Ryan Niwa from Alberta, Canada, inherited the truck bug at an early age. Following in his father’s footsteps seemed the most logical thing to do from the time he could walk until high school when he picked up a ’76 Ford F-150 Trailer Special. It seemed that dad had influenced young Ryan with his own pickup, a ’63 Ford that he’s had since he was young.
Upon purchasing the ’76, the elder Niwa decided that the stock 390 engine would be a little tough on his son’s pocket book, so it was decided to pull the rebuilt 351 Windsor out of his own truck and donate it to his son’s build. Dad had hopped up the motor through the years with a cam, ignition, and an Edelbrock induction system but wanting to retain a slight semblance of economy, they opted to detune the motor slightly. A little bit of fabrication was necessary to do the big- to small-block swap, but nothing the Niwa’s were not capable of.
New shocks, wheel bearings, and brakes were also added as the truck was transformed from a farm hauler to a daily driver. Ryan sandblasted the truck box and sprayed in bedliner to provide a solid foundation out back while the cab was stripped to bare metal. The front fenders and door seemed a little worse for wear and were swapped with straight items found locally from a donor truck. From there, it was off to Preston Haggens’ Paint Tech Autobody who sprayed the truck Ford Black, covered in red and purple metallic pearl to give it a black cherry look.
Their attention was then moved inside the cab where Ryan ripped the dash apart and detailed everything from the sunvisors to the door panels. An Alpine stereo mated to JL components provides plenty of lunchtime tunes for Ryan and his high school buddies. A prefit carpet kit and door seals tops off the creature comforts and a Grant three-spoke steering wheel gives the truck a slightly sporty feel. The seat was reupholstered locally. By Ryan’s 17th birthday, he was back on the road, ripping up the Alberta streets ever since!
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: email@example.com. Traditional prints are also acceptable and should be sent to: CCT, c/o Readers’ Trucks, 1733 Alton Parkway, Suite 100, 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.