The beauty of customizing is that it allows as few or as many changes as the owner wants. Some prefer the sleeper approach: where you see factory visuals, but it packs a punch with chassis and driveline upgrades that aren't immediately apparent. There are also trucks that might have an in-your-face paint job, dropped stance, loud mufflers, and trick rolling stock to make you think it's hell on wheels, but the changes usually don't deviate too much from stock after that. And then there are customs that really run the gamut of upgrades and definitely have the juice to back up their hot rod looks. When it comes to this no-holds-barred way of customizing, you're definitely speaking Kent Reinert's language. The lightning-bolt emblems on the sides of his '57 Ford F-100 panel are truly a prelude to the firestorm of mods it contains.
Kent's involvement with this '57 began when he was a kid and his dad bought the truck as a daily driver. Over time he became enamored with the big panel and at the age of 14, his dad gave it to him. That began Kent's baptism into the world of wrenching on cars. He started out fixing various odds and ends till he got his license. Kent drove the truck during high school and even raced it from time to time with the 352 Edsel motor and three-speed trans it previously had in it. He later upgraded to a '70 T-bird 429 Thunderjet and larger trans, but the truck was deteriorating to the point that it needed to be taken off the road. At that point, Kent decided to turn the resto rod/Pro Street vision in his head into reality.
The first and most difficult step in the process was tracking down the body parts needed to replace the corroded ones. Since this was the only year for this particular front end, and the first year for the flareside, it took Kent approximately four years to find what he needed. In addition to replacing the front fenders, fabricating new floor panels, and filling in the roof seam, Kent sectioned another truck for the passenger-side panel. He also made polished stainless fenderwells, as well as a new fuel cell, which he relocated to the rear of the truck. The front bumper is off a '56 pulled in 1.5 inches.
Kent wanted to keep and upgrade the 429 he'd been using without cutting the hood, so he needed to make more room for all the planned accoutrements. The master cylinder, wiper motor, and battery tray all came off the firewall, which Kent smoothed out. After the 429 was bored 0.030 over, the heads were flowed and given a three-angle valve job. The big-block was then dressed up with a dual-quad Weiand intake, Moroso pan (cut down approximately 1.5 inches), Holley 450-cfm carbs, Lunati cam, True Roller timing chain, TRW pistons, Hooker headers, and mated to a C6 trans with a TCI Breakaway converter. Whether you hear it through the Warlock mufflers or the cable-operated exhaust cutouts Kent made to run sans mufflers, you'll know its bark is as big as its bite.