The One That Got Away

This past weekend I was out at the Carlisle Ford Nationals with my dad where we saw a nice ’56 F-100 that had a straight six in it that was just a little rougher than I would have liked for the asking price. There weren’t many other trucks for sale this year at Carlisle, which was disappointing, and while I told myself that it was too much money and wasn’t quite what I was looking for, for the rest of the day I kept thinking about going back over to the truck, maybe make an offer, who knows.

On the way home, my dad and I passed a ’56 F-100 broken down on the side of the highway that, if it wasn’t that exact truck, then it was an extremely rare coincidence. Same color, temporary tags in the window, the whole deal. We both laughed and said that it was a good thing I didn’t buy that truck or it would have been me broken down on the side of the road.

Now that I’ve had a chance to look at some of these older trucks more closely and in person, I’ve noticed a few things that I would seriously want to address if I buy one. The first thing is that in these older trucks the gas tank is in the cab with the driver. I’m not sure who thought that was a good idea, but getting the gas tank on the outside of the vehicle. There are a few popular swaps out there. Some require a hole cut in the bed, which is ugly and I would think less safe, and others with a side fill option. They require a frame notch, but that doesn’t look too bad. Also, apparently a 2003+ panther (Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis/Towncar) front crossmember literally unbolts from the donor car, is made of aluminum, and will fit exactly up to a stock F-100 frame. That swap will yield a nice ride height drop, power rack & pinion steering and 12″ brakes.

Yeah, I know my ’66 Mustang is still cut up in my parents’ garage, but this is looking like a very doable project…

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