It can be a bit tricky to separate words from context. For custom enthusiasts especially, the word “classic” carries all kinds of connotations, but when most enthusiasts hear something described as such they immediately think of pre-’60s OEM American cars. Of course, "classic" also describes other types of vehicles, but more often than not, when someone uses the word they’re referring to an untouched example of automotive greatness. Regardless of your personal definition, Eric “E-dog” Michaud’s highly customized ’65 F-100, Hand of Doom, is definitely a perfect example of the term in our book.
Most can agree that classics adhere to established aesthetic guidelines, which accurately describes Eric’s ’65. It’s certainly a classic through and through according to the apt motto of Los Boulevardos, the car club that Eric belongs to: “Too late to be traditional, too lowrider to be custom and too custom to be a lowrider.”
Eric, a SoCal native, lives in the heart of the Inland Empire where the lowrider vibe and traditions are fundamental building blocks of West Coast car culture. Since the late-’70s, music, Hollywood and media has popularized lowrider culture, but the tradition itself reaches deep into the 20th century. Lowrider communities embrace values that honor heritage, family and handcrafted showmanship.
It’s these values on which Eric has built his craft as a custom painter, long-time enthusiast and member of Los Boulevardos. More than two years ago, Eric began working on the this ’65, although back then it belonged to friend and club-brother Frank Ibarra. Eric was responsible for Hand of Doom’s classic lowrider exterior styling, and he poured his soul into the elaborate paintwork. In early 2018, Eric and Frank’s painstaking work was rewarded when the truck took home a first-place trophy from the Grand National Roadster Show. Eric decided that he wanted to cruise in his hard work, so he purchased the truck from Frank and is currently enjoying the project he helped create.
The F-100 build starts with a front clip from an F-body Camaro. The updated front suspension geometry allows for maximum articulation with easier adjustability over the clumsy factory I-beam setup. Hand of Doom strikes its signature stance in classic lowrider fashion using a hydraulic suspension composed of dual Reds pumps paired with Hoppos cylinders. The rear deploys a cylinder-over-parallel leaf spring configuration. Eric plans to discard this setup in favor of a 4-link rear suspension in the not-too-distant future.
The wheel-and-tire selection ensures that Hand of Doom captures the quintessential lowrider period look with a few custom touches. The Ford is shod with 15x6-inch Reverse OG Rocket wheels. The chrome pieces paired with 560 Skinny Whites from Firestone add an authenticity that ties the whole truck’s style together. Eric’s ’65 stays true to original form in more ways than one. It’s powered by a Ford 302 V-8, and as Eric puts it, there’s “nuthin’ fancy” under the hood. The classic power plant is hooked to a three-speed automatic overdrive transmission, and at the end of the line, power spins through a stout Ford 9-inch rearend.
The aesthetics of any lowrider classic are unique to each build. They allow for extremely personal self-expression while maintaining a clearly identifiable style. Part of this style is a series of common body modifications meant to highlight the genre. Sticking to the script, Hand of Doom’s body seams have been filled and smoothed. Additionally, the bedside seams were smoothed, and a custom bed cover was added. The headlights were tucked behind a custom tube grille. Ford’s flagship truck evolved in 1965, and the changes are identified by the unique placement of the headlights and turn signal locations. The subtle custom work on the Eric’s ’65 body brings these unique developments to life.
Hand of Doom’s signature look comes by way of its gorgeous paint scheme. Eric nailed it using every trick in the proverbial book. He executed a variety of techniques to create the various patterns and textures featured on the Ford, including cobwebbing, lace, acrylic separation, tape-outs, fades and pinstriping. The colors are made of various pigment, pearl and flake combinations from House of Kolor. The color combos work together to create mesmerizing warm and cool contrasts that change according to every new angle and light source. The pearl white undercoat fades behind subtle blue shadowing at the base of the truck. The elaborate patterns captivate onlookers and are indicative of early West Coast styling.
The Ford interior is comprised of custom white pearl vinyl and paint-matched accents. Mike at Blind Stitch in Whittier, California, was responsible for the simple and clean upholstery which extends to the custom bed cover. The factory bench seat was reupholstered in tucked material. The door panels were fitted similarly with biscuit-and-button patterns. In the center of the truck’s dash rests a simple Pioneer single DIN head unit. The stereo sends its signals through a 500-watt Pioneer amp, multiple composite speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer.
Eric‘s Ford is a classic, maybe not by definition, but we fell in love with it the moment we came across it and we’re sure many feel the same way. It features all of the correct mechanical and aesthetic style markers, but more importantly, it embodies a sense of heritage, pride and community. Hand of Doom has become an icon in the short time that the build has been on the show scene. It represents the shared passion that binds the F-100 community and custom truck culture together as a whole.
Owner: Eric “E-dog” Michaud
Truck: 1965 Ford F100
Location: Riverside, CA
Ford 302 V-8
Three-speed automatic transmission with overdrive
Ford 9-inch rearend
Body & Paint
Smoothed and filled body seams
Smoothed bedside seams
Headlights tucked behind custom tube grille
Custom upholstered bed cover
Custom mix of House of Kolor urethanes candies, flakes, dry pearls
Paint tricks include cobwebbing, lace, acrylic separation, tape-outs, pinstriping, kandies and pearl fadeaways
Chassis & Suspension
Camaro front clip
Dual Hydro Red hydraulic pumps
Hoppos hydraulic cylinders
Disc front, drum rear brakes
Wheels & Tires
15×6-inch Reverse OG Rockets wheels
Firestone 560 15 Skinny Whites whitewall tires
Interior & Stereo
Custom white pearl vinyl upholstery
Vinyl-wrapped seat and door panels
Pioneer head unit
Dual 6×9-inch mid speakers
Dual front tweeter speakers
Special Thanks From the Owner: ““First off, Frank Ibarra, my club brother and original owner and builder. Thanks to my daughter Lily, my girlfriend Liz and my car club Los Boulevardos.”
It can be a bit tricky to separate words from context. For custom enthusiasts especially, the word “classic” carries all kinds of connotations, but when most enthusiasts hear something described as such they immediately think of pre-’60s OEM American cars. Of course, “classic” also describes other types of vehicles, but more often than not, when someone uses the word they’re referring to an untouched example of automotive greatness. Regardless of your personal definition, Eric “E-dog” Michaud’s highly customized ’65 F-100, Hand of Doom, is definitely a perfect example of the term in our book.