There are several ways to describe how the three trucks before you came to existence, but I believe Ringo said it best when he belted, "With a Little Help from My Friends." If it wasn't for friendship the three trucks in this sequence may have never seen the light of day. Chris Cowden, Joe Aragon, and Louis Kendziora are three buddies, from Houston, Texas, who have a thing for trucks and helping one another out. Each guy played a key role in building all three trucks. The three of them bounced around from garage to garage lending a hand in each one's build. In the end, the three trucks, each reflecting their owner's style and persona, emerged to hit the roads.
The first up is Chris Cowden's '53 F-100. Chris picked it up a few years back when he decided to get in on the action. It wasn't in the best of shape, but it was salvageable. One of the few aspects of the truck that didn't need replacing was the frame. Yet, the chassis engineering of yesteryear did. Chris and company began the project by boxing the framerails and adding some strength and rigidity. From there, the wheelbase was extended 11/2 inches, and the crossmember and adjoining suspension components from a '74 Mustang II were installed. Disc brakes from an'80 T-bird were also thrown in the mix up front. Out back, a new set of leaf springs with a 4:11 Ford 9-inch was installed. Keeping the '53 up right in the canyons is the addition of front and rear Total Cost Involved (TCI) sway bars. Chris kept a pretty sturdy agenda when it came to maintaining Ford components, for that reason he hunted down a 351 engine for the '53. With the help of Mark Ensel, the 351 was overhauled. Included in the rebuild is a set of TRW 10.5:1 pistons, World Products heads, and a Crane roller cam. Up top, the 351 received a Weiand Stealth intake manifold mated to a Barry Grant Demon 750 carburetor. Other speed parts include a K&N air cleaner, MSD ignition and BBK headers. The entire package cranks out a whopping 435 hp! Back that up with a Lyntech Ford AOD tranny with a custom valve body and 2400-stall speed, and this truck is just as potent on the street as it is the strip.
If you ask Chris if any bodywork was needed, his simple enthusiastic answer of, "Yes!" tells it all. In fact, there isn't much tin left from the original truck Chris purchased! But through the combination of the aftermarket suppliers, swap meets, and various other forms of peddling, Chris was able to assemble the '53. Cleaning up the lines a bit is the shaving of the cowl vent, filler neck, emblems and various other eye sores. Working in the trucking industry, Chris has come across some colors one doesn't find among the Big Three, for instance this Peterbuilt metallic olive green. Chris had stored this paint code in the back of his brain for years and when it came time to paint the Ford, he knew just the color despite what others thought. Accenting the green persona is the White Oak bed wood and Boyd Coddington Magneto rims, 17x8-inch in the front and 18x10-inch in the rear, wrapped in Nitto 555 with 245/45 up front and 295/75 in the rear.
Inside the cab of the '53 things were kept simple and sleek. For starters, the dash was shaved clean and a chrome dash insert with Stewart Warner Wings gauges was installed. Below the dash is an ididit steering column with a billet column drop and Billet Specialties steering wheel. The remaining areas of the cab were covered in either black carpet or leather, including the '01 F-250 bench seat. Five years after the first nut was turned, the '53, now dubbed "Greengo", is on the road.