Deciding what kind of custom truck to build will get the gears rolling in any motorhead's mind. Once you decide on a make and model, it's off to the drawing board. The planning part of the build is normally the most difficult because it's where you need to determine all the custom details.

Custom vintage truck builders can skip the design phase by taking a truck off the hands of another hobbyist who has lost interest in the project. By doing so, you often save money and you don't have to sweat all the project's specifics. David Smith started the '56 Ford F-100 you see here, spending the better part of five years smoothing everything and designing until it got to be too much for him.

Dickie Lowder from Albemarle, North Carolina, took over David's unfinished Ford and toiled with his buddies every spare moment to get it done. The pickup was fresh from the upholstery shop a year later-just moments before the start of the 2005 Goodguys event in Charlotte, North Carolina. We met Mr. Lowder at the event, where Dickie was only too happy to accept a CCT Top Ten Trucks award. He was even more excited about getting his F-100 featured in the magazine.

Dickie builds frames for a living for Fatman Fabrications. Specializing in '32-34 Ford chassis, he also has his own business in Albemarle, Dickie's Frame Factory. Given his expertise, Dickie first addressed the Ford's foundation. After boxing the frame, a set of chrome tubular A-arms were bolted on with a set of Fatman spindles. In the rear, Fatman's chrome four-link keeps the Ford 9-inch firmly in place. To give the F-100 ride-height adjustability and to enhance the handling, a set of Air Ride Technologies airbags and Aldan shocks were fit on all four corners. Once the suspension work was done and everything was test-fitted, it was all disassembled. Dickie paint-prepped the frame before applying several layers of House of Kolors Cosmo Red to give it that brilliant shine.