390-Powered 1956 Ford F-100 Pickup

The seller refers to this very cool 1956 Ford F-100 as a “stock California truck” but it’s far from what most of us would describe as being stock. Maybe they mean that it hasn’t been modified in any way, body-wise, and it sure looks like a great weekend project truck. However you’d define it, this sweet pickup can be found here on eBay in Fresno, California. The current bid price is $7,088 and there is a buy-it-now of $10,000 which I’m surprised nobody has hit yet.

It’s hard to argue with Ford’s F-series pickups, they’ve consistently been among the top-selling vehicles in the US for decades and this second-generation F-100 has a relatively modern look to it compared to the first-gen trucks. They were made from 1952 to 1956 in the US and for me, it’s hard to beat the single headlight trucks. As in, single headlight on each side, not Cyclops-style with one in the middle, of course. For the record, Hagerty is at $11,500 for a #4 fair condition truck with the biggest engine available from the factory, a 272 Y-block V8.

I’m a reasonably big fan of faded paint but I think on a truck as beautifully-designed as the second-generation F-Series pickups, I’d restore this one back to looking like new again, how about you? I guess I don’t mind the wheels but I’d want to search for something else if it were my truck. The good part is that this one, being from sunny California, is pretty solid with just a few areas to break out your welder on. I might go this route if it were my truck. This is the last year of the full-fender trucks – at least for the cab portion – as in 1957, Ford really modernized their designs. What a difference one year makes!

The seats look… er.. hey, there are no seats. The seller doesn’t mention the seats at all or really the interior but it does look solid in there. They mention that it needs some new windows and just some general overall tinkering to bring it to where it could be, which is a show-stopper. The bed floor is a no-brainer, we’ve all either done that work or seen it done a thousand times on fake reality shows. What’s under that bed, though, looks like a super solid frame and undercarriage.

I’m SO glad to see a Ford engine in this one and not a Chevrolet 350. Not that there’s anything wrong with a 350, but for me, GM is GM and Ford is Ford and never the twain shall meet, which nobody has probably said in decades. This one is a 390 which is great, except that it isn’t currently running. We aren’t given a reason why but I would have to believe that most Barn Finds readers have the knowledge and experience to have this one purring and/or screaming again in no time. How would you restore this F-100?

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Comments

  1. Doug from MD.

    These trucks were very hot in the mid 80s thru to early 90s for making pro street and hot rods. They seemed to cool off after and have never really gain popularity since. Surprised it’s not gone at the buy it now. Glwts.

    Like 4
  2. Al

    I had one of these, a precursor to my ’68 C 10.
    I liked the step-side as that was very convenient.
    I only sold it because some one offered be cash for $600 more than I paid for it. Regrets, nope. I pocketed what I paid for it and took the $600 and bought the C 10. I eventually gