Skip to content

A Celebration of Classic American Cars Since 2007

1954 Ford F100

1954 Ford F100

Vehicle Make
Vehicle Model
Year Built
351 Cleveland V-8
Steve Wilcock

Steve Wilcock’s first few trips to Taranaki were originally high speed trips around country roads in his Targa rally car.

This was one of the many forms of Motorsport he has ventured into over the years with a long history of street rods, circuit racing, classic motorbikes, and jet boats under his belt, a trip to Americarna in 2015  ignited a desire to again own another mid 50’s  American pick-up.   

This started the search for another F100, as the shape had always appealed to him.  An Internet search turned up a potential candidate, this  ’54 panel in Florida.  “Kiwi”  Steve Davies in Los Angeles was duly contracted to fly out to Florida and check it out on Steve’s behalf. He sent Steve a bunch of photos and a report on the good, the bad, and the ugly, negotiated a price accordingly, and arranged the shipping back to L.A, then onwards to New Zealand.

Picking the truck up from Tauranga was followed by a harrowing drive back to Cambridge, with marginal brakes, terrible bump steer and sloppy steering. Things finally took a turn for the worst (if that was possible) at the top of the Kaimai Ranges with a completely blocked fuel system. The remaining maiden voyage was on the back of a flatbed truck.

Obviously the old F100 needed some serious help. The next two years were spent gathering and assembling parts to complete a rebuild, without destroying the trucks appearance too much.

A 351 Cleveland and automatic overdrive now supply the power, backed by a  9” Ford rear holding an LSD centre section. Disc brakes did away with the previous perilous braking situations, and a new Flaming River steering column moves a new power steering unit now.

Using his previous racing background experience, some new leaf springs up front (which also moves the front axle forward in to the middle of the wheel arch) provide a smooth, accurate ride now, supported with some decent shocks and sway bars front and rear. A new stainless steel gas tank will hopefully prevent another episode like the one on the Kaimais.

With all the new upgrades, the truck is super drivable, and seems to be and a bit of an attention getter where ever he goes. It’s just as capable doing household trips to the dump, or cruising the streets at a Rod Run. The Budweiser signwriting gives it a bit of “character” too I guess.

Steve wishes to thank Ivan at Udy Autos for his fantastic mechanical work over the years on his different rodding & racing projects, and Paul from Bodymods for his tidy fabrication skills on additional  parts of the build.

Steve and his F100 are  obviously a well-liked addition to many events and we hope Steve will keep enjoying his hard work on his  truck for a long time , before he veers off to another automotive adventure.