Last month we ran a '56 Ford owned by Boss Perryman. The truck was Boss's rendition of a Perryman family tradition: '56 Fords. This month we decided we'd come back and see how far the apple fell from the tree when it was Larry Perryman's (Boss' son) turn at his tale of the tradition.
"My dream of owning a classic truck started in the early '70s when the men in the Perryman family started on their classic truck quest," said Larry. "My dad purchased his '56 Ford in the early '70s after his brothers, Ben and Eugene, completed their custom Fords. I always admired the time and energy my dad and his brothers put into customizing their trucks. I also remember the attention they got while cruising around town and knew that one day it would be my turn.
"In '96, I finally got my wish. I purchased a '56 Ford F-100. My wife, Linda, was excited about my purchase. That was before she saw the nearly junked truck that I proudly towed home. Adding fuel to the fire was my aunt, who told my wife she should make me get rid of that piece of junk. However, I was determined to prove that what she saw as junk would be this man's treasure.
"With inspiration from my dad, my uncles, my cousin Clem, and good friend Ted, my project proceeded full force. I took up the entire garage for nearly two years. All the while, my wife's brand-new car sat outside. In that time, the stock frontend was tossed for a '79 Camaro front clip. The rearend remained an F-body, but it was pulled from a Firebird. Instead of a traditional drop, my taste is more modern, therefore I had Ground Control install a full airbag system with KYB shocks on the Ford. Due to the prerequisite in the family, which calls for a Cadillac 500 under the hood, I set my sights on acquiring one for the Ford. Once found, I warmed over the motor and installed an Edelbrock intake manifold, Sanderson headers, Demon air cleaner, and a few other chrome accessories. I also used the power steering and transmission from the Cadillac, and relocated the gas tank between the frame. The body of the truck has been completely shaved clean. The handles, emblems, locks, trim-you name it-has been wiped clean. Carrying out another tradition are '64 Dodge taillights in the rear, along with louvers in the tailgate. The Sierra Pearl Green paint job, by Fred Steger, and a set of Foose 20-inch rims really set things off. Not to mention the chrome running boards. On the inside, the dash was cleaned up and painted to match. As for the interior, the third seat from a late-model Suburban was used in place of the stock seat. The seat and custom door panels were recovered by Isaac's Custom Upholstery in a Champagne color. They also built a custom dash apron.
"Once finished, I could not wait to show off my treasure. I drove into my aunt's driveway in my F-100 and revved my Cadillac 500ci engine. My aunt admired my treasure, and when she asked if she could go for a ride I smiled and proudly said, 'No.'
"Unfortunately, one of our family members, Uncle Buck, passed away, but the rest of us still hit the streets in style. Usually when we cruise I drive right behind my father's truck-that I still admire after all these years. Since completing my truck, other family members and friends have even been inspired by classic trucks and cars. For instance, my wife just purchased a '40 Chevy. I wonder how long it will take before her car turns into a treasure."