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1956 Ford F-100- Help From My Friends

Expert Assistance Along the Way Makes this F-100 a Show Winner.

Joe Greeves
Mar 16, 2016
Photographers: Joe Greeves
If you’ve been in the custom truck scene for any length of time, you’re bound to pick up a few good ideas along the way. Whether it’s finding inspiration from an existing build and adapting it to your own or employing techniques that add efficiency to the build, there’s no doubt experience improves the finished product. Bob Ferguson from Viera, Florida, has been in the sport a while, and he is as experienced as they come. This 1956 Ford F-100 is his 23rd custom vehicle! Ferguson employs an intelligent approach to truck building. “The secret is knowing your limitations and when to call in the experts,” Ferguson says.
This vintage Effie, purchased from a friend, started out as basic as it could get, comprised of parts and pieces in boxes and the cab on a pallet. Ferguson brought the collection to his garage, and after working out the plan for the truck, began stripping the original frame. Charlie Butterfield of Charlie’s Customs in Melbourne, Florida, was called in to handle the chassis upgrades, boxing the rails, C-notching the frame, and adding the Fatman Stage 3 power rack-and-pinion front end. CPP 11-inch disk brakes on all four corners were part of the upgrade, guaranteeing modern stopping power. At that point, Ferguson retrieved the chassis, painted it with POR-15, and added the 9-inch Ford rear, 3.70 gears, and 4-Link from CPP. Coil-overs were used up front and CPP’s Long Leaf spring package was installed in the rear to create a lower profile. Ferguson liked the clean look of Ridler’s 645 Gray Machined wheels and used them with a set of Toyos to get the rejuvenated chassis rolling.
Photo 2/11   |   03 1956 Ford F 100
The original Ford engine was long gone and Ferguson went an unusual direction, choosing a 6.0L fuel-injected LQ4 V-8 truck engine and 4L80E transmission from a wrecked GMC motorhome. Although it was already quick in stock form, he contacted Tick Performance in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, for their Elite Performance package. The team of Gavin Broome and Matt Verzi at StreetHeat Customs in Melbourne, Florida, is expert in LS upgrades. They eliminated the high-profile truck manifold, replaced it with a reworked EFI system, and modified the stock heads They installed a Comp Cam and Hedman silver metallic shorty headers that feed twin Flowmasters to create an appropriate performance rumble. A cold-air kit, electric fan on the US Radiator, chrome valve covers, and a stainless steel panel on top of the engine all combine to catch your eye when the tilt-forward hood opens for display. The smooth firewall and inner fender panels were painted to match. The package not only grabs show points but ensures the 60-year-old cruiser can easily run with modern traffic.
Once the chassis and powertrain were complete, Ferguson put the cab on the frame and sent it to John Bia of Ace’s Autobody Shop in Palm Bay, Florida. Realizing that it was a better approach to use aftermarket sheet metal rather than trying to repair the rusted originals, he supplied Bia and his crew with fenders, running boards, and a hood from Mid ’50s along with a grille and bumpers from LMC. The aftermarket body parts were added to the cab and smoothed to perfection, then White Oak planks and stainless steel strips added to the bed. Bia followed up, spraying the Matrix Andromeda Silver.
Photo 3/11   |   05 1956 Ford F 100
All that was left was the interior. Once again, Ferguson looked to a pro to create a show-stopping package. Jeff Driscoll from Jeff’s Auto Interior in Malabar, Florida, was the right choice. He originally wanted an all red look, but after reviewing a few design proposals, decided to break up the synthetic red leather with black carbon fiber-style inserts, similar to interiors found in the new Corvettes. The twin Jeep Grand Cherokee buckets, door panels, and console share the two-tone color scheme. Looking like jewelry on the reworked dash, the white-face AutoMeter gauges were inset into a No Limit polished aluminum panel. A chrome Ididit column holds a Lecarra Banjo-style wheel fitted with a custom Ford emblem in the center. Vintage Air keeps the cab cool and the Retrosound stereo pumps out ’50s gold through component sets in the kicks and coaxials behind the seatback. Charlie Butterfield made the custom center console that holds the Lokar shifter, stereo head unit, E-Stopp parking brake, and controls for the Vintage Air. Driscoll expertly blended all the elements together, finishing the interior with a deeper shade of red wool for the carpet.
Was Ferguson pleased with the way the truck turned out? His original goal was to create a daily driver that was unique enough to capture a trophy or two at shows, and it has succeeded on every level. Now that it’s complete, however, it’s time for something new. He grinned while telling us the criteria for keeping a vehicle in the Ferguson family. Apparently it boils down to how much room there is in the garage. Right now, his well-equipped workspace is overflowing. You know what that means!
Photo 4/11   |   06 1956 Ford F 100
Inside the Build
Year/ Make/ Model: 1956 Ford F-100
Owner and City/State: Bob Ferguson; Viera, Florida
Front Suspension: Fatman Fabrications Stage 3, power rack-and-pinion front end, CPP 11-inch disk brakes, coil-overs
Rear Suspension: C-Notch, CPP Long Leaf Spring Kit, CPP 11-inch disk brakes,
Engine: LQ4 V-8 truck engine, Tick Performance Elite Performance package, EFI, Comp Cam, Headman Headers, Flowmasters, 4L80E transmission
Rear end: Ford 9-inch with 3.70 gears
Mid ’50s fenders, running boards, hood, headlights and taillights, grille and bumpers from LMC, Dan Carpenter bed with white oak planks, Matrix Andromeda Silver paint
’95 JEEP Grand Cherokee seats, AutoMeter gauges, Iididit column and Lecarra wheel, Vintage Air, red synthetic leather with black inserts and hand stitching, red wool carpeting
Stereo: Retrosound receiver with component sets in the kicks and coaxials behind the seat back
Wheels: 18x9, 20x10; Ridler 645 Gray Machined
Tires: 245/45R18, 295/45R20; Toyo Proxes STII