Inside the cab, Manuel shaved the dash and added a center console to hold controls for the Vintage Air A/C system. The only fixture on the dash is the wood-surrounded trio of Class Instruments gauges. With no room on the dash for the stereo, a Pioneer head unit was mounted against the rear cab wall. Steering chores are handled with a Grant banjo-style steering wheel, which was mounted onto a '61 Thunderbird steering column that pivots to the side for easy entry and exit from the cab. Norman Laylov added the wood trim in the cab. The final touches to the interior came from Aleandro Rivera, who wrapped bucket seats, which were pirated from a Mitsubishi, in tan leather. The headliner, center console, and door panels all got the leather treatment, as well.
There's no question that the interior looks great, but the real ingenuity came when Manuel began slicing and dicing on the cab. He'd planned to chop the top, but didn't want to feel confined in a tiny cab, so the back window was dropped down to keep it's full size. To keep the cab comfortable for long cruises, Manuel stretched it 6 inches, which made up for the room lost when the cab was sectioned and channeled over the frame. The fabrication didn't end there, however. The bed was shortened by nearly a foot, and Manuel built hinges to suicide the doors and reverse-tilt the hood. With the heavily-modified body nearly ready for paint, the vast expanse of the front fenders seemed to be missing something. After scouring a junkyard looking for pieces that would remedy the situation, Manuel came across marker lights from a '98 Acura that, once flipped side for side, fit the contours perfectly. After the rear fenders were fitted with '63 Corvette taillights, Jerry Graham Auto Body in Monterey took over. The entire truck was sprayed with House of Kolor Lime Time Green and the clear was buffed to a sheen. Once everything was back from the paint shop, Manuel's son, Joe, helped him get everything reassembled into the truck.
Manuel's goal was to build a highly customized truck that still left no doubt as to its origin. We'd say he hit his mark head on. The lines of the F-1 are still there, but flow much better than any '49 that rolled off the assembly line. By the help from his son and the work of some talented Central California craftsmen, Manuel's six-year build is certainly something to be proud of.