Originally Richard's '56 came from the factory with a small-window cab that had seen its share of Ontario winters. After searching for a replacement, Richard came across a big-window cab in New Jersey, complete with doors and a whole lot less rust for $800. The next score was a pretty good price on a big-window rear glass from Blue Oval Truck Parts. Fairly handy with metal fabrication and custom bodywork, Richard tore into the New Jersey transplant cab and didn't stop until the drip rails and doors were shaved and the door corners were rounded. From the cab, Richard worked rearwards-widening the rear fenders 3 inches at the leading edge, and 5 inches at the rear. Next up was a full Swiss Army knife conversion, with a dump bed and a tilt front end. With all of the customizing handled at home, the '56 was then shipped to Armando Cianfarani at Zenith Auto Body to get covered in Ford LemonYellow PPG paint.
With only six months to build his truck in, Richard stated that he was really fortunate to have the help of his family and friends, who oftentimes stayed late into the night until a task was accomplished. A retired carpenter by trade, Richard's father, Sante Mio, constructed the oak floor in the '56 from scratch, with Richard pitching in for the varnishing chores. It was Richard's brother-in-law, Dave Poldrugovac, who performed a lot of the work on the interior. Dave's wife, Lisa (that'd be Richard's sister), picked out the colors. Then Dave and Richard went to town installing a Dakota Digital dash, a Billet Specialties steering wheel, and ice-cold air-conditioning from Vintage Air.
With barely a week left before the '06 Supernationals took place, the '56 was on its way to Knoxville. Richard told us that the experience really brought his family together, but they probably were real glad when he left town for Tennessee.