While this Ford is all about the look, it's certainly built on very solid foundations. When it arrived at BCC it was running a 455ci Olds motor, which worked well. Ironically, Scott crossed it off the to-do list because of this. What then happened was as the rest of the truck got better and better, the Olds started looking shabbier and shabbier until at last Scott could take it no longer and sent it away to Rex Hutchinson Racing Engines for a freshen up. Backing up the 455 is a TH400 transmission that pushes the power back to a 9-inch rearend. Taking care of business at the front is a Mustang II clip while an air-ride suspension setup looks after the stance and the speed bumps.
As far as the bodywork goes, the cab features a beautifully executed 2 1/4-inch chop, five-window conversion, and big rear window. Up top, there is a '58 Chevy Impala vent hiding a satellite antennae, while the headlights are from a 1960/61 Ford pickup canted sideways. The grille is from a 1960/61 Chrysler complete with a Thunderbird bar. Other trickery includes a suicide hood complete with '53 Buick vents and 'Saturn' emblems just to ram home that Jetson's feel. The inner fenders and firewall were all built from scratch.
"When it came time to build the bed, the truck had got pretty crazy," admits Scott with a wry smile. "Obviously we had to keep with the theme and I remembered seeing a truck in a magazine a long time ago with a bed that had a Nomad tailgate. That truck was a Chevy but I thought it would be kinda cool to do something similar with a Ford. At the time I had a '57 Ranchero. I started looking at that and the width seemed to be really good and so the work went from there."
"The great thing about teaming up with James is that he is an artist and he understands how things evolve. When we told him about the bed he said, 'can you really do that?' And we said sure, and he just let us run with it."
Aside from the super swoopy tailgate, the bed features taillights that are a combination of '57 Ranchero and '56 Thunderbird. The bed floor is aluminium and lifts out to give access to the suspension, battery, and compressors. The roll pan is exquisitely crafted while the two-tone purple paintwork works brilliantly with the fins and curves. For extra pop, painter Jason Haskin went for a metalflake roof and black 'n white pinstripes.
The inside of the cab is incredibly well-finished and features a host of great details such as the manual side window cranks that have been converted to operate the now-electric windows.
After just a small amount of time spent with Scott and the BCC team, it quickly became clear that, as a group, they are very proud of the '56 Ford and no doubt they should be. But surely it wasn't all plain sailing, surely working for a man such as Hetfield comes with its own set of challenges? "Well, there is always pressure because we always try to put deadlines on cars, otherwise they never get done. But there was definitely no pressure coming from James. Never once has he called and hounded us."
With Hetfield's next car already in the workshop and well underway, it seems as though Blue Collar Customs, through their skill, integrity, and ingenuity have found themselves official hot rod builders to Metallica. Now all that remains is to get the other three guys measured up for their cars and all will be well with the world.
Thanks to: James Hetfield, Scott Mugford and all the guys at Blue Collar Customs.