Don’t Worry – His Wife Said It’s OK

It doesn’t get more American than a classic blue oval F-Series truck except – well, this truck is Canadian! Actually, it’s a ‘54 Ford F-100 that was exported to Canada and not actually a Canadian Mercury M-Series, so maybe it’s still American after all? Yes? No? Either way, it’s a bitchin’ truck that sports tons of unique, custom modifications thanks to the folks at Heighton Restorations and Vern Heidt, among other key players in the transformation of this once stock truck. 

Gilbert Desrosiers had always wanted to build another custom classic truck like the ‘55 F-100 he has owned for decades but just couldn’t find the time to plan things out the way he wanted. Upon retiring a few years ago, he finally found himself with oodles of time and nothing to do. So, with his wife’s blessing (and possibly encouragement, but that’s just unsubstantiated rumor), Gilbert got busy on turning his dream into some real deal steel. The truck  would be another ‘55 F-100, but there were a lot of things he wanted to do differently this time. It would take half a decade to complete, but as you can see, the results were well worth the effort expended.

Once he had an idea of what he wanted, Gilbert  called on Vern Heidt to assist. A TCI chassis was equipped with RideTech Shockwave airbag-over-shock units on all corners of the suspension, providing a compact solution to fitting the air ride. The wheels are wild and wide American Racing VF489 rollers, measuring 18×8 at  the front and 20×15 at  the rear, with equally impressive 28×10.00R18LT and 31×18.00R20LT Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R rubber.

It’s just about impossible, even for the seasoned F-100 enthusiast, to spot all of the changes that were made to the truck’s body while at Heighton Restorations. Sure, you can spot the chopped top easily enough, and maybe even the shaved drip rails, but did you notice that the roof was also decrowned an inch? The shaved door handles and custom mirrors are obvious, but did you see the rounded door corners? And those diagonal lines on the front fenders are a definite giveaway that the truck sports a one-piece tilt front end, but did you pick up on the widened rear fenders? What we’re trying to say is that there’s a whole lot going on, there isn’t enough room here to list it all, and we’re here for it!

As you can imagine, a ton of work went into all of the body modifications and getting the body absolutely perfect, which the PPG Envy Green paint shows off beautifully. You’d almost forget that there’s more to see of Gilbert’s F-100 – a lot more! For example, there’s the brilliantly finished Edelbrock/Musi 555ci Chevy crate engine that has been topped with an Edelbrock Pro Flo EFI setup. Sure, we’ve all seen Chevy small blocks under the hoods of Fords over the decades, but you have to admit that a big block of this pedigree is an unusual yet awesome choice – especially with the 4L80E-based TCI Automotive 6x automatic transmission!

And with all of this going on, you know the interior just has to be on point – and it is. Jeff Wingrove fabricated and upholstered the custom door panels, headliner, under-dash panel, and center console then matched the Chrysler 300 bucket seats to complete the textile transformation. Topping things off are the Dakota Digital VHX gauges and an Alpine sound system. Again, there are so many subtle (and not-so-subtle) changes that it’s tough to spot them all without staring at these photos for a good while.

Gilbert’s F-100 has been finished for a few years now, but because of Covid it hadn’t seen many shows until recently. Still, top finishes at World of Wheels in both Calgary and Boise in 2020, Spokane Speed and Custom in 2022, and World of Wheels Calgary this past year have proven that the truck is a crowd (and judge) favorite!

TRUCK Specs

Gilbert Desrosiers

Bjorkdale, Saskatchewan, Canada
1955 Ford F-100

Chassis & Suspension

TCI chassis
Ford Mustang rack-and-pinion steering
TCI sway bars
RideTech Shockwave airbag-over-shocks front and rear
Ford 9-inch rear end w/4.88 gears and limited slip
Wilwood brakes front and rear
Hydratech brake booster
Custom fabricated aluminum fuel tank

Wheels & Tires

18×8 and 20×15 American Racing VF489 wheels
28×10.00R18LT and 31×18.00RLT Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R tires
Engine & Drivetrain
Edelbrock/Pat Musi 555ci Chevy crate engine
Edelbrock Pro Flo 4 fuel injection system
Lemons 2 1/8-inch headers
Custom 3-inch polished stainless steel exhaust with Pypes tubing
TCI Automotive 6x automatic transmission
B&M Hi-Tek SuperCooler transmission cooler
Custom aluminum driveshaft

Body & Paint

3.5-inch chopped roof w/ one inch removed from roof crown
Shaved drip rails
1.5-inch pie-cut hood
Frenched antenna in shaved/molded cowl
One-piece told front end w/custom aluminum bracing
Shaved door handles
Rounded door corners
Custom front and rear roll pans
Rear fenders widened two inches
Custom taillights
Transparent bed floor w/custom wheel tubs and axle cover
United Pacific LED headlights
One-piece door glass w/removed vent windows
PPG Vibrance Envy Green paint

Interior & Stereo

Chrysler 300 seats upholstered with gray leather
Custom door panels
Custom headliner
Custom center console
Custom under-dash A/C vent panel
Vintage Air A/C system
Custom switch panel
Dakota Digital VHX gauges
Grant steering wheel with custom horn button
TCI Automotive Outlaw shifter
Alpine stereo system with custom speaker enclosures

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