing the factory dash, this time with Auto Meter Gauges. Hoglunds Upholstery started with a set of 2000 Chevy Impala buckets and cut them into shape before wrapping them in gray and white Ultra leather, with black accents in the custom door panels. As the truck is driven regularly, comfort was a priority, so a Vintage Air system was installed with the oval control panel mounted front and center in the custom-wrapped console. Any truck that's driven regularly needs tunes, and an Alpine head unit and MB Quart components mounted in the doors and behind the seats make sure there are plenty of high-quality audio to enjoy.
Here's the part we saved for last. The Formans could have dropped any old small-block under the hood and had a perfectly acceptable cruiser, but they went big; downright huge for a small-block. Using a Brodix block and heads, Crower rods, a Lunati crank and a Huggins cam, Shark Racing Engines built a 434-cubic-inch Rat in Mouse's clothing. An engine that size, with those heads, could make plenty of power on its own, but throw two Turbonetics turbos into the mix and we're talking 830 rwhp and 723 lb-ft of torque. The engine's idle gives you an idea of what it's capable of, but it's still relatively mild when you consider the overall output. Once the turbos start building to their 15-psi limit it's a completely different story and the sound of power brings gearheads in from far and wide.