1956 F-100 Coyote Swap , Mustang Muscle
Brand allegiance is something that runs very deep within builders in the custom community so doing a F-100 Coyote Swap was a must. Chevy folks usually descend from generations of Bowtie owners, and the same goes for Ford fans like Alex Dekadokh of Agoura Hills, California. His last custom vehicle project just happened to be a great one—a Coyote-equipped ’65 Mustang Fastback that he had an absolute blast building and driving.
“I loved that car,” Alex says. “But I’ve never had a truck before, and I wanted that experience next. There’s just something about the unique A-pillar and frontend design on the ’56 F-100 specifically that I found so appealing.”
The sentiment behind that statement placed him in a very serious hunt for his much-anticipated pickup project. It didn’t take long for Alex to track down what he had been looking for, and what he found was a truck—or at least enough parts that could eventually turn into one.
“I found this ’56 F-100 parked inside of a shed in Oxnard, California,” he says. “Someone had started to take it apart but never finished. The truck was very solid, but in pieces, which I wasn’t overly concerned about.”
With about half of the disassembly process already well taken care of, Alex began looking forward to the first major phase of the build.
“It didn’t take me long to get into contact with Evan at TCI to get a custom chassis designed and put into their busy production schedule,” he says.
By this time, Alex already knew which specific motor and transmission he wanted to go with, so with that in mind the custom frame was fabricated to the F-100’s exact specs, assembled and powdercoated Wilwood Red for good measure.
“Having TCI handle the chassis assembly saved us quite a bit of time, and also added some peace of mind knowing that it was put together according to their high standards,” Alex says.
The F-100’s chassis was engineered to give the truck an aggressive stance, incredible handling abilities, as well as being easily accepting to the Ford Mustang GT Coyote 5.0L power plant Alex had lined up.
“I had a great time with my Mustang, and there was no way I was going to build a Ford truck without including the same engine I ran in that car,” Alex says.
The performance from the Coyote mill would no doubt bring out the true potential of TCI’s chassis-work.
“The response of this truck is amazing,” Alex says excitedly. “It’s light, nimble and handles great—it feels like it’s on rails.”
Alex is more than capable of tackling sheetmetal, and he definitely put his hands to work while prepping the F-100’s surface for paint. He altered the old Ford’s exterior landscape for the better as he shaved the drip rails, reshaped the door edges and ditched the bumpers for roll pans all in the name of cleanliness. To match the truck’s fresh new lines, Alex was looking to give the truck an equally bold paint treatment. To handle the job, he enlisted the assistance of Rich and Famous Auto Body in Van Nuys, California, to expertly coat his pickup in an official FoMoCo hue—Ford Lead Foot Gray. While the color is as striking as Alex had in mind, the name speaks volumes as to the type of driving he had in mind once the truck was ready to hit the streets.
Everybody knows that wheel selection can ultimately make or break the overall flow of any vehicle, but Alex knows his stuff as he selected a set of sporty 20-inch American Racing Cross Ups covered in premium Michelin rubber. Alex was one step ahead of the build when he had TCI powdercoat the chassis in red, since he had already planned on running with upgraded Wilwood braking components at all corners to add performance stopping power to the truck’s already lengthy highlight reel.
The truck’s interior space was next to hit on the drawing board as Alex envisioned a cab featuring modern flare with plenty of pop to contrast the outer monotone gray color. The obvious solution was bright red upholstery and details with all the creature comforts any late-model truck would be outfitted with. Plush Lexus seats were wrapped in supple leather skins, as were the door panels and one-off center console. Dakota Digital gauges, Vintage Air A/C and a full audio system now take up residence inside the F-100’s cab confines.
“It was a little more difficult building the truck’s interior than a regular car,” Alex admits. “The limited space makes creativity of utmost importance when trying to fit all the electronic upgrades, but we made it all work.”
With Alex’s Ford pickup finally done, he ended up with a gorgeous truck that is well dressed but nowhere really to go. The state of affairs in 2020 has left the show scene in limbo, so there has been no grand unveiling scheduled for the F-100 Coyote Swap just yet, save for only a handful of cruises here and there. But the praise was not really what Alex was chasing with this project.
“I’ve had a great journey with this truck,” he says. “I think it’s amazing to have the opportunity to rebuild and put another classic vehicle back on the road. Considering that I started from nothing with this one, seeing it transform into a beautiful driver has been extremely gratifying.”
While “they” say that builds like these are never done, Alex would have to be the first to agree. The truck is as complete as any truck could be, but there are a few next-level changes he’d like to see happen such as velocity stacks or a supercharger or both. But aside from that, Alex does have something else on his mind—another F-100 build!
“My second Ford truck is going to be hard to match up to this one, but I have a couple different ideas already and I can’t wait to see a final product,” he says.