Back in the mid-'50s, Jack Sorich was a custom car guy who owned several mildly customized Buicks. The low and not-so-slow Buicks were good rides, but it was a friend's custom '56 Ford F-100 that became something like a voodoo craving-it just wouldn't go away. Jack told himself for years, "I'll have one of those Effies someday.
Life passes by quickly when you're concentrating on making a living. Fifteen years later (late '60s) Jack was driving along a busy Van Nuys street when he thought he spotted an F-100 in the back of a used car lot. When he stopped to inquire about the truck with four flat tires and a dead battery, the dealer was more than a bit confused. He had literally forgotten it was on his inventory list. After some discussion and fierce negotiations, Jack was the proud owner of a solid, but in sad shape, F-100 big window--the same one you see on these pages.
For more than a decade, Jack drove the pickup pretty much as he had found it-- with only minor service and repairs to keep it on the road. By the early '90s, the truck was showing its age and was in need of fresh paint. A friend who had body and paint skills was called on to perform a few "medifications" the way a medic would treat a battlefield casualty. A 2-inch dropped axle was installed in front and the rear springs were de-arched to lower the body all around. After some minor bodywork, lime-green paint was applied and Jack had what was described as a mild custom pickup.
More years of driving the F-100 provided Jack with basic transportation, but he began to see how many of these fine old Fords were restored to like-new condition. It was at the L.A. Roadster Club Father's Day show that Jack met Justin Padfield of Scott's Hot Rods & Customs in Ventura, California. Their initial conversations explored the subject of minor upgrades to the suspension and a few custom touches to the body. Little did Jack know that the project would evolve into more than 100 body modifications, a new drivetrain, a completely new front and rear suspension, and ventilated disc brakes at all four corners.
The crew at Scotts performed the complete rejuvenation in a four-year period that began with a modest 2-inch top-chop. The cab's driprails were shaved and the cowl vent was filled. The front of the cab and rear of the bed were treated to roll pans, all body seams were filled, all ornamentation was shaved, new running boards were formed, a one-piece tailgate was created, and a wood bed floor was installed before the properly prepped body panels were painted. Hot Rod Alley sprayed gallons of DuPont Radiant Red on the now smoother-than-smooth panels.
When the extensive fabrication and assembly was complete, the truck was turned over to well-respected trimmer Mike Harper of Paso Robles, California. Mike expertly trimmed the interior in soft leather and tactile suede as he matched the beige Chevy bench seat with the door panels, headliner, steering wheel, and carpet. The results are very luxury-car like; gone is the feeling of a drafty truck.
What Jack now experiences is a radical custom ride like few other custom F-100s. In the looks department, this F-100 is also an artful attention-attracting, award-winning truck. Few builders have the opportunity to perform this extensive a number of modifications to a mere '50s-Ford pickup and to assemble one in such a precise way. But when one does, the vehicle is raised to the level of rolling sculpture. But, hopefully it will be driven for Jack and all truck lovers to enjoy-not gathering dust in a garage or museum.
A well-detailed 350ci Chevy crate engine fills the smoothed and painted engine compartment
Plenty of billet eye candy fills the interior. A Billet Specialties steering wheel on an i
It takes a 20-inch wheel with a big tire to fill up these extra-large (widened 2 inches) r
The highly varnished oak bedfloor appears to be a kit supplied by one of the manufacturers