In late-1954, Ford Motor Company introduced a unique model F-100 known as the Camper Special. According to various Effie experts, it featured (among other items) a '55 Ford grille, 12-volt charging system, a heavy-duty towing package, and numerous other items found on the '55 Ford F-100 production models. "When we bought our F-100 in 1985, we had no idea it was a Camper Special-at least, you wouldn't have known by its appearance. The truck had a connecting rod sticking out of the side of the original 292ci Y-block, and the bed was filled to the rails with trash!"
In the process of ordering new parts, Stan was informed by the Ford truck parts expert in nearby San Antonio that his weary vintage hauler was a special model. "After cross referencing the VIN number using Ford's official factory records, the data confirmed that it was one of the Camper Specials produced sometime around late 1954 or early 1955. Perhaps that's why the inside of the bed was perfect. There wasn't a dent or ding anywhere!"
Armed with this knowledge, Ferguson decided to build a show 'n' go winner. Starting with the chassis, Stan ordered a new set of F-100 mono-leaf front springs along with a 3-inch dropped front axle acquired from Golden Valley, Arizona's Mid Fifties F-100 Parts. He installed a set of Classic Performance GM-based ventilated rotor front disc brakes and Classic Performance master cylinder, a set of Edelbrock IAS shocks, and a rebuilt '54 Ford F-100 steering box. "Nothing fancy, just the right stuff," says Ferguson. In the rear, Ferguson installed a new set of stock ride-height F-100 mono-leaf rear springs with a pair of Edelbrock IAS shocks and a stock rebuilt 3.92:1 Ford F-100 rearend. Wheels and tires on the pickup consist of a set of 17x8 Billet Specialties Vintec wheels wrapped with P235/45R17 fronts and P255/50R17 rear BFGoodrich Radial T/As.
Powering this beauty is a Cliff Gembler-machined 0.030-over '73 Ford 302-W with an Edelbrock Performer cam and kit, an Edelbrock Performer intake, and a Billet Specialties oval air cleaner-equipped 600-cfm Edelbrock Performer carburetor. Additional dress-up and performance items include a pair of Ford Motorsport aluminum valve covers, Billet Specialties brackets and pulleys, an MSD/Mallory ignition, Hedman Hedders, and Flowmaster mufflers. Behind the engine is a B&M and Lokar-equipped, Dave Henson-prepared Ford AODE trans. The final link is a Driveshafts Unlimited driveshaft.
Credit for the outstanding Ford Red paint and bodywork goes to Gilbert Sassenhagen, while those flame pinstripes are the handiwork of Mike Hartman. Stan used a combination of NOS and reproduction Ford trim items in the truck's rebuild, along with a set of Hagan Tri-Bar halogen headlights. The wood in the pickup bed is hand-hewn white-oak hardwood cut to Stan's specifications and then refinished by Stan and his son Jason.