How many times have you thought something was going to be absolutely killer, yet when it was all said and done it just lacked luster? Or maybe something you thought would be totally lame ended up being way cool. It's just the toss of the dice; you never know what you're going to get. When Rob Boardman set out to finish his '54, one could say the end product wasn't what he expected.

Rob has had his '54 Ford since he was 16, which tallies to a bit over 30 years. He had always wanted to fix it up, but just like every truck aficionado, he had to take care of the ABCs in life first. Close to 10 years ago, when his sister called and said he needed to get the truck out of her barn because she was moving, he made the trek from his Kansas home to California to retrieve the '54. You could say this was just the incentive he needed to get the ball rolling.

Back in the land of wheat, Rob tore the truck down to the point of no return. When he had finished all that his abilities had allowed him to, he passed the baton off to Ron's Restoration to pick up where he left off. Rob had always wanted the '54 to retain the same look as it did when he was 16, but he also wanted the truck to drive like a modern-day vehicle. To accomplish this, Ron installed a Heidt's Super Glide Mustang II frontend. Along with IFS, rack-and-pinion, and coilover shocks, Ron also installed Wilwood binders for the ultimate in stopping power. Due to the powerplant Rob had in mind, traction was going to be key. Therefore, Ron whipped up a custom ladder bar setup for the Ford 9-inch rearend that rides on coilovers. Keeping things all in the Ford family, Rob ordered a 2000 Ford 4.6 DOHC Cobra motor from Sean Hyland Motorsports. Besides the added ponies of Dart pistons and a Sean Hyland custom-ground cam, Rob also spec'd the motor with every chrome accessory possible. Once finished, the 438hp puppy, capable of revving up to 6,300 rpm and camouflaged in chrome, was dropped between the framerails with a Ford 4R75W tranny from a Mach I Mustang backing it.

Although the truck is more than a half-century old, Rob has owned it for most of its life, and he has kept it stored away out of the elements. Add all that up, and what Rob had was one solid truck that calculated into very little bodywork. Besides the usual ding repair and block-sanding, the only bodywork entailed a molded-in rear roll pan, a third brake light, and a reworked tailgate without chains.