I've asked a few questions here, but joined up today and decided to start a thread on the restoration of my 56 F100. I hope you enjoy it.
For an introduction, my dad bought the truck in October of 1955 from Downey Ford in California. He was 17 and to get the loan his parents had to co-sign. He asked his mom, who told him there was no way on earth it was going to happen. So he asked his dad, who told him he'd think about it. A few days later his dad came back with this offer, he'd co-sign the loan on one condition. "You miss the first payment, or the last payment, you just hand me the keys." My dad thought that was harsh, and said he needed to think about it. He asked his sister, who was a couple of years older and working, if she would cover him if he was short. She said she would, so he told her not to say anything to their folks. He went back to his dad and told him he was on. My grandmother nearly killed my grandfather, but my grandfather thought he was going to get a new truck out of the deal with my dad footing the cost of most of it. He even went so far as to start buying accessories for it. Thankfully my dad made every payment and the truck is still with us. Here is the earliest photo of it:
And here is one with his sister posing next to it:
That picture was taken in January of 1957. Later that year my dad would drive his pregnant wife in this truck to the Kaiser Hospital in Hollywood, then bring home yours truly.
Welcome! Great family story and history of the truck. Those pics are really cool. Looks like some custom touches there... louvers on the hood, bed cover and hubcaps. What's the truck like today? Looking forward to seeing some current pics and what your plans are for your restoration.
Thanks for the warm welcome. And yes, one could say it's a Canadian thing, the grandfather who made it all possible was born in Vancouver, BC and I presently live ten miles south of BC. But before I continue with the history (don't worry, I will get to the present) perhaps someone could help me out. When I tried to insert an image it would only take a URL. So I used the attachment link, which loaded the image on a FTE website. I then linked that URL to insert the image. When I posted the message there were two of each photo. I know you guys like pictures, however I'm certain only one of each will suffice. What am I doing wrong? Also, how I do I format a signature and add the truck to my garage?
Obviously I don't recall my first ride in the truck, nor the first few years for that matter, so I don't remember the original yellow. By that time the truck had been painted black, inside and out, the 272 had been replaced with '59 Tbird 292, and the 3 speed with overdrive had been replaced with an automatic. As noted by Rojak, the hood had been louvered, the one thing about the truck my dad, and myself, have regretted the most. The cover was gone, probably one of the accessories my grandfather bought, along with a dual stack exhaust, which I only learned about that when we sandblasted the truck and found holes in the running boards, the skirt under the bed, and the front stake pockets, all of which had been filled with bondo. In the late sixties the exterior was painted turquoise. My dad used it for daily transportation, the only thing in the back was a homemade wooden toolbox, which was eventually turned into a standing tool box and is in my shop. The toolbox was removed to make way for the propane tank which my dad converted it to run on in the early seventies. In the early eighties my dad painted the exterior again, this time himself and in a flat yellow. The first picture below was taken then. Note the trailer hooked up to it. My dad added the hitch by drilling a couple of hole in the bumper and attaching the ball to the bumper with a piece of angle iron bolted behind it. In the late eighties he got a job where he was issued a company truck that he could drive home, so he put the Effie on non-op in 1989. He pulled the 292 and replaced it with a 302 from a 1988 Thunderbird. He never finished it, it still needed the fuel tank hooked back up, an exhaust system, brakes, tires, and a few odds and ends to complete it. My mom died just over two years ago, and we moved him up to NE Washington with us to care for him as he has Alzheimer's. Last fall, realising I didn't have the time to get it together before winter, I asked the local shop I take my truck to if they could get it done so I could take him for a drive. The shop manager told me his father-in-law, who actually owns the shop, does hot rod and restoration work. Mark came out to my place and looked at the truck and after talking to him I decided I would rather do a complete restoration to all original and have it ready for spring. So the rest of the attached photos are from last fall, just before it went in. Next post will have pictures of what it looks like now, I promise.
