If a guy’s been into these old trucks long enough and has traveled from one end of North America to the other he’s learned rust is an old truck’s worst enemy and every geographic region has its favorite area to attack. In not the correct corresponding order, but take for example old trucks from Alabama might appear to have rusted from the ground up with all of the cancer concentrated down low whereas a Nebraska truck might look like it rusted from the roof down. And then there are trucks like the 1956 Ford F-100 small-window pickup we have featured here that was a rusty devil in disguise.
Troy Lambert is a Louisiana man by birth, he moved to Texas and earned his fortune by starting out with one 18-ton crane and laid the groundwork for what is now a crane and rigging company with 40 locations nationwide and cranes with up to 1,300-ton lifting capacity. Troy spotted the 1956 F-100 on a return trip to Louisiana to visit a friend. As pretty as it could be, the truck was painted bright blue and had a For Sale sign on it. Troy got the 1956 back to Texas and in the hands of Chris Lyons at Lyons Kustom in Chappell Hill, Texas. Chris blew the 1956 all the way down to the bare frame, and sent the glossy blue enameled Ford to the sandblaster. What came back was a mere shadow of a 1956 Ford F-100 with enough big rust holes to represent every state.
Lyons had a plan for how the truck would look when it was completed. The stance was set by specifying Chad Morley at Hotshoe Hot Rods in Mt Vernon, Missouri, added 3 inches of wheelbase to one of his custom rolling chassis for 1953-1956 Ford F-100s. The Hotshoe F-100 chassis starts with formed rails and then TIG weld full-length laser cut boxing plates in place. The IFS is Heidts’ complete hub to hub front suspension with front adjustable Aldan coilover shocks and Wilwood four-piston disc brakes and features tubular upper and lower control arms with 2-inch lowered spindles. The steering is power rack-and-pinion. The brake pedal operates a 7-inch power booster and dual reservoir master cylinder.
At the rear there’s a Hotshoe Hot Rods made parallel four-bar suspension with panhard bar and rear adjustable Aldan coilover shocks. The differential is a 9-inch Ford with 3.50 gears and limited slip, and 10-inch drum brakes.
The cab was so badly rusted the roof was ready to fall off. Lyons shaved the driprails and welded the roof back on at the same time. From there repairing the rust damage included the cab corners, hinge panels, and major sections of the floor. The front wheelwells were cut out of the fenders and relocated 3 inches forward to match the new wheelbase.
It’s a rare occasion when an old truck’s bed is reusable and Troy’s bed was no exception. Lyons sourced new bedsides, headboard, and louvered tailgate from Mar-K Manufacturing, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The louvered front valance was fabricated by cutting a section out of a Mar-K Chevy S-10 louvered tailgate. Lyons constructed the bed floor from planks of composite fiberglass fitted between Mar-K stainless steel skids. Four-inch wheeltubs cut into the bed sides allow fitment of 22×11 Intro wheels with Toyo Proxes tires in the rear to complement a pair of 20×10 Intro wheels mounted on Toyo Proxes tires in the front.
From Lyons Kustom the 1956 was sent deeper into Texas to Chaotic Customs in Conroe for paint and reassembly. The deep brilliant red color was achieved using PPG red toner with a heavy coating of PPG clear on top. The exquisite gray leather interior with gray square-weave carpeting was done by Ricky Duke of Duke’s Custom Upholstery of Porter, Texas, right before Ricky closed the shop and moved onto other pursuits. Tilt steering comes compliments of an ididit tilt steering column topped with a Billet Specialties steering wheel fronted by a gauge cluster of Dakota Digital analog gauges. The air conditioning is from Vintage Air of San Antonio, Texas.
Under the 1956 F-100’s hood beats the heart of a 427-inch Ford. The induction sourcing gasoline from a Tanks Inc. fuel tank is an Edelbrock four-barrel carb mounted on an Edelbrock Air-Gap intake manifold, and the exhaust system starts with BBK shorty headers passing through a pair of Flowmaster mufflers. A March Performance serpentine pulley system handles driving the power steering pump, alternator, air conditioning compressor, and adds great looks to the front of the Ford mill. The automatic transmission is a Ford AOD rebuilt by Circle D Transmission of Houston, Texas.
The saga of Troy and Gayla Lambert’s 1956 Ford F-100 proved beauty is only skin deep when below the shiny blue enamel awaits a hideous rusty sight only the devil could love. But thanks to a few good shops and the patience of a saint, all’s well that ends well.
Year Make Model: 1956 Ford F-100
Owner’s name: Troy Lambert
Frame: Hotshoe Hot Rods
Rearend / Ratio: 9-inch Ford / 3.50 with posi
Rear suspension: four-link / coilovers
Rear brakes: disc
Front suspension: IFS
Front brakes: disc
Front wheels: Intro
Rear wheels: Intro
Front tires: Toyo
Rear tires: Toyo
Engine: 427 Ford
Valve covers: Cobra
Exhaust / Mufflers: Flowmaster
Transmission: Ford AOD
Bed: Home Depot
Paint type / Color: urethane / red toner
Headlights / Taillights: Ford / Ford
Gauges: Dakota Digital
Steering wheel: Billet Specialties
Steering column: ididt
Upholstery by: Duke’s Upholstery
Material / color: leather / gray
Carpet / color: square weave / gray
Air conditioning: Vintage Air
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