During our local jaunts around town, there is usually at least one idle, old truck that we spot and pass by every day. If you are anything like the rest of us on the Truckin' staff, scheming a plot to take ownership of that neglected vehicle is the fist thing that comes to mind. Matt Peace, from Tyler, Texas, can certainly agree with us because that is exactly how he was able to get his hands on this beauty of a '55 Ford F-100. Matt actually waited an entire year before he offered the previous owner a fat wad of cash for his truck. To Matt's surprise, his stack of green backs was accepted and once he got the Ford into his garage he was taken aback by yet another unexpected change of events. Rust-lots of it! Getting rid of it before the truck was sent for paint and bodywork at Hill's Hot Rods, in Lubbock, Texas, was one of the largest headaches Matt has ever suffered through. Luckily, the corrosion wasn't of fatal proportions and on continued the process of resurrecting a classic truck that would storm the custom truck scene like an eye of a hurricane.
Getting the chassis in order was first on Matt's agenda. The frame received enough TLC to make even a newborn baby jealous. Ford Explorer spindles were used in place of aftermarket drop components, which definitely shows Matt's deep appreciation for FoMoCo. Firestone 'bags were mounted to the factory coil locations and QA1 billet shocks were thrown into the mix for optimum bump absorption. The F-100's proud, new owner constructed a custom three-link rear setup that has, along with the rest of the frame, been smoothed and painted to match the red and grey exterior. A pair of 20x81/2-inch Billet Accessories Direct Gunslinger wheels take residence up front, while a 20x111/2-inch duo tuck comfortably underneath the widened, rear fenders. Hankook Ventus 255/35R20 and 275/35R20 donuts provide excellent road contact to the forward and posterior rollers, respectively. Now that Matt found himself staring at a rolling chassis deserving of much praise, it was time to figure out how to put it in motion.
Jason Hill's eye-catching airbrush skills make for great detailing.
The JL Audio W3 has 'shotgun' called for the Ford's entire second life.
There is no denying that these wheels are B.A.D.
The '96 Ford 5.0L V-8 engine proved to be the perfect performance and cosmetic upgrade Matt made to his Blue Oval project. Tony Smith from T&C Performance, in Tyler, Texas, bored the engine and added a pair of Trick Flow heads and a Street and Performance pulley set to extract even more ponies from the power plant. And check out the paint and detailing that went into the engine's appearance-nothing screams 'custom' more than a totally cherried-out engine bay. The paint seamlessly ties the engine details and the rest of the body. Speaking of the truck's exterior, let's take a look at how Matt and Hill's Hot Rod sculpted old metal into a work of sheer wonderment.
To start, a 2-inch body drop was a necessity. Matt wanted this done ASAP, so he reached for all the necessary tools and got to hackin'! Now, it's common for door handles and emblems to be shaved clean from a truck's body, but this Ford wasn't destined to be just any ordinary rig. Jason Hill, from Hill's Hot Rods, grabbed the scalpel and severed not only the handles and emblems, but the drip rails, bedside and cab seams, turn signals and taillights, stake pockets, inner door panels and the underside of the hood were cut as well. The rear fenders were widened three inches and the black-colored, red oak bed floor had to be raised six inches to make up space the body drop had taken away. PPG and Auto Air DD red and charcoal grey colors were sprayed onto the newly transformed steel body and the Ford looked amazing.
Matt followed the streamlined simplicity of the truck's exterior and duplicated the results inside the cab. The original dash was removed and a newly designed, one-off mold was set into place. Dakota Digital gauges give Matt an at-a-glance reading of the truck's current condition from the percentage of fuel left in the tank to the psi levels of all four air bags. The charcoal grey suede covered I.S.S. bucket seats feature stingray backbone inserts - not sure where one would find a stingray anywhere near Lubbock but it still adds an exotic touch nevertheless. Roy Gibbs from American Trim wrapped and sewed the lush seats as well as laid down the Mercedes black wool carpeting. Matt really stepped up and successfully fused modern luxuries to his fabulous 50's truck.
You've now seen firsthand what can come of those days of wishing your neighbor's old truck was in your garage instead of his. Matt's persistence definitely paid off and truth be told, we find ourselves feeling simultaneously proud and jealous of him! We congratulate him on the final product after all the hard work and long hours he put into his F-100.