Dream Truck – Rick and Victoria Howell’s 1956 Ford F100
For some enthusiasts, building their dream ride is the best part of the journey, not necessarily driving the finished product. For others, the satisfaction might come in finding a completed car or truck they can buy and enjoy immediately. Rick Howell had done a year of serious searching to find the right custom pickup to add to his garage. He and his son Travis made six cross-country trips before finding their dream truck in the form of this 1956 Ford F100.
Even better, after purchasing the pickup, Rick had the opportunity to talk with the man responsible for commissioning the stylish black ride. “I was able to speak in depth with the original gentleman who had the truck built,” Rick says. “We are fortunate to be able to have this truck and help with his vision of enjoying it along with showing it to others.”
Riding on a Fat Man Fabrications frame, the F100 relies on a Mustang II-style front suspension and a four-link rear suspension with a 9-inch rearend housing 3.50 gears to control the ride. Wilwood brakes with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers are wrapped in 18- and 20-inch Schott Velocity wheels.
Sitting between the front frame rails is a 510hp 454c.i. big-block Chevy that features dual four-barrel carburetors on a chromed Edelbrock intake. Finned aluminum valve covers and air cleaner add to the traditional engine appearance. Exhaust gases pass through Sanderson headers and Flowmaster mufflers. Both the engine and automatic transmission were smoothed and painted red. The firewall and inner fender panels are covered in satin black paint to further highlight the sanitary engine.
Producing the smooth body required more than 770 hours of metal work and paint prep by Mickey Russel and Michael Neighbors at Detroit Speed to show off the mirror-like PPG black paint. Body modifications include radiused door corners, a smoothed cowl, shaved door handles, deleted rain gutters, smoothed firewall, running board extensions, and a rolled rear pan.
Street Seats Hot Rod Interiors of Old Fort, North Carolina, produced the custom red interior that includes electric one-piece door glass. A Budnik steering wheel sits on a tilt column. The stock dash is smoothed and covered in satin-finish red paint that matches the leather-covered seats. Classic Instruments gauges add modern technology with a vintage look.
Bringing the truck home worked out well for Rick. He took his wife Victoria for a ride, and she fell in love with the truck. “To see her happy was priceless,” Rick says. That’s all that matters, right?
Photos by Terry Lysak & Damon Lee