Benny Stevenson is a self-taught mechanic and custom fabricator, in business for 35 years. Benny owns PDQ Automotive in Bushnell, Florida, specializing in building hot rods, car trailers, and fabrication. This ’53 F-100 has been an eight-year, father/son project built with his son Beau, working after hours when customer rides were complete. Beau has been building and racing cars with his dad all his life and says this build is the best so far. He learned from his dad that when building a special vehicle, patience is the key. “When you’re constructing something like this and you hit a stopping point,” Benny told us, “it’s best to simply stop rather than try to hurry the job. I wasn’t in any rush to drive the vehicle. I wanted it to be the way I envisioned it in my mind. If I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I would change anything.”

They found this truck on a farm in Ocala, Florida and it was completely disassembled. Anything that could be taken apart was and parts were scattered in the dirt inside an old barn. To give you an idea of its condition, they got the truck for free, just for hauling it away. Over the years, they acquired three additional trucks as donor vehicles before the build was complete. The theme was simple. It would be “All Ford and All Steel.”

The restoration process began with the chassis, boxing the original 1953 frame and welding shut every unnecessary hole. Fitted with a custom back half, the truck uses a Chassis Works four-link/coil over set up to hold the Lincoln Versailles 9-inch rear along with a Fatman Fabrication Mustang II independent front end. All four corners boast disk brakes with 11-inch rotors, stabilized with adjustable QA1 coil overs. The carefully chosen wheels are Centerline Convo Pros, 15x8 up front with 255/60R15 rubber. The huge 15x16 rims in the rear, wrapped in Mickey Thompson 33-19.50/15 rubber were an indicator of things to come. Once the suspension components were in place, the frame was given the same attention as the exterior with hand sanding, priming, and painting.

Power is essential in any specialty vehicle and this vintage Ford has power to burn, thanks to the big-block 460 V-8 sourced from a ’68 Lincoln MK IV and bored to 557ci. All the internals are new beginning with an Eagle crank and rods, JE pistons, Comp cam, and Trick Flow heads. Deep breathing begins with the PROFORM 850 CFM carb on a Weiand Stealth dual plane intake. MSD ignition components provide precisely timed explosions and exhaust scavenging is expedited thanks to 2.5-inch ceramic-coated Rewarder Custom Headers feeding dual Flowmaster mufflers. A Griffin radiator and dual electric fans keep temperatures in the green. “Running hot was not something we wanted to mess with,” Beau told us. On the dyno, the highly modified package creates close to 800 hp on CAM2 racing fuel. Multiplying the power is a C6 trans, upgraded with a B&M Hole Shot converter, shift kit, and additional performance internals. The Lincoln 9-inch handles the power and the Detroit locker with Moser axles ensures twin black streaks on the asphalt when Benny or Beau hit the loud pedal.