There are many theories as to the appearance and existence of heaven. Most people describe heaven as a dream world that is the home of God and a state of supreme happiness where those who have been righteous go after death. Although there is no tangible proof that heaven actually exists the possibility of such an incredible world keeps people wondering. As a result of this other world being held in such high regard, several things here on earth are compared to heaven or are so-called "heavenly". Someone may refer to the taste of a certain meal as heavenly or compare musical harmonies or a beautiful mansion to the dream world in the sky.
Richard and Mary Ann Wilk from Rowland Heights, California, are the lucky owners of the heavenly yellow '56 Ford F-100 glowing off these pages which was purchased in 1985 to use as a construction vehicle and lumber hauler for the remodel of their home.
Since day one, the bright-yellow classic has also been on daily driver duty for Richard, awaiting its chance to be torn down and resurrected into an award-winning show hauler. Finally, in 1996 Richard began the rebuild by yanking the stock 292ci straight-six and the three-speed transmission from the doghouse and tossing in a '73 460ci Lincoln V-8 powerplant and a C6 gearbox.
After a more contemporary engine and transmission made its way into the truck, the front suspension was updated with an IFS Mustang II front clip from TCI and put back on the road to shuttle Richard back and forth to work. Having been a firefighter for the past 29 years, Richard has had plenty of time to tinker with projects of all sorts, but this was his first custom truck endeavor. Two years passed before his son, Jeff, finally convinced Richard to do a frame-off restoration on the well-worn classic.
The first step in reincarnating this 45-year-old construction truck was to address dropping down the chassis and smoothing out the ride. A Currie Ford 9-inch rearend combined with custom soft ride leaf springs regulates ride control out back, while a completely boxed frame increases rigidity.
The nose was hammered down using a TCI Mustang II independent front suspension complete with disc brakes for increased stopping power. Planted on all four corners of the heavenly hauler are Edelbrock EB426 15-inch wheels dressed with Goodyear Eagle GTX tires complete with white letters for that extra nostalgic look. A considerable rake was established with the drop to capture that priceless old-school look from Richard's high school days.
After this glowing yellow classic made its descent toward the California highways, Richard was ready to pour some newfound horsepower into the mild-mannered 460ci big-block.
Now that some heavy-duty suspension was in place, Richard threw a bolt-load of performance parts at the powerplant to make spinning those Goodyear Eagle GTX skins a bit easier. Topping the tower of power is an Edelbrock 460 eliminator intake manifold supporting an Edelbrock 750-cfm carburetor. A Jacobs Omni Magnum ignition with Pertronix Ignitor points sparks the powerhouse while Sanderson Jet Hot-coated headers show spent gases the door through Flowmaster mufflers. Although this monster motor can hang with the best of them in the performance department, it kicks seriously in the detail arena as well.
Making the compartment of Heavenly Effie shine are polished Ford Motorsport valve covers, a ball-milled polished billet air cleaner, billet plug wire looms, polished aluminum March Performance pulleys and bracketry, and super-trick polished stainless inner fender panels. Backing up all the neck-snapping power is a '73 Ford C6 transmission left virtually stock for gear-slamming reliability. With the power supply and stance issues taken care of, the truck was delivered to Mr. D's in Brea, California, for bodywork and a quick coat of color.
Since the old F-100 panels were fairly wrinkled and in need of several hours of straightening, the crew at Mr. D's put in some overtime and made Heavenly Effie's body as smooth and solid as the day it rolled off of the assembly line.
Making room for the 10-inch-wide rear rims and exceptionally wide rear hides are 2-inch widened fiberglass rear fenders from So Cal Pickup Parts. Aside from the glass rear fenders, the body was left relatively stock except for some mild smoothing on the tailgate. Richard wanted to retain most of the OEM heritage and factory character, so all of the F-100 and Ford badging, along with all the chrome goods were left intact. Following all the metal pounding, surface sanding, and body prepping, Mr. D's pushed Heavenly Effie into the spray booth and coated it with PPG Concept acrylic urethane Yellow. After the bright-yellow hue was tossed heavily onto all the arrow-straight metal, a quick color sand and buff session brought the truck back to an aesthetically acceptable state and it was shipped off to Bill's Auto Upholstery in Brea for some top-notch threadwork.
Comprising the cabin in this understated classic is a rich combination of saddle-colored tweed and vinyl covering the bench seat and the door panels. A Lincoln six-way power seat was used for modern comfort while a Vintage Air A/C unit keeps things cool. Since the truck was intended to be a daily driver, Richard installed Wireforce power windows for convenience and a Kenwood stereo system for entertainment. A Kenwood head unit, a six-disc CD changer, and Kenwood mids and highs take care of the rock while two Kicker 6x9s handle the roll. Small details such as the billet pedal kit and the chrome gauge cluster holding antique Ford gold-trimmed gauges bring the sanitary cockpit together perfectly.
Heavenly Effie is a rolling result of dedication and hard work invested to build something admired by all who view it. We can't believe Richard braves the daily commute in this bright-yellow beauty and keeps it this clean. The staff at Truckin' admires owners and builders who drive their creations on a daily basis and are not afraid of rock chips or road rash. Richard never hesitates to crank the ignition, drop this baby into gear, and go cruising. He would like to thank his son Jeff for his help in making Heavenly Effie a stunning hauler. A special thanks also goes to Richard's wife Mary Ann for letting him cut loose with a little cash and a whole lot of time to bring this bright-yellow beauty together. Heavenly Effie is definitely one of the strongest examples of heaven right here on earth.
Even though this bed looks too good to haul, Richard ensures us that runs to Home Depot ar
A peek between the doors reveals a heavenly cockpit laced out in a combination of saddle t
Defining the tail end of Heavenly Effie is a mildly smoothed tailgate and the original chr
Classic Ford antique gauges trimmed in gold help Richard keep an eye on engine vitals in s
Giving the nose a glowing look comes by way of a re-chromed grille piece and front bumper.
Filling the classic fat fenders are 15x7 front and 15x10 rear Edelbrock EB426 wheels mount
Ready to climb the rpm ladder, a 460ci Lincoln engine armed with a bit of performance and