It's common knowledge to just about any automotive enthusiast that most guys are pretty stuck on brand loyalty. Straying from one camp to another will draw weird stares and dire whisperings behind your back from even your closest friends. A lover of '50s-era vehicles since he was a kid, Cesar Maldonado of New Braunfels, Texas, was what you might call your classic Chevy guy, having built both '55 and '57 Chevy pickups before finding this diamond in the rough.
A couple of years back, Cesar stumbled across a vintage Ford while checking on the progress of repairs on his work truck. He saw potential in the seemingly long-forgotten project, so after settling his business up front, Cesar went around back and enquired about the Ford he'd seen resting under a layer of Bondo dust and cobwebs.
What made this dyed-in-the-wool Chevy lover even consider such a change, you may wonder. Well, a cursory glance under the black plastic covering the engine bay revealed a fairly modern LT-1 lurking between the front fenderwells, and that is considered by Cesar's family and friends to be what set the hook. After all, here was a cherry '55 Ford with all the original bits such as door handles, mirrors, and trim coupled with a solid frame and a ship-shape body with minimal Bondo in evidence. This meant the truck could handle the power of the modern mill as long as Cesar stayed off the dragstrip.
The LT-1 V-8 turned out to be a third-generation 350-inch small-block rebuilt by the former owner back to its original specs, which is to say Cesar's new Ford pickup had a fresh fuel-injected small-block Corvette motor just waiting to push the old Blue Oval down the road. A fair compromise as far as brand integration goes, and what the heck, they're both American anyway, Cesar figured. This also gave him a concept for the finished project, which was maintaining as much of the original truck while utilizing modern amenities such as the LT-1 and its transmission. This also ensured plenty of power for goodies like the Vintage Air air conditioning to keep the cab at a downright reasonable temp on those hot Texas afternoons.