I'm sorry, I don't mean to leave you hanging. I'm not certain if there are posting limitations so I don't want to go too long. Seems I'm only allowed seven pics per post, so I have to keep it at that. And howdy 52Merc, I used to travel through, actually around by choice, Tri-Cities twice a week when I was hauling argon from Trail, BC to Portland/Vancouver. I tended to cut over to Satus rather than cut through Kennewick. Anyway Harrier, I too can't wait to see the after shop pics! I went there today to bead blast the vent window frames and pick up the seats which were just painted. Actually there isn't a single bolt or screw on the entire truck, everything is disassembled. Last week the frame, suspension, inner fenders and other satin black items were painted. Today the argent items were painted. Tomorrow is an off day, then Wednesday I'll be going to Spokane to pick up the motor, drop off the wheels for powder coating, and the seat for upholstery. Mark will probably paint the cab. If back ordered parts show up, the truck should be done by the end of the month.
Some more background. My dad was a hot rod guy, probably subscribed to 'Hot Rod' and 'Street Rodder' longer than some of you have been alive. I've always been a stock guy. Fortunately my dad didn't go too crazy with the truck. Since my earliest memory was of an automatic transmission, I found a Fordomatic in San Diego, had my brother-in-law pick it up and ship it here, where a local retired tranny guy rebuilt it. Only after that did I find out the original was standard. So too much invested to change now, an auto it is. Having trouble finding linkage from the accelerator to the carb though, any of you have one laying around? The hood was another issue. When my B-I-L picked up the tranny the guy had a hood for sale. I really didn't want to replace the original, but the louvers left me no choice. I told B-I-L if the hood was good to buy it, which he did. A few weeks ago I went south to pick up most of the parts from Mid-Fifties, a few more from the guy who sold me the tranny, and the hood from B-I-L as well as sell him the '30 Model A hot rod my dad had bought over 30 years ago and never got close to finishing. Sandblasting proved the hood had seven layers of paint and thick bondo. I called Mid-Fifties and ordered a new hood. That makes the hood and the tailgate (dad modified it and the body work to restore it was more than a new one) will be the only sheet metal that aren't original. I'm trying to make the truck as stock as possible. So far non-stock items are stainless steel bed strips, tailgate chains, and hood latch. And since the truck won't just take up space in a garage (I own a small produce farm and want to use the truck to take produce to the market) I am changing the brakes to disc up front and dual master cylinder.
Aguas reminded me of another bit of history. My dad told me that in the early sixties he took the truck back to Downey Ford to trade it in on a bit more "family friendly" station wagon. Thankfully the salesman and manager were absolute jerks and PO'd my dad so much he got back the keys to the truck and told them to stick it.
On to the pics.
The first one is the front of the cab. As proud as my dad was of the Appleton spotlights, I didn't leave them on. Even though not stock, I might have considered leaving them except the handles were cracked and had pieces missing, and it seems you can't find reproduction handles. I have my eye on a '49 Merc (the deal is struck, just have to complete some honeydews before bringing it home) to rat rod and the Appletons will be a better fit with it. Next is the back of the cab. You can see the just painted argent items in the background. Then the frame followed by the back of the bed. Yes, that is another '56 cab you see in the background. Mark is building a 'restro-rod' for another customer. Then a couple of shots of more paint ready sheet metal and finally the suspension parts laid out on the floor. Mark has been taking photos all along and will burn them for me onto a CD and I'll share them with you. Meanwhile I'll be asking questions in the forums.
I went to Spokane this week, dropped off the seat frame for re-upholstery, the radiator for re-coring, the wheels for powder coating, and picked up the machined y-block. I have always remembered the truck having a black interior with a black vinyl seat. Imagine my surprise when I took the seat cover off and discovered the original upholstery underneath! So for those of you who have never seen it, here it is. The first photo shows an overall shot of the seat. Second is a close up of the vinyl weave, which is apparently either unavailable, or as Mid-Fifties puts it, "price is outrageous". The third is the cotton batting underneath the weave, and the fourth is a manufacturing stamp on the foam seat bottom. The fifth is the foam bottom flipped over showing how it was disintegrating. The sixth and seventh photos show a parts tag that was attached to the bottom frame. A similar one was attached to the back frame also.