Dan Gernstein’s 1956 F100
“The original plan was to keep the pickup period correct with a few modifications,” explains Dan Gernstein, the owner of this fine 1956 F100. “Once the build got started, things got interesting.”
That seems to be a recurring theme for many hot rodders. Start with a simple plan of rebuilding a few things, maybe some paint work, and have a reliable, decent-looking cruiser. Best intentions aside, many projects quickly snowball but eventually come out as killer rides at the end of it all. A case in point is Dan’s F100, a 2021 Scott’s Hotrods Truck of the Year Early finalist from Del Mar.
Dan turned the Ford over to Clark Twiestmeyer of Twisty’s and once they had the truck apart the real fun began. The team moved the fender openings, cut an inch off the A-pillars, pie cut the hood, and radiused the door corners to get started. The tailgate was treated to a serious amount of custom work before the unique Zebra wood was added to the bed. Back up front a hand-built grille was fabbed by Jordan Quintal of Super Rides by Jordan and the fenders were widened to envelop the custom EVOD 18/20-inch wheels and Continental tread.
Twisty’s built the chassis with a front suspension that incorporates C4 Vette components and steering with a set of RideTech ShockWaves and Wilwood brakes at each corner. The wheelbase was extended 4-inches, with a RideTech triangulated four-link supporting the 9-inch axle. There was never any doubt about using Ford power, which came in the form of a Coyote V8 backed by a 4R70W trans. The engine feeds through a detailed Borla 8-stack injection system with custom valve covers and a Vintage Air Front Runner system.
The paint work was patiently tackled by Extreme Custom Paint, where the deep carbon black metallic Spies/Hecker BMW hue was applied with precise skill and car. The same color also coats the dash, a modified ’64 Merc Parklane unit filled with custom Classic Instruments. Gabe’s Custom Interior worked over the custom seat with Italian leather, along with the headliner, doors, and even the floor! Like the custom wheels, EVOD also whittled up a unique steering wheel, handles, and pedals to match.
Dan has actually owned the ’56 for 16 years, but it wasn’t until about three years ago that the project really got serious. He brought the truck out to Del Mar in 2021 for its debut and ended up as a Top 12 finalist. We’re looking forward to seeing what Dan and Twisty’s dream up next!
Photos by Marc Gewertz