Writen By: Brian McCormick
If you have ever wondered what it takes to build a truck of the Year caliber F-100, take a good look at this awesome '56 and you might get a good idea. Kelly and Teresa King are the newest names to be carved into the coveted F-100 Supernationals Truck of the Year trophy for their creatively clean and far beyond high tech hot rod '56 Ford. But Kelly will be quick to direct you to the likes of Bobco where the ingredients were mixed together and baked to perfection.
Kelly who lives in Quesnel, British Columbia, is into all kinds of super high tech hot rods. Though his business life might not let him enjoy it as much as he would like, he does know what it takes to get a vehicle to the next level. That's probably why he sought the likes of Bob Carvajal at Bobco in Lake Elsinore, California. Kelly threw his ideas at Bob and set him on his way.
For starters a chassis needed to either be restored or built. Kelly isn't into the resto things too much so the idea of having No Limit Engineering craft up one of their famous Effie frames with a high tech suspension was right on as far as he was concerned. Rob at No Limit whipped out a dandy out of 2 x 4 box steel complete with trick tubular crossmemeber supports, engine and tranny mounts, not to mention custom work that blends a TCI four-link rear and IFS front suspensions beautifully into the frame work.
The chrome-plated four bars attached to one of those trick Currie Ford 9-inch rear ends with the polished aluminum housing and rides on adjustable coil-over shocks. Up front, each of the tubular arms have been chrome-plated to contrast against the smoothed and metallic gray painted frame. Toss in front and rear Wilwood disc brakes, polished stainless steel brake lines, custom aluminum fuel tank, and even a polished aluminum driveshaft, and you might begin to see what kind of attention to details both Kelly and Bob were seeking. It's not too often that you see a truck with such amazing quality and detail.
Okay, now let's talk power. Of course a run-of-the-mill V-8 could have found its way between the custom framerails, but then Kelly's truck wouldn't have been unique. The decision was made to run with modern power, preferable Corvette. Well, as you can see, such was the case as a fully polished '98 LS-1 crate motor and equally shiny polished 700R4 tranny to match that previously mentioned driveshaft were installed. In fact just about everything that is aluminum on the engine has been polished including the Street & Performance pulley system, radiator and trick fan shroud. To make the exhaust look and sound better, custom headers were built for the engine, which eventually mates with a set of Flowmaster mufflers.
There really is a lot of detail to be seen, but most of it is covered up by a sheet metal engine cover painted yellow and fit with aluminum inserts. The cover is a trick touch that makes you eyes wonder from the trick engine to the smoothed compartment to appreciate the cleanliness. That includes an examination of the reverse tilt hood, painted metal radiator hosed and yard upon yard of steel braided hoses.
Moving to the body, Bob went through his ocean of cabs and fenders and found a rice candidate to become King's ride. In fact he managed to gather up a complete body and bed in all original steel components. From there the body work began where Bob and his boys began the long, hard job of shaving everything off the truck to create a pure, smooth appearance. The benefit of such an act is that line prominent lines of '56 present themselves with more authority, not to mention the truck just looks better! While the shaving even was taking place, the gas filler neck was sent packing and a cool gas door moved to the rear of the fender alongside the refined tailgate region. All of the body seams were filled and the door gaps reshaped for a symmetrical fit. An LED third brake light was even carved into the rear of the cab roof just before the hours and hours of blacking took place. When the surface was smooth as glass, Bob then painted the entire truck, inside and out, with a color he calls Bobco Yellow, followed by polishing the finish to a prefect shine.
When it came to the inside of the cab, Bob knew there was only one man around that could create and interior that would complement the caliber of his clean machine. Ron Mangus, one of the hottest stitchers the street rod industry has seen accepted the duty of basically building an interior for Kelly's truck. The inside of the truck was bare except for the power Cadillac seat. Mangus must have realized this truck was special as he whipped out one hell of a bad ass tan leather interior. You don't have to have your eye balls screwed in straight to see how bitchin' the layout is. Tan regular and suede leather covers just about every inch of the interior, including the floorboard! The seat has been re-padded to create some character, while the rest of the flatter surfaces such as the door panels have been hand sculpted with different levels of graphic applications.
As for the rest of the interior, the smoothed and painted dash sports one of Bobco's own polished aluminum gauge panels fit with VDO instruments. The bezel looks good parked about the polished ididt steering column and leather wrapped Budnik steering wheel. The only other features you will find on the dash are the circular aluminum Vintage Air vents presented in a brushed finish to match the trick inner door handles.
Believe it or not, there's actually a pretty trick sound system buried in the acre of leather. Stashed neatly away from sight is an Eclipse disc changer and 400 watt amplifier feeding MB Quart separates Fosgate 8-inch subs installed behind the seat.
As the truck neared completion, Bob got with the guys at Intro Wheels and had them carve up a set of wheels using a design that Bob had requested unique for this truck. When the last aluminum shaving hit the floor, a set of 18 x 8-inchers for the front and 20 x 10s for the rear. For tires, the front sports 245/40s and the rear 275/35s, both from BFGoodrich.
When all the bugs were worked out and the last coat of wax was applied, not only to the slick yellow finish, but the chassis detail as well, the truck was hauled to the 2001 edition F-100 Supernationals in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This is where is not only made many a spectator blink with astonishment, but also won over the judges who labeled it the coveted winner of Truck of the Year. Of all the Effies in North America, this was the truck of 2001 and both Kelly and Bob have the trophies to prove it.