Actually if we are only talking about the 53 fender being an inch shorter (and not centering as well which may not be an issue), he could put an F2/F3 fender on it, move it forward 2 inches and make new mounting holes in the bed sides.
Or, he could buy a set of F2/F3 fenders and cut the center 2 inches out of it and it would fit just like the two pictures I posted on the modified truck above. Shoot as big as those suckers are, no one is going to miss those 2 inches.
But, he still has the long bed space between the cab and fender. Running boards from an F2/F3 would fit either directly or with a slight mod, but he likes the short bed look and that's cool!
It sounds like he's in no hurry and maybe after some time he can find an F2/F3 fender at a swap meet for $40 and cart it home to hold up and compare, or play with. In the mean time he's driving a cool lookin' truck and there's only about 5 of us who know the difference. I wish my truck looked that good.
If nothing else, he's got the rating plate chart and knows where the serial number is now so he'll know exactly what he's buying 100%.
But, one thing is very definate: all of us are a lot smarter now about F1/2/3 Vs F-100 fenders and beds - that's for sure!
Hey DV, when you go truck shopping again, let us know...We'll help ya!
As far as the suicide door reversal...there's a thread running on suicide doors as we speak! See ya there!