'54 F-100 PickUp
Long Awaited Build

Air Force veteran Randall Kelly thinks back over the first 58 years of his life: "My interest in automobiles began in my high school's auto shop class in the '60s. Like so many other people, because of military service, marriage, family, and all of life's ups and downs, I was never able finish a hot rod of my own." Randall has bought projects over those years, but for one reason or another was unable to complete them. In 2007, he found this bone-stock '54 F-100, and decided to spend his much-deserved free time working on it. The 6V battery cranks the original 239-inch overhead-valve motor that replaced the 109hp flathead version the year before. Though an improvement, Randall has 302-powered dreams for this truck.

With his six children grown up and moved out, he had time for himself. They weren't totally uninvolved though; one son and his friends helped Randall construct his 24x32-foot garage, complete with central air and heat to build his hot rod in. With this space, Randall could start on his first project, replacing every wire from bumper to bumper with a new harness compatible with a 12V starting and charging system. The rest of the plan is to switch to disc brakes, update the steering box and column, and to fit a custom digital gauge set that he and his son are designing. Randall wants to keep as much of the factory appeal of the truck as possible, while updating the things that make it fun and easy to drive. Though the custom spray-at-home paintjob Randall has in store for the pickup isn't factory, it's much like how hot rodders would have painted it back in the day.

BY THE NUMBERS
1954 FORD F100
Randall Kelly, 62 • Stafford, VA130 hp
ENGINE
Type: 239-inch OHV small-block Ford
Block: "Y" block
Rotating assembly: cast crank, rods, and pistons
Cylinder heads: factory iron
Induction: Edelbrock carb
Ignition: 6V starting and charging system
Cooling: factory copper/brass
Exhaust: factory manifolds with glasspack mufflers
DRIVETRAIN
Transmission/shifter: Ford-O-Matic three-speed on the column
Rear axle: factory
CHASSIS
Front suspension: leaf spring
Rear suspension: leaf spring
Brakes: four-wheel drum
BODY/PAINT
Body: smoothing the front fender seams
Paint: GM Linen White Snow factory, will be painting blue with red flames over a white base
WHEELS/TIRES
Wheels: 15-inch chrome reverse
Tires: National Renegade XT