Walter Young’s ’56 Ford F-100 is pretty close to stock on the outside, although the front
Back in 1960, Walter Young of Danville, California, owned a Big-Window ’56 Ford F-100. With a louvered hood and custom interior it was a looker, but unfortunately the 29-year-old construction worker didn’t have room to keep it, so the hauler went to a new owner.
As the years rolled by, Walter’s interest in hot rods and trucks continued, and even with a Model A roadster pickup and a ’32 Ford roadster in the garage, there was something missing—that something was an F-100. Walter shared that he started looking for another ’56 Ford when an old friend, Terry Elby owner of Elby’s Auto Parts in Hayward, California, who told him of a ’56 F-100 in Oregon. Walter contacted the truck’s owner and set up a meeting at the airport in Eugene, Oregon. After taking a look at it, a deal was made and the next day, the pickup was transported to California.
Walter drove the truck for a while thinking about what should be done to it. After six months a decision was made. He said, “I wanted it stock looking but with updated components.” The truck was disassembled and the body went out to be soda blasted. To everyone’s amazement, there was no rust and not a patch panel to be found; The body was in great shape. The next decision regarding who was to put the truck back together was easy. It was off to Eddie Swisher’s one-man shop in Suisun City, California, for all the mechanical work, painting, wiring and assembly. “Eddie built the ’32 roadster I own. His methodical and precise workmanship is like no other. There isn’t a detail left undone,” according to Walter.
Reassembly of the truck began with a new Total Cost Involved chassis. The stainless steel independent front suspension is equipped with coilovers, antiroll bar, and rack-and-pinion steering. GM calipers, along with a Ford master cylinder and booster on a TCI pedal assembly, generate stopping power. In back, a 9-inch Ford axle equipped with 3.50:1 gears is mounted on chromed leaf springs.
Inside, an ididit tilt steering column is topped by a Billet Specialties banjo steering wh
While Walter’s truck looks conservative, under the hood a 347-inch small-block Ford churns out 431 hp and 421 pounds of torque. Built by Smeding Performance, the Windsor block has been equipped with a hydraulic roller cam, full roller rockers, Edelbrock Performer aluminum heads, a Performer Air-Gap dual-plane manifold with a 650-cfm Performer carburetor. Exhaust is carried away by stock Windsor-style manifolds that connect to Hushpower mufflers through 2½-inch pipes. Behind the engine is a Ford AOD by Golden Gate Transmissions in Pleasanton, California.
With the mechanical components taken care of, Eddie turned his attention to the body. Other than tucked-in bumpers and a tilt hood, the F-100’s body looks just as it did when it left the factory, only better. Eddie made sure the sheetmetal was perfectly straight and all the gaps were uniform before squirting the DuPont Chromabase basecoat/clearcoat.
In the rear, the tailgate chains have been removed and the bumper has been moved up and in
Is the second time around with an F-100 everything Walter hoped it would be? You be the judge. When asked what his most memorable experience he’s had with the truck Walter replied, “Driving down the freeway in Danville for the first time and a young guy came by and gave me the thumbs up.” We’ll bet Walter doesn’t let this ’56 get away. CCT
While primarily stock on the outside, under the tilt hood it’s a different story. Power co
The bed has been treated to new planks and stainless steel rub strips. Rear lights are sto