Jack Sorich of Semi Valley, California, was a custom car guy who owned several moderately customized Buicks. Although he loved working on his cars, he found a new love, a '56 Ford F-100 with smooth lines and a sleek appearance, that embedded itself into Jack's mind and just wouldn't go away. Even after all the years in between seeing one and buy one, his passion for this truck never left.
After 15 years, Jack was driving along a busy Van Nuys street, when he thought he spotted an F-100 in the back of a used car lot. When he stopped to inquire about the truck with four flat tires and a dead battery, the guy told him that he didn't have a truck like that. He had literally forgotten it was on his inventory list. After some back-and-forth negotiations and $250 later (don't mess with a CPA), Jack was the proud owner of a complete, but in weather-beaten condition, F-100 big-window pickup.
Jack dropped enough cash on service and repairs to get it to a satisfactory condition to keep it on the road. In the early '90s, the truck was really starting to look weathered and in need of some TLC. A 2-inch drop axle was installed in front, and the rear springs were de-arched to lower the body all around. After some body massaging, lime-green paint was sprayed, giving Jack what he called "a mild custom pickup."
Driving the F-100 for a few more years got Jack from point A to point B, but he began to see how many of these fine, old Fords were restored and wanted to improve the look of his Effie. While cruising around a local show, Jack met Justin Padfield of Scott's Hot Rods & Customs in Oxnard, California. They started kicking around ideas of minor upgrades to the suspension and a few modifications to the body. What Jack didn't know is that the project would evolve into adding a completely new front and rear suspension, Wilwood disc brakes at all four corners, and more than 100 body modifications.
Justin and the boys at Scott's performed the chassis and body mods in a four-year period that began with a modest 2-inch chop-top. The driprails and cowl vent were shaved. Hand-fabricated roll pans for the front of the cab and rear of the bed were made with the emphasis on detail and how they flowed back into the body. All body seams were filled, all the badging was shaved, new running boards were formed to accommodate the 3-inch widened rear fenders, the tailgate was molded to the bed, and a wood bed floor was installed before all the masking and final prep before paint. Bill Anderson was the man brave enough to lay down the gallons of red to make this Effie shine like no other. Not wanting to overpower the outside of the truck, the interior needed to be as clean and as in vogue as the rest of the modifications. Mike skillfully trimmed the Chevy bench seat, door panels, headliner, and steering wheel in soft leather and suede, and color-matched the carpet. The results are very luxury-car-like, enough to make Mercedes blush and want to redesign its interiors.
Few people have the opportunity to perform this extensive a number of modifications to a production '50s Ford pickup and to assemble one in such a precise way. But, when you do, the vehicle is raised to the level of jaw-dropping. For the most part, this truck is driven to just about all the shows Jack attends, not gathering dust in a garage.
Owner/hometown: Jack and Kiriko Sorich / Simi Valley, California
Year/make/model: '56 Ford F-100 Pickup
Engine/drivetrain: Chevy 350 V-8 crate motor / Edelbrock carburetor / Holley air cleaner / turbo 700-R4 transmission / Ford 9-inch rearend / custom-made driveshaft / 350 Posi gear / brake and fuel lines run inside frame / custom-made fuel cell from No-Limit / stainless steel motor mounts / U.S. radiator / electric fan / brake booster recessed into firewall / custom-made radiator shroud / Cool Flex hoses / ceramic-coated headers / Flowmaster mufflers / Specialty tranny cooler
Installers: Scott's Rod and Custom
Wheels/tires: (Front) 17x8-inch Colorado Custom Lazear / 225/50R17 Nitto / (Rear) 20x10-inch Colorado Custom Lazear / 255/50R20 Nitto
Suspension: (Front) Scott's IFS /Air Ride Technology Shockwave V3.0 / A-arms polished stainless steel / polished Wilwood four-piston caliper / (Rear) Scott's Rod and Custom four-link / Shockwave 9000 / polished Wilwood four-piston caliper
Installer: Scott's Rod and Custom
Body Mods: 2-inch chop-top / molded driprails / cowl vent and side vent, shaved and filled / rear seam on top of cab, shaved and filled / shaved door handles, bed, molded tailgate to bed, stake bed pockets, tear drops on bed, fender bolts inside bed, parking lights on grille shell / rounded door corners / Specialty wiper motor / custom roll pan / flush-mounted LEDs into roll pan / third brake light mounted into cab / rear fenders widened 3 inches / custom-made running boards and front roll pan / tilt hood / custom-made inner fenderwells, firewall, and cab floor / dash dropped down 4 inches / constructed belt line to continue into the door panels / removed dash hump / recessed set of Classic gauges / Hotrod Air A/C unit / ididit chrome column / custom inside door handles molded into trim
Bodyman: Scott's Rod and Custom
Custom Paint: DuPont Radiant Red
Painter: Bill Anderson at Hot Rod Alley and Saitcoy Auto Body
Interior: Modified stock bench, wrapped in suede and leather / custom-made dashpad, door panels, and center console / suede and leather headliner
Upholsterer: Mike Harper
Special Thanks: Justin Panfield at Scott's Rod and Custom / Mike Harper and Bill Anderson