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Road Rage – Lean, Mean & Low ’56 Ford F-100

Kevin Grey’s ’56 Ford F-100 is more than just a truck, and not only because of the C5 Corvette chassis tucked underneath it waiting to pounce. Project Road Rage is an all-out venture, a passion project that Kevin and his team of helpers built to unify multiple generations of hot-rodders.

Kevin enlisted Scott Boyd and his team at Attitude by Alchemy to help create the build. Whether onlookers have a taste for classics, imports, muscle cars or custom trucks, Road Rage was built for mass custom appeal across genres. In this case, however, mass appeal means anything but ordinary. The truck is definitely a one-of-a-kind monster, uniting two iconic American platforms and breaking all the rules. Project Road Rage is truly the hot rod masterpiece that Dr. Frankenstein never built.

From the starting line, Road Rage shoots to kill. Despite the inherent challenges of modifying the 1956 body, Scott and his crew pulled no punches. Right out of the gate they mated the truck’s unibody to a C5 Corvette chassis. Rather than just stuffing an LS into the Ford’s engine bay, they built Road Rage around the complete Corvette platform. The frame rails have been tilted forward 10 degrees for the proper suspension alignment. To pull off the dramatic adaptation, Ford’s core support was joined to the ’Vette’s chassis. The operation included fabricating a tubular engine cage and custom firewall.

All of the original suspension geometry of the C5 remains intact; this allows the reimagined farm truck to handle like a world-class sports car. The C5 suspension has been modified to fit air ride components for the ultimate in low. The combination of a modern chassis and well-engineered air ride system gives Road Rage its signature slammed stance. The truck lays frame and tears up the track with the flick of a switch. A set of Detroit Steel wheels adds to Road Rage’s menacing stance. The steelies are configured in a drastic stagger with the front wearing 18x8-inch wheels and 20x11-inchers in the rear to round out the hot rod rake. The wheels are paired with Diamondback Classic vulcanized whitewalls. The original design for the C5 included front and rear disc brakes that provide plenty of stopping power for Road Rage.

Underneath the heavily modified hood of the ’56 Ford lays the original C5 ’Vette’s heart and soul, the 5.7L LS1. The LS platform is famous for its availability, reliability and potency. The free-revving small-block is good for 350 hp and 365 ft-lb of torque right from the factory. Road Rage features Kooks headers and mid-pipes along with a custom tune from SS LSX for a few extra ponies. Power from the V-8 is sent through the OEM driveshaft to the rear-mounted 4L60E transmission. The transaxle configuration is a staple of the Corvette platform, and the layout optimizes weight distribution and lowers the overall center of gravity. Thanks to some trick bodywork this feature remains intact.

Not a single panel of Kevin’s ’56 was left without a custom touch. Both sets of fenders have been heavily modified to accommodate the Corvette track width. The rear fenders received an additional 7.5 inches of steel, and they were rotated 10 degrees forward. This rotation matches the angle adjustment of the Corvette frame rails and is in line with the rake of the staggered wheels. The front fenders were reshaped and gained an extra 1.25 inches of width on either side. The team fabricated one-piece tapered rocker panels and integrated running boards. The bed is completely custom-built with a motorized tilt feature. Underneath lies a watertight cargo space with access to the transaxle. Up front, the Ford’s hood was modified to tilt forward, mimicking the motion of the Corvette hood.

A series of well-placed exterior details gives Road Rage its resto-mod styling. Along with the motorized tilt bed, the ’56 sports a motorized tailgate embossed with a custom Ford lettering motif. The factory taillights remain in place but have been modernized with LED bulbs and fresh wiring. The front bumper was shaved and replaced with a smoothed roll pan. Additionally, the front features a 24-inch light bar in the lower valance that has been retrofitted with HID headlights. The roof, grille, rear bumper and trim were all painted gloss black. The body itself is coated with Nason Primer Shade #1 and finished in Euro clearcoat. The final color combination is reminiscent of World War II era bombers and captures a muscle car aesthetic. The final pieces of the exterior—rail sides, bed floor and running boards—were all made from reclaimed barn wood that is more than 150 years old. The wood was smoothed and coated with candy black Euro clearcoat.

