For many Ford truck fans, it doesn't get much better than a '56 F-100. After a close look at Chuck Haubrick Jr.'s candy-apple red '56, it's hard to argue with the masses. Ford got so much right with the styling of the truck, builders don't have to worry about chopping, shaving, and sectioning for the perfect proportions.
Beginning with a stock '56, Chuck had the team at Pro Design Hot Rods in Santa Ana, California, strip the truck down to its frame, then they worked on improving the handling. The rear was given a C-notch to lower it 6 inches, and was fitted with a GM 12-inch rearend with disc brakes. A four-link sus-pension and coilovers keep the new 12-bolt planted on the asphalt. Up front, the solid axle was tossed for a Mustang II-style IFS, which came complete with disc brakes. Once the suspension was completed, Chuck had the frame powdercoated to make sure all of the hard work stays rust-free and looking good. Budnik Cannon wheels were chosen for the truck, an 18x8-inch set were selected for the front and 20x10-inch pieces in the back.
We like our classic-truck features to go all-out on the aesthetics of their engines, and Chuck's Ford does just that. Even though it's a Chevy small-block under the hood, Chuck was able to make it stand out by going with Street & Performance, who equipped the aluminum-head ZZ383 with Ram Jet fuel injection and their own headers. The induction is unique, as the entire manifold was polished and chrome-plated before being installed on the 383ci block. Matching valve covers, accessories, and pulleys continue the chrome look throughout the engine bay. It also provides contrast to the candy-apple paint that is just as smooth on the firewall and inner fenders as it is on the exterior. A 700-R4 transmission is bolted to the small-block, and keeps the engine humming on cruises.
Staggered Budnik wheels, 18s in front and 20s in back, along with Goodyear Eagles tires, c
The bodywork on the truck was also handled by Pro Design, where Christian DeSilva and Mike Fillion kept Chuck's goal of a vintage-looking cruiser in mind. As per Chuck's instructions, a few subtle changes were made to the truck, but nothing radical: cowl vents were sealed, stake pockets were filled, the tailgate chains were replaced by a latch, and the stock radio position was moved on the dash. The team also took on the task of building an audio system, as Clarion components were stashed throughout the cab. A shallow-mount sub was located in an MDF box behind the front seat, along with its amp. The Clarion head unit was installed under the seat, with the controls for both the stereo and air conditioning mounted behind the glovebox door to maintain a classic appearance. Bill's Auto Upholstery in Brea, California, took over from there, as black carpet and black and graphite leather were wrapped on the seats, door panels, and dash.
Starside Design in Fontana, California, is responsible for the House of Kolor candy-apple red paint that is nothing short of amazing. The smooth, deep finish extends across every curve of the body and into the bed, as well. Doug Starbuck shot the red candy over a silver base, and while these photos do a good job to capture its luster, it's a sight that has to be seen in person to truly grasp its depth. More than anything else, the paintjob sets the vintage tone of the truck with a look that any painter would be proud to claim as their own.
By keeping the modifications to a minimum, Chuck kept the lines of his F-100, inside and out. By updating the areas that have benefited most from 50 years of innovation, he's made a great compromise. Now, his truck has enough power to be fun, the suspension and brakes to take advantage of it, and a classic look.