Just when you thought you've seen the most beautiful '53-'56 Ford F-100 known to man, you discover another favorite. That was the case with Steve and Becki Haessly's red '56 Ford F-100, named "Hot Blooded." As you proceed to salivate while viewing the images on the following pages, it will be hard to disagree that this is probably the sweetest '56 you have laid your eyes on.

The 2 1/2-year journey started with the TCI tubular steel frame. Up front, Steve used a Mustang II IFS polishe stainless front end with 2-inch drop spindles. All American coilover shocks suspend and dampen the front end action, while a 1-inch sway bar flattens out the corners. Meanwhile, a UniSteer power steering rack allows for effortless left and right driver directional inputs. Next, Wilwood 15-inch directional slotted and cross-drilled rotors, with polished dual-piston calipers at all four corners bring the Ford to a screaming halt. The Wilwood brake calipers are linked from the solid brake lines with stainless steel braided lines. A pair of Boyd Coddington Crown Jewel polished billet aluminum 18x8-inch wheels with BFGoodrich g-Force radial T/A 235/50ZR18 rubber roll the front half. A Winters 9-inch rearend was stuffed with Richmond 3.25 gears and spins a pair of 20x12-inch Boyd Crown Jewel wheels encased in 295/50ZR20 BFG meats. The rearend is controlled by a four-link suspension with a diagonal bar and suspended with a pair of All American coil shocks. A custom aluminum 18-gallon fuel tank was located inboard of the left running board.

Under the hood, we discovered a Ford 460ci big-block bored 0.040 inch over with Sealed Power pistons and rings and Ford Racing aluminum cylinder heads. A Comp Cam with 262/275 duration and .515/.520 lift, was carefully inserted into the cam bores to create a stronger heartbeat. Then, a couple of Steve's buddies, Pete Bland and Brett McDougal, installed and plumbed the Weiand tunnel ram with a port fuel injection EFI system, which delivered the fuel to the appropriate cylinder head intake ports. A massive K&N air cleaner filters any impurities from the air before it is inhaled by the Weiand intake system. An 8-quart Ford Racing oil pan supplies ample oil that is distributed by a Ford Racing oil pump. A polished '75 Ford C6 automatic transmission with a TCI 2,800rpm stall speed converter was backed up to the healthy 460ci big-block. A Lokar gear selector was stabbed into the C6 trans to ensure smooth consistent shifts.

Rex Hasch of Hasch Body Shop in Bryan, Ohio, is responsible for the flawless paint. The secret to achieving the award-winning paintjob was all in the body preparation. When building a nostalgic custom pickup, it is very important to pay close attention to detail. Check out how the windshield and large rear window were installed flush to the body skin, creating a clean and smooth transitional appearance. Rex chopped the top 1-1/2 inches, pancaked the hood, and frenched the front and rear bumpers.

Other awesome body mods include rounded lower door corners, a widened double-walled bed, a curved tailgate, fenderwell opening moldings that carried into the running boards, and 2-inch widened rear fenders. The side window wings were removed and replaced with one-piece side glass for a more modern appeal. Rex used DuPont Red and blended his own color additives to personalize the basecoat, which was color-sanded, then buried in multiple coats of clear. Many hours of cutting, buffing, and polishing delivered the incredibly deep, rich red color. Lexan bed-floor planks were separated by polished stainless steel stringers. The see-through floor showcases the rear framerails, stainless steel exhaust, Winters rearend, and detailed suspension.

The incredible interior was created by the team at Lyons Custom Trim located in Brookville, Ohio. They covered the embossed kick panels, embossed door panels, armrests, and the headliner in pebble tan leather. Wise Guy custom bucket seats were covered in pebble tan leather. Rex handmade the center front and rear waterfall console, bucket seat coves, headliner console, and he smoothed the dash. The billet aluminum gauge cluster was fabricated by R.D. Enterprises. The rockin' vibes come from a Sony Xplod MEX-DV2000 head unit that is powered by an Xplod XM-2000GTR amplifier, which is blasted out of four Xplod XS-GTX-1640 6-1/2-inch speakers; two in the kick panels, and two others in the rear cab corners behind the bucket seats. A Vintage Air system maintains a comfortable ambient temperature regardless of the season.

No doubt, Steve and Becki's Hot Blooded '56 is a true trophy magnet wherever it is shown. This is just one of Steve's '56 F-100s, he has four others in the stables. Oh yeah, he just picked up a '56 Ford panel, which he intends to begin whittling on here shortly. Oh, my ...

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