This crew experienced the usual hiccups along the way, in addition to some pretty heavy challenges. The interior posed an interesting predicament. Like all of Road Rage’s components it was challenging to mate the modern chassis with a unibody truck; nevertheless, Kevin, Scott and the rest of the crew came up with an elegant solution. The interior combines the classic styling of the F-100 with the functionality and comfort of the Corvette. A custom bench provides seating and features bolsters similar to those of the C5 seats. The all-black dash houses a Dakota Digital gauge cluster. The gauges work in conjunction with the GM ECU and display all of the OEM sensor information. A Vintage Air Gen II system supplies the cabin with icy AC. The Ford’s original window cranks now control custom power windows. The Mustang-style steering wheel is mounted to a Flaming River chrome tilt steering column. A Lokar long shifter mounted through the floor controls the transmission.

Of course, road tunes were a must. Road Rage sports a full sound system from JL Audio and Diamond Audio components. A Diamond five-channel amplifier sends sound to 6.5-inch speakers in the kick panels, and dual 8-inch JL subwoofers sit under the floor. The same reclaimed wood that adorns the exterior features finishes the floor.

Kevin set out with a goal to build a transcendent F-100, and with help from Scott Boyd and his team, they knocked it out of the park. Road Rage has been a wild success. It's garnered a significant digital following, inspired artwork by Max Grundy, and has become a lifestyle brand. Apart from these triumphs, Road Rage manages to do exactly what it was built to do: drive like hell. Kevin refuses to trailer Road Rage; he burns rubber in it and pounds the pavement on a daily basis. The little imperfections that come with a functioning hot rod are badges of honor. We couldn’t agree more.

Build Specs:

Owner: 1956 Ford F100
Kevin Grey
Charlotte, NC

Retained stock 5.7 LS1 engine
Retained stock 4L60E rear-mounted transmission
Kooks headers and mid-pipe
Tuned by SS LSX
Retained complete Corvette computer controls for engine and traction control

Body & Paint
Rear fenders were widened 7.5 inches and rotated forward 10 degrees
Front fenders reshaped to widen body 1.25 inches
Tilt hood
One-piece, full length tapered rocker panels fabricated with custom-integrated running boards
Custom bed fabricated with 1-inch square tubing and skinned with 18 gauge side panels
Bed floor, rail sides, running board and cab floor made from 150-plus-year-old reclaimed barn planks, sealed with candy black Euro clear
Motorized tilt bed floor to access hidden watertight trunk
Motorized tailgate with embossed custom Ford lettering
Fuel cap integrated into rear fender
Nason primer shade #1 covered with Euro clear
Roof, grille and rear bumper painted black

Chassis & Suspension
Stock 2001 Corvette chassis
Original Ford core support mounted permanently to Corvette chassis
1.25-inch tubular engine cage braced to custom firewall
Leaf springs replaced with custom airbag mounts
Complete AccuAir e-Level air management system
Dual VIAIR 400C compressors

Wheels & Tires
Detroit Steel Wheel Co. 18×8- front and 5×4.75-inch dual lug center with 4.75-inch backspace, 20×11- and 5×4.75-inch center with 2.75-inch backspace
Diamond Back Classics custom vulcanized whitewalls 255/45R/18 front and 315/35ZR/20 rear

Interior & Stereo
Custom bench seat with bolsters to resemble Corvette bucket stitching
Dakota Digital gauge cluster with Corvette integration module retaining all factory sensors
Lokar tall shifter
Vintage Air Gen II system
Factory window cranks modified to control power windows
Flaming River chrome tilt column with Mustang-style steering wheel
650-watt five-channel Diamond Audio amplifier
JL Audio 8-inch subwoofers mounted under floor
Diamond Audio 6.5-inch components in kick panels
HID conversion headlights
24-inch LED light bar in front lower valence
Factory taillights with LED bulbs

Special Thanks From the Owner: “First and foremost, my wife, Maria Grey, for allowing me to play with my toys. Thanks to Scott Boyd, Matt Green, Max Grundy, Mobsteel, Detroit Steel Wheel, Mike Alexander, Brandon Burrell, Matt Spivey, Bruce Davis, AccuAir, Pete Bartlett, Ed Lucas, Bernard Wright and all service members of the U.S. military past and present for keeping America safe and free. Huge thank you to everyone who lent a hand along the way and everyone that supports all forms of custom.”