Wayne Cook
October 1, 2009
Photos By: Jim Smart

Jerry and Pat Wallace of Tucson, Arizona, are the proud owners of this '56 F-100 pickup. Not only is the truck a rare surviving example of the classic F-100 body style, it's also a platform for many contemporary features. Jerry is an old hand at the Ford game and he recently restored a '68 Mustang convertible. When that car was sold to a Mustang enthusiast in New Zealand, he had the chance to acquire this F-100. He was interested in a truck that offered vintage appeal but also wanted to create a vehicle that would offer most of the amenities of a modern pickup truck. Jerry wasn't interested in going down the road with a six-cylinder engine at 50 miles per hour as its top speed. The F-100 had to offer modern power, overdrive for freeway performance, and air conditioned comfort for summertime outings. The Wallace's didn't want a trailer queen, but rather a truck they could drive in comfort, whatever the weather or destination.

This "big window" cab example was a good start for the project when he got the truck a few years ago. It saves a lot of toil and trouble when your subject already has nice paint and bodywork. The area that required the most improvement was under the hood. The original engine was long gone and in its place lived a tired 302 V-8. Jerry decided to toss the existing small-block and a 5.0L roller block from a '90 Mustang was chosen as the basis for the replacement engine. The formula for the modernized powertrain also included an AOD four-speed automatic overdrive transmission. Having overdrive onboard reduces wear and tear by one third and makes long trips in the truck much more fun and less expensive at the fuel pump.

The interior appointments received a lot of attention as well in the form of luxurious upholstery and a custom-built dash chock full of VDO electronic gauges to monitor everything under the hood. Adding to their motoring pleasure and comfort is a Vintage Air-based R-134 air-conditioning system and a Pioneer stereo for their favorite traveling tunes.

There's no doubt that the Wallace's have the restomod formula figured out and their F-100 truly does offer the best of both worlds with vintage styling and modern powertrain and sub-systems. Whether the task is hauling bales of hay or going to a summer car show, the Wallace's have a truly great looking pickup that's up to either task.

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