Hot-rodding requires a lot of “never give up-edness.” the trucks you see in streettrucks are never the result of impulse. Even when spur-of-the-moment deals are struck over a case of beer or a late night of craigslist browsing, the results take months, and more often years, to finally roll out of the garage.

There’s a lot more to it than just bolting on a ton of parts. True, that is one way to do it, especially with a newer car or truck, but more often than not you’re looking at a decent amount of fabrication, money and especially time to get everything just right—even if the parts you’ve collected are made specifically for your vehicle. It can get daunting, indeed, overwhelming, and unfortunately this is where a lot of people lose focus and ultimately the motivation to finish what they’ve started.

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A staple of classic truck building, the Heidts Mustang II front suspension not only offers a lower stance, thanks to its coilovers and drop spindles, but also provides much more precise steering due to its rack-and-pinion setup.

“We wanted to build something that was an everyday cruiser, that wouldn’t reflect your girlfriend’s nail polish and that any guy would be proud to roll in.” –Jason Noel

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That’s exactly how Jason Noel of Fat Fender Garage (FFG) came up on this ’53 F-100. People usually come to Jason and his crew to start or finish projects, but in this case, the guy just wanted out and was willing to cut Jason a really good deal in order to unload the truck, and many boxes of parts, at FFG’s doorstep. Once the FFG crew had sorted through everything, a plan of attack was made and everyone got to work.

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So what was this plan? As Jason puts it, “We wanted to build something that was an everyday cruiser, that wouldn’t reflect your girlfriend’s nail polish and that any guy would be proud to roll in.” Simple enough, and with some newer Mustang design cues thrown in, the guys knew they would have a winning combination.

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An extremely clean, yet spartan, engine bay is home to a ford racing boss 302 crate engine, which has been treated to an EDELBROCK intake manifold, Holley Carb, a set of roush 200cc heads, BBK and headers with a griffin radiator to keep things cool.

Every build should have a solid foundation, and since this truck was going to be representative of FFG’s abilities, Jason wanted the F-100 to sport a lot of the features his shop offered to classic truck owners, with some twists thrown in for good measure. For example, the factory chassis was retained but vastly improved with a Heidts Mustang II IFS and a Heidts 4-link rear suspension wrapped around a Currie Ford 9-inch with coil-overs at each corner. Matte black 19- and 20-inch US Mags Nimitz wheels with Goodyear tires set off the perfected stance just right.

“It took a year’s worth of late nights to complete the Effie, but in the end it was a great exercise in creating a completely custom truck that showcased FFG’s collective talent…”

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With a wheel-and-tire package as aggressive-looking as this one, the engine had to be able to cash the check that the rollers had written. To handle that end, a Ford Racing BOSS 302 crate engine that effortlessly squeezes out 345-hp was bolted up to a 2002 model year 4R70WE tranny for a smooth, yet powerful, driving experience.

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Ordinarily, the words “Hot Rod” and “Honda” don’t go together, but in this case they made a perfect match. The Honda odyssey second row seat was covered in rich black leather by Lorenzo’s custom upholstery for a clean and comfortable seating arrangement.

The FFG guys were itching to keep the momentum going, so the body was worked until it was smooth as glass, and then sprayed with Matrix brand Ford Mustang Magnetic, which provides the truck with its sophisticated dark gray shade. A chrome 1956 grille adds just the right amount of bright work up front, while front and rear steel roll pans finish off the exterior.

For the next stage, Jason handed the F-100 over to Lorenzo’s Custom Upholstery, where the crew covered a second row seat from a Honda Odyssey in black leather after laying down fresh black carpet. A new set of leather door panels and kick panels were also stitched up to complete the hot interior, which is cooled down when needed by a Vintage Air setup.

Truck Specs:
Owner
Jason Noel

Fat Fender Garage

Gilbert, AZ

1953 Ford F-100

Engine

  • Ford Racing BOSS 302 crate engine, 345 hp
  • Roush 200cc cylinder heads
  • Edelbrock intake manifold
  • Holley carburetor
  • BBK shorty headers
  • Ford Racing air cleaner
  • Griffin aluminum radiator
  • SPAL cooling fans
  • Magnaflow-based 2.5-inch dual exhaust
  • 2002 4R70WE automatic transmission
  • Currie 9-inch rearend with posi and 3.50 gear ratio
  • Mid Fifty fuel cell

Suspension

  • Built by Fat Fender Garage
  • Heidts Mustang II IFS
  • 2-inch drop spindles with disc brakes
  • Rack-and-pinion steering
  • Heidts 4-link rear suspension
  • Coil-over shocks front and rear

Wheels & Tires

  • 19×8/20×9 US Mags Nimitz U441 wheels, matte black
  • Goodyear 245/45R19, 245/45R20 tires

Body & Exterior

  • Work by Fat Fender Garage
  • Front and rear roll pans
  • 1956 F-100 grille
  • Filled bedside holes
  • New hardwood bed kit
  • Bed-mounted billet fuel filler door
  • Matrix Ford Mustang Magnetic paint

Interior

  • Work by Lorenzo’s Custom Upholstery
  • Honda Odyssey seats covered in black leather
  • Black leather door panels and kick panels
  • Vintage Air climate controls
  • ididit steering column
  • GT Performance steering wheel
  • VDO gauges

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It took a year’s worth of late nights to complete the Effie, but in the end it was a great exercise in creating a completely custom truck that showcased FFG’s collective talent, without going so over the top that it couldn’t be used as an everyday driver. It’s the perfect blend of hot rod and reason, which in our minds makes it darn near the perfect truck. ST

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Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2016 print issue of Street Trucks.