The split rear windows are unique and the double wide rear fenders are aggressive. Ten inc
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.
All the classic lines show through on this F-100 but virtually everything has been modifie
The bed floor came from a cedar tree that Beau cut himself. He milled the boards, stained
Body work began by reassembling the scattered pieces. From the cab forward, the truck retains most of its original Ford dimensions but there are lots of subtle changes. The cowl vent and seams were welded shut, door handles and drip rails were eliminated, one-piece door glass installed, and the gas filler was moved to the bed. A special touch is the new split rear window, using a second donor cab. They cut the rear windows out, swapped sides, and created the unique split window. The original bed was too far gone so a new one was fabricated from sheet metal, designed 10 inches longer than stock for aesthetics and to accommodate the 40-gallon fuel cell, mounted behind the rear axle for weight distribution. The extra length makes a distinctive change to the Ford’s profile and the rear is accented with reworked Corvette bumpers, meticulously contoured to fit. The tailgate uses polished stainless steel inside to create a mirror finish. Outside, the Ford script was cut from a donor ’36 Ford pickup, then molded into the ’53 tailgate. Each of the rear fenders is actually a pair of OEM fenders, joined together to cover the steamroller-wide rear tires that almost qualify for separate ZIP codes. The Stevenson’s chose to “tub out” rather than in, adding to the aggressive look of the truck. To accommodate the new wider rear fenders, the expanded running boards were created from a single piece of sheet metal. Modern LED taillights and a center brake light continue the new millennium updates.
This ain’t yer daddy’s old farm truck! The luxurious Camel leather interior begins with BM
The interior is beautifully done, featuring BMW power bucket seats and a hand built center console and door panels, stitched by Street Seats in New Port Richey. The camel colored leather is glove soft, pampering the occupants. An Auto Meter Cobalt gauge cluster resides in a custom ball-milled aluminum panel, stretched 4 inches, then chromed. A three-inch panel was added to the bottom of the dash for aesthetics and to conceal the Vintage Air, A/C components. Welding the ashtray and glove box shut and eliminating knobs cleaned up the dash while the Speedway steering wheel on an ididit column keeps the driver in close touch. Hot trucks need cool tunes and the stereo system begins with a Panasonic touch screen/CD player in the dash, feeding 6.5-inch Kicker component sets in the kick panels, 4x6 versions in the rear quarters, and a single Kicker 12-inch L7 sub in the center console. A pair of 2000 watt, Kicker amps are inset into the rear cab wall. The system looks good and sounds even better.
The perfect finishing touch was spraying the lustrous House of Kolor Cobalt Blue. What does this father-son team do now that the eight year “All Ford, All Steel” build is over? “Besides looking at it a lot,” Benny said smiling, “Beau and I take it to car shows and we enjoy sharing the experience.” Great trucks don’t occur in a vacuum. The Stevensons would like to send special thanks to engine builder Robert Lizzi, Tony Spagna for his sheet metal work, Glenn Webster for chassis setup, and Jimmy for initial bodywork and alignment. CCT
Under the BMW-style front tilt hood, everything on the 800 hp motor has been detailed. The