Editor's Note: Getting your truck into Readers' Trucks is a snap, of the camera, that is. All it takes are a few good-quality photos of your ride that are in focus and well lit. High-resolution digital photos can be sent in via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Traditional prints are also acceptable and should be sent to: CCT, c/o Readers' Trucks, 1733 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92606. It is important that you include a detailed description of the modifications you have made to your truck, including any interesting stories behind it. Due to the volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot return photographs.
Ask any number of truck enthusiasts what got them started down the path of restoring and modifying vehicles and you'll no doubt get a myriad of answers. In the case of college student Nick Polidoro, the seed was planted before he was old enough to drive. Hidden Hills, California architect/builder Ray Polidoro spotted a slightly renovated '55 Ford F-100 that he figured would make a great first car for then-15-year-old Nick. Ray also saw the build as an opportunity to engage Nick in a learning experience and enjoy some quality father and son bonding. Accordingly, the Polidoros set plans for finishing what was initially a fairly straightforward project. Then Ray's wife, Darlene, made it perfectly clear that she didn't want her son to be driving "some old clunker truck." It had to be safe and dependable.
So Ray and Nick charted a new course of action; one that would see the venerable F-100 virtually taken down to the bare frame and rebuilt from the ground up with a selection of components that ultimately set it apart from others in the same genre. A key participant in the build was Ray's cousin Richard Koerner, an avowed gearhead with an abundance of expertise.
A Plymouth Volare front clip was grafted to the boxed F-100 frame, creating a lower stance, and with it came a compact, sturdy independent front suspension. It stood to reason that the old Mopar frontend would be totally disassembled, "keeper" components bead-blasted and refinished, and the control arms zinc-plated. Fresh OEM-style shocks contribute to the F-100's comfortable new ride, with a Volare power steering box guiding it through the turns. For stopping power, a set of Wilwood disc brakes were employed front and rear.
In the aft end of the F-100, a 9-inch Ford rearend assembly was put to work, with a Heidts polished stainless steel four-bar rear suspension eliminating any chance of wheelhop. A set of Heidts billet coilover shocks complete the package.
Under the hood, a small-block Ford engine lives where Henry originally placed a Y-block V-8. But this is no ordinary 302 Blue Oval powerplant out of some donor Mustang; it's a 460-cubic-inch monster based on a World Products Man O'War 302/351 block. In the 9.500-inch deck height block is an Eagle 4340 forged steel crank with similarly alloyed forged H-beam connecting rods and Mahle forged aluminum pistons. The heart of the engine is a hydraulic roller setup from Crane Cams.
The aluminum cylinder heads (205-cfm intake) are manufactured by Air Flow Research and fitted with 2.080-inch intake and 1.600-inch stainless steel exhaust valves, Crane valvesprings and Crane Gold Race aluminum roller rocker arms. Nestled on top of the heads is a polished Edelbrock Air-Gap intake manifold and an 850-cfm Holley double-pumper carb. Polished billet aluminum Ford Motorsports valve covers and air cleaner, plus a full assortment of 12-point ARP polished stainless steel fasteners add the finishing touch, while a Crane Pro-Curve billet distributor, Crane LX91 coil, and a Crane HI-6 ignition box provide the firepower. A polished stainless steel firewall reflects the dazzling engine.
Wizard Cooling is responsible for the custom-built polished aluminum radiator, which is augmented by four shrouded fans that pump out 4,000 cfm of air.