Modified Mustangs & Fords
1954 F-100 - Old School, New School, Way Cool!
This Best of Both Worlds F-100 Is A Great Classic Custom, A Rocket on the Road, and A Sterophile’s Dream!
Much of the front of the truck was rusted and Frank felt that the best solution was to use a fiberglass tilt front end, purchased from US Body Source in Gainesville, Florida. At the same time, he also purchased new running boards and rear fenders. It took a little work, but the 20-inch-diameter Centerline polished aluminum rims, with their huge offset and 18-inch wide rear Mickey Thompson tires, fit perfectly. The front uses 20-inch Centerline rims with 9.5-inch Nittos. Additional body mods include shaved door handles, eliminated tailgate latches, and a tonneau cover from Gaylord’s to cover the bed. Frank did his own paint and bodywork, and with the help of his good friend Michael Spiwak, they painted each panel separately using Sherwin-Williams Brilliant Black Crystal, just a minor deviation from the image of that long-lost red F-100 in Germany.
Moving inside, the cab was stripped and all the metal surfaces inside were painted to match the exterior. More than 100 feet of Dynamat was applied to every inch of the interior and another 40 feet was used in the bed. Once the cab was library quiet, the gray tweed and black upholstery was done by Frank and his good friend, Jack Nichols. An SVO steering wheel keeps Frank in close touch, while VDO gauges display the vital signs. A separate Auto Meter boost gauge monitors the blower.
But there’s more. In addition to the high-performance engine, this truck has an equally high-performance stereo system, another of Franks’ favorite hobbies. It begins with the in-dash Jensen 9512 head unit, featuring a 7-inch LCD touchscreen monitor that incorporates DVD, CD, and MP3 players, an SD card slot, and an iPod connection. It controls both amps in the truck beginning with the five-channel Kicker ZX700.5 amp mounted on the rear cab wall. It sends 70 watts across four channels (4 Ohms) to the 6-inch Infinity component set in the kick panels, along with separate tweeters in the dash. Rear fill is provided with a second set of 5.25-inch components in the rear quarter-panels. The amp has a Class D fifth channel for the pair of 10-inch Kicker subs positioned on either side of the amp. It’s a great sounding system, but there’s more.
The bed of the F-100 causes the most surprises among stereophiles. The huge, heavy-duty sub enclosure, designed by Bob Manis, uses a 2x4 frame, strengthened laterally with 4x4s to handle the power of the four 15-inch Kicker L5 subs, two on each end. They are energized by an eargasmic 2,500-watt Kicker ZX2500.1 Monoblock Class D amp mounted on the bed wall. The combination is loud by any measurement, but the extra bass can be switched on and off from the driver seat. In addition to providing booming bass, the big box also adds traction where it’s needed most, thanks to its 400-pound weight positioned directly over the rear wheels.
While the truck may never be finished, for now, at least, it’s complete. The vintage Ford is a joy on the street and runs smoothly enough to be a daily driver. Future plans under consideration include a large screen TV mounted underneath the tonneau cover, adding even more fun to outdoor concerts at cruise ins.
The package produces 500 rwhp and 520 lb-ft of torque, with the potential for considerably more should Frank bump up the boost at the track