The Swiss Army Knife is a worldwide icon, known for its unique design, myriad-tool function, and symbol of Swiss ingenuity. It folds up like a closed fist and then opens with multiple blades and tools. That was the initial idea that John Lamar and his son Hunter from Statesboro, Georgia, had in mind when building their incredible '56 Ford F-100 pickup. Why build one like everyone else?

A boxed TCI frame is the foundation of this athletic hauler, with its stainless steel A-arm independent front suspension aided by a pair of Lecarra coilover shocks. The rear four-link locates the Currie Ford 9-inch differential that was stuffed with 3.55 gears and allows its vertical travel, while the diagonal bar eliminates any lateral movement. A set of four Wilwood disc brakes with 13-inch cross-drilled and ball-milled rotors are squeezed by a pair of four-piston calipers. The Wilwood master cylinder and calipers are linked by stainless steel hard lines with braided stainless steel end lines connecting to each wheel cylinder. The front suspension rolls on a pair of polished aluminum 17x8-inch American Racing Torque Thrust II wheels consumed with P235/55R17 Goodyear Eagle tires. Out back the 20x10-inch American Racing Torque Thrust II wheels were wrapped with P275/55R20 Goodyear Eagle rubber.

The team at Dingler Racing from Atlanta, Georgia, were responsible for machining and assembling the '78 Ford 528ci engine producing 625 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. The Edelbrock Torquer II polished aluminum intake manifold was capped with a Holley 1080 four-barrel carburetor. An MSD Blaster 2 coil provides a mega electrical charge to the Mallory distributor that directs the electric current through the Ford Racing 8mm ignition wires. A pair of Sanderson ceramic coated headers direct the burnt gases from each cylinder into a pair of MagnaFlow mufflers. The stainless steel exhaust system was frenched into the TCI framerails then exits underneath each running board by way of four individual tips per side. A SPAL electric fan draws air through the Be Cool aluminum radiator that maintains a cool engine and Ford C6 automatic transmission with Moroso tranny cooler and a 2,500 stall converter. A March billet aluminum serpentine pulley system links the March power steering pump, crankshaft, alternator and air conditioning units together. An Optima battery was frenched into the front inner fender of the engine compartment for starting duties.

The '56 Ford F-100 body was patched, sanded, primered, and block sanded smooth by Keith Beaucher. A front tilt hood was borrowed from an '81 Buick LeSabre. To allow the Ford big-block to nestle itself into the engine compartment, the firewall was recessed three inches. The dump bed vertical motion is powered by a pair of Dakota Digital power linear actuators. To showoff the cab-back frame, driveline, and rear suspension a Lexan floor with stainless steel stringers were installed. A radio power antenna was frenched into the rear passenger side cab corner. The factory grille, headlight buckets, and front and rear bumpers were sent out and rechromed. To draw attention from vehicles following, a Ford script third brake light was installed. Then Keith sprayed it with multiple coats of House of Kolor Tangelo pearl and PPG silver for the competition stripes. Keith then buried the Tangelo base coat and silver stripes with multi coats of clear.

Opening the door exposes the stitchwork of the crew at Jerry's Upholstery in Statesboro, Georgia, with a pair of '99 Dodge Stratus bucket seats that were covered with soft charcoal leather and matching charcoal carpet. The smoothed dash was given a new look by installing a three-inch dropped panel. A custom-made fiberglass center console with airbrushed real fire separates the bucket seats. A chrome ididit tilt steering column is capped with a Billet Specialties Torque Thrust leather-covered steering wheel. An easy to reach Lokar shifter was positioned onto the center console. Creature comfort is maintained by a Coyote A/C and heating system.

The Sony/Alpine audio sound system was installed and wired by Larry Weaver from Lyons, Georgia. Larry mounted the Sony Xplod Drive-S MP3 head unit into the custom center console, which is powered by an Alpine amplifier. A neat sub enclosure houses a pair of Xplod 12-inch subwoofers that are hidden behind the bucket seats and powered by another Alpine amplifier. A pair of Xplod 6--inch speakers were located in the kick panels.

John and his son Hunter are on a quest to have Carroll Shelby sign the dash of their Ford GT600 pickup.

Hunter was the recipient of the Young Gun Award at the '08 Ford F-100 Super Nationals in Knoxville, Tennessee.

  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • View Full Article