Building a truck in your home garage is time consuming, fun, frustrating, rewarding and in the end well worth every minute spent in the garage. For Brent Dockery the building process was a great way to have some quality time in the shop with his dad Jack Dockery. One glance at this ’54 F-100 might lead you to believe this is a pro-built truck but that is not the case, as a majority of the work was performed in a home shop by the father and son team. Of course, building a truck to this level takes time and adding to the usual time constraints picture this, Brent lives in Utah, but Jack lives in North Carolina where the truck was being built. So, several times a year Brent would travel back to North Carolina and spend a week or so working on the truck in his dad’s shop. That goes a long way to explaining why 18 years passed before the project was complete.

Starting with a ’54 F-100, the truck was disassembled down to a bare chassis. Starting with the frame, team Dockery began by installing a Chrysler Volare front clip. This swap brought with it independent suspension, torsion bars, power steering and Volare 11-inch rotors and calipers. That is a whole lot of upgrading for not a whole lot of money. The front clip was grafted to the stock F-100 chassis and then attention was moved to the rear of the chassis.

A No Limits four-link locates the Ford 9-inch rear that carries 3:88 gears while coil springs provide adjustable ride height and spring rates. A Classic Performance Products master cylinder activates the combination of front disc and rear drum brakes. This master cylinder connects to all polished stainless steel brake lines.

Custom motor mounts were fabricated for the small-block Chevrolet motor. Brent wanted a hauler that would truly haul, so a 383 stroker motor from AR Racing that dynoed out at 505hp and 478 lb-ft of torque was bolted in place. The motor connects to the 700R4 tranny. Inside the motor an Eagle steel crank and forged steel rods push the Keith Black 10.7 to 1 pistons. Comp Cams Custom series cam and 1.6 roller rockers provide power and one-wicked idle. Heads from Canfield Racing and an Edelbrock Victor intake and Demon 750 carburetor handle the fuel while MSD and a Pete Jackson gear drive handle spark and timing. Sanderson Headers lead to Flowmaster mufflers for a pleasing performance sound.

With the chassis and motor work completed, the body was being massaged from a well-worn truck to a flawless hot rod. All the emblems and door handles were shaved and a fiberglass hood was fitted between the stock fenders. The most noticeable change is the chrome ’56 F-100 grille. The front bumper has been removed and associated mounting holes were filled. Out back, a smooth tailgate rides above the rolled rear pan that holds the license plate. Exterior mirrors from Vision Street Rods work well on the truck. When Brent and Jack were done with the bodywork the truck was brought to Jeff Jordan Autobody in Franklin, North Carolina, for final blocking and spraying the House of Kolor Kandy Tangerine paint.

The final step was the interior, and while the dashboard had been modified to accept Dakota Digital gauges and the controls for the Vintage Air unit, the remainder of the interior would be left to the imagination and the considerable skills of Kirks Kustom Upholstery in Corryton, Tennessee. Todd Kirk fabricated the underdash panel that conceals the A/C unit along with the custom console. Two ’94 Toyota 4Runner bucket seats were installed and fit perfectly into a seat surround built of the rear of the cab. Overhead, a formed headliner carries LED lighting. When Todd was done with the interior fabrication, he covered it all with Australian leather in two tones of parchment. The end result is an interior that combines form and function in equal doses and will provide a modern and comfortable cabin for those long road trips.

And so, eighteen years later the truck is finally complete, and while the truck changed directions several times over the years, we think you will agree that this is a truck well worth waiting for. Though the build quality is very high, don’t think for a minute that this truck is going to be a garage queen, no, Brent Dockery has seen this truck in a garage for long enough, now it’s time for the open road. CCT