If you're 50-plus years old, you might remember the Disney film "Old Yeller," which is about a family in Texas during the post civil-war days. In the movie, a young boy named Travis comes across a stray dog, who he names Yeller, and it becomes Travis' best childhood companion. The story takes a tragic turn when Yeller fights a wolf in defense of the family, then contracts rabies and has to be put down. Poor Travis leaves his boyhood and enters his manhood. The movie was imbedded into every young child of that era for its poetic tragedy.
This feature is also about Old Yeller, only this time it's a '50 Ford F-1 that belongs to Bill Cariker, a stockbroker from Austin, Texas. Bill approached major league custom builder Jeff Lilly of Lilly Restorations in Helotes, Texas, which is a one-stop shop. The only things that were not done were chrome plating and engine internal balancing, everything else was done in-house.
Bill and Jeff's initial intention was to maintain a stock appearance at first glance, by leaving the door handles and door hinges. But then a few subtle body mods, such as a pancaked and chopped roof, a pie-cut hood, reshaped front and side nostrils, and chrome moldings really made it stand out. These cool body mods make onlookers ponder the way the massaged body shape looks so much better than stock.
The foundation of the '50 F-1 was the original framerails that were cut off at the firewall. A Heidt's Super Ride II front suspension crossmember kit with 2-inch drop spindles was grafted onto the framerails. The original framerails were then boxed for an improved appearance, along with added strength and rigidity. A pair of Alden adjustable coilover shocks suspend and dampen the front end, while a Heidt's steering rack takes care of the lateral direction of Old Yeller's leading edge. Out back, a Currie Ford 9-inch rear end was stuffed with a 3.25-inch ring 'n' pinion gear set. The rear end was suspended by de-arched leaf springs and dampened with a pair of Monroe Max-Air shocks. Old Yeller is stopped by a set of SSBC disc brakes, at all-four corners, that are linked by stainless steel hard lines and a stainless steel braided hose. A set of Boyd Coddington Classic II 16x7-inch front and 17x8-inch rear billet aluminum wheels were mounted onto BFGoodrich T/A 205/65R16 front and 255/55R17 rear radial treads.