Lots of subtle modifications went into the bed, beginning with new external sheetmetal that covered the original stake pockets and created a new outer bedwall. Not only did the widened bed allow them to position the truck's steel fenders 2 inches farther out and run a fatter tire, but it also made the rear fenders wider than the front, a distinct departure from the narrower rear/wide front of the original. As an added benefit, it also created a smooth surface for the new side graphics, soon to be applied. The bed floor was covered with Brazilian Walnut and features a polished aluminum fuel filler cap. Jim completed the body mods with a set of reshaped running boards, a new rear pan, frenched license plate, oval '48 Ford taillights, and matching oval exhaust tips. Billet Specialties Vintec rims, 17x8 up front and 17x10 in the rear, matched with Kumho P225/55R17 and P275/60R17 tires got the truck rolling in style.
The interior transformation began by removing the cab-mounted gas tank and substituting it with a fuel cell between the framerails. All the dashboard seams were filled, and then the glovebox and ashtray were welded shut. A new lower dash panel was fabricated to hold the Vintage Air A/C vents. Information and control elements were modernized, thanks to the collection of TPI Tech instruments in the No Limit panel along with the Flaming River Waterfall steering wheel and Lokar shifter. Subtle touches are everywhere, like the stealth stereo controls just above the driver's sun visor. CKC Kustom Interiors in Ocala was chosen for the upholstery work and since George wanted to keep the period look, they stitched up classic rolls and pleats for the Glide Engineering bench seat. Matching upholstery on the door panels flows seamlessly into the kick panels.
Jim Wallace wrapped up the project, spraying a pair of DuPont ChromaBase colors, Kalapana Black and Ford Silver Pearl, from the Harley Davidson Anniversary truck. Once again employing the '56 theme, he used an original chrome '56 Ford Fairlane side spear as the basis for the separation of the colors, even duplicating the checkerboard graphics at the end of the spear. The tilt-forward hood mechanism displays the scallops on the hood.
Because of his job, George was out of the country during much of the build, but Jim was able to construct the truck by remote, thanks to the Internet and regular emails. The process took 2 years but looking back, both agree it was worth every minute. Jim and George take the truck to shows on a regular basis and they have already racked up a significant collection of trophies, thanks to an F-100 that looks good, even in a crowd of Ford's famous fat-fendered classics.
George Nicholson's '56 Ford F-100
'89 Mustang 5.0L V-8
Speed Pro pistons
Perfect Circle rings
FRPP E303 hydraulic roller camshaft
0.498-inch lift, 282/220 degrees duration, 110-degree lobe center
BBK cold air kit
Four-speed automatic overdrive
Speedway Motors headers
Flowmaster 40-series mufflers
23/4-inch dual exhaust
Front: Fatman crossmember, Mustang II frontend, stainless steel polished tubular A-arms, T-bird rack-and-pinion power steering, Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks
Rear: Monoleaf, with notched frame, Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks
Front: 11-inch disc, single-piston caliper
Rear: 11-inch drum
Front: Billet Specialties Vintec, polished, 17x8
Rear: Billet Specialties Vintec, polished, 17x10
Front: Kumho Ecsta STX, P225/55R17
Rear: Kumho Ecsta STX, P275/60R17
Ultra Leather-covered bench seat from Glide Engineering, smoothed dash with TPI Tech instruments, No Limit Engineering gauge panel, Flaming River Waterfall wheel, Ididit tilt column, Lokar shifter and pedals, three-point seatbelts, Vintage Air billet A/C controls and vents, Custom Autosound Secret Audio, black Bentley carpet
Tilt-forward hood, '56 Fairlane parking lights in modified grille, Big Back Window conversion, door corners rounded, handles shaved, and one-piece door glass, smooth tailgate with '48 Ford taillights, Brazilian Walnut wood bed, custom DuPont ChromaBase Kalapana black and Ford Silver Pearl paint