When it comes to building a unique '56 Ford F-100 customized pickup, there's not a lot of open territory left to explore. Starting from the day the '56 F-100 first left the showroom floor, they were subjected to the personal whims of many a contemporary customizer. Before most of the trucks even got their first license plate, they were already sporting everything from dual chrome stacks running up the cab to Olds 88 Fiesta hubcaps stuffed into wide whitewalls. Needless to say, after 50-plus years of customizing evolution, there is absolutely nothing new under the sun when it comes to a '56 Ford F-100...or is there?
To celebrate the '56 Effie's 50th birthday, Rob MacGregor of San Bernardino, California, set out to build a tribute truck unlike any other. Since Rob is the proprietor of No Limit Engineering, also of San Bernardino, it's a no-brainer. He was destined to succeed, unless, of course, he ventured to gamble on a few untried ideas.
From the get-go, Rob knew the '56 would feature one of No Limit's custom-made chassis, but instead of modifying one of No Limit's existing production models, he started from scratch and built an entire double-stacked tube chassis out of 1 3/4-inch .120-wall DOM. To give the little Effie a better shot at high-speed stability, the stock 109-inch wheelbase was stretched to 112 inches by centering the front wheels in the fenders and relocating the rear fenders rearward. The longer wheelbase not only adds stability, it also improves ride quality. Couple this with Air Ride Technologies Shockwaves at all four corners, and the No Limit '56 rides and handles as well as it looks.
If you haven't guessed by now, high-performance capabilities were a common thread throughout the '56's build. For whoa, a gigantic set of 13-inch Stainless Steel disc brakes ride up front, followed by a pair of 12-inch disc brakes, also from Stainless Steel Brakes, bringing up the rear. Speaking of the rear, Rob chose to run a Currie 9-inch differential packing a set of deep 4.11:1 gears. A beefed Ford 470 AODE automatic tranny from Bauman Transmissions of Pendleton, South Carolina, offsets the four-eleven gearing. Along with the AOD tranny, Bauman was the source of the Baumanator electronic transmission controller. Transmission cooling is handled via a Specialty transmission cooler plumbed in with a 2,800-rpm Redline torque converter. Shifting the AOD transmission is facilitated through a Gennie shifter. In keeping with the '56's revolutionary nature, power comes from a 4.6-liter Ford DOHC V-8 blueprinted by Sullivan Performance to deliver an estimated 620 horsepower at 7,500 rpm.
Appropriately enough, prefacing the Ford "cammer" is a Paxton supercharger filtered through a K&N air filter and mounted on a Sullivan Performance intake manifold (Ford ran Paxton superchargers on the record-holding F-series 312-inch Y-block T-bird engines of '57). Scott Sullivan ported and polished the DOHC cylinder heads, equipped with Cobra camshafts and topped with Sullivan Performance cam covers (valve covers). To help the DOHC 4.6 adapt to the supercharger, the compression ratio was lowered to 8.5:1 using JE Pistons. For the exhaust system, No Limit custom-fabricated tubular headers, then connected Flowmaster mufflers in between the custom exhaust pipes Rob's crew bent up for the '56. To feed gasoline to the "cammer" motor, a 19-gallon No Limit fuel tank with two onboard electric fuel pumps is perched at the truck's aft end.
Before we describe the '56's bodywork and interior, this would probably be a good time to mention that not one component on the No Limit Ford pickup is a "genie" part from '56. This includes the fiberglass big-window cab manufactured by BeBops Glass. Rob mentioned that the big rear window glass fit on to BeBops' cab better than an original Ford cab.
The steel fenders and bedbox are from Dan Carpenter, but the bedbox was widened 3 inches and 1 1/2 inches were added to the rear fenders. Not to be confused with Dan, the front and rear bumpers are from Dennis Carpenter, but as with pretty much everything else on the truck, they have been modified by No Limit. The front fenders and grille, along with a list of miscellaneous trim pieces, were sourced from Mid Fifty F-100 Parts. In keeping with using the best of the best parts available, the electrics in the No Limit '56 feature a Painless wiring harness tied into a Cyclops cluster of carbon-fiber Auto Meter gauges flanked by the Vintage Air air conditioning. The black leather interior featuring modified bucket seats from a Toyota Stupor was stitched by Wanda's Custom Upholstery of San Bernardino (didn't the Beach Boys do a song called "Help Me Wanda"?). Speaking of tunes, the Kenwood sound system was custom-installed by Mike Stoeckmann's Tune Time in Highland, California.
It seems only appropriate that Rob and the No Limit crew chose an understated competition theme to express their birthday wishes for the '56 F-100, because as we all know, FORD is an acronym for "first on race day!"
Sullivan Performance built...
Sullivan Performance built the DOHC 4.6L Paxton blown Ford engine and the bitchin' "cammer" valve covers.
Air Ride Technologies Shockwaves...
Air Ride Technologies Shockwaves tuck American Racing wheels wrapped in Toyo rubber. The aluminum tonneau cover is by Pros Pick, and the faux carbon fiber is by Wild Wood.
In keeping with the massive...
In keeping with the massive doses of faux carbon fiber on the No Limit '56, the carbon-fiber gauges are Auto Meter. The super cool floor shifter and pedal are from Gennie Shifter. The ice cold A/C is by Vintage Air.