Kenny Stephens and his younger brother, Tim, had a wonderful relationship with their dad, Lamar Stephens from Buford, Georgia. Lamar, an upholsterer for 40 years, had a successful family business where Kenny worked alongside his dad learning the craft. Lamar always had the desire to build a custom '56 Ford F-100. After searching for years, he purchased his dream truck from his friend Mike Chesser. Lamar and his two sons began the build together. Kenny did most of the light work and was supposed to apply the paint, while brother Tim did the fabrication, suspension, and engine duties. Lamar was responsible for the bodywork. While the Stephen's men were working together on the F-100, Lamar was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Even during his chemo treatments he kept working on his dream ride.
The previous owner, Mike Chesser, had grafted a '77 Oldsmobile Cutlass front clip to the original '56 Ford F-100 boxed framerails. The front clip included factory upper and lower control arms, spindles, and factory disc brakes. With a hearty engine swap planned for the Ford, suitable wheels and tires were chosen. Weld Racing 15x7-inch Drag Stars were wrapped in Michelin 215/70R15 rubber up front and matching 16x14-inch Weld wheels were consumed in chubby 31x16 Hoosier meats in the rear. Tim fabricated the four-link rear setup incorporating a Panhard bar. A Ford 9-inch rearend was stuffed with 4.11 Richmond gears, Auburn posi unit, and 31-spline axles for bulletproof strength.
Under the hood we discovered a '72 Chevy 350ci cast iron block with 461 heads that were machined by Tim's shop, Stephens Automotive in Buford, Georgia. Tim machined the block to accept a 400 cast-iron crank with a set of 400 3.75 connecting rods. Adding a 0.030-inch overbore of each cylinder and the 3.75-inch stroke increased the engines cubic inches to 382.6 that was rounded off to a 383ci known as a mighty Mouse 383ci stroker. The powerful small-block was backed up to a prepped 700-R4 automatic transmission. The engine’s good looks start with a beautiful Concept One billet aluminum pulley system. A chrome Powermaster alternator keeps the electrical juices flowing, while Cal Custom smooth aluminum valve covers were dipped in chrome to match the eye candy. Mike Chesser fabricated a cool custom engine cover that was also chromed. Two-inch-diameter ceramic-coated Hooker headers merge into a 2-inch exhaust system that is quieted by a couple of Flowmaster mufflers. The Griffin aluminum four-row radiator maintains a cool engine temperature while cruising or running hard. The mighty Mouse powerplant produces 425 hp and has no problem lighting up the chubby rear Hoosiers.