F-100 Builder's Guide

LIFETIME IMPRESSION

This One Began More than Half a Century Ago!

- Words and Photos by JOE GREEVES

Just a short 58 years later in 2014, Jerry decided to act on the dream, selling his ’60 Corvette to fund the new acquisitio­n—a ’56 Ford located not far from his home, already equipped with an FE motor. His plan was to have the engine and transmissi­on checked by profession­als for safety and reliabilit­y, and then enjoy the process of personaliz­ing the truck with extras like Vintage Air, a serpentine belt system, new wiring, disc brakes and, most important, matching the 390 FE engine to a Ford C6 transmissi­on and Ford 9-inch rear. Although the goal was to keep the truck as “Ford” as possible, Jerry knew the 390 FE was not a stock item for the truck, but it was a quintessen­tial vintage Ford engine with with huge torque, the possibilit­y of a one-of-kind build. He expected to put a few thousand dollars into the project to bring it up to daily driver standards. Things, however, did not go quite as planned.

JERRY BLAND, A RETIRED engineer from Virginia Beach, Virginia, recalls the first time he saw the neighbor’s sparkling blue and white F-100 pickup. He was just a 10-year-old Kentucky farm kid back in 1956, but the truck clearly made a lasting impression. Over the years, he’s had his name on the title of lots of cool custom vehicles, but that iconic truck was always an elusive dream.

The first step began with a visit to local FE expert Brian Murphy of Murphy Automotive in Chesapeake,

The completed truck made all of Jerry’s time, effort and expense worthwhile. It’s the culminatio­n of a dream that began for a 10-year-old farm kid way back in 1956.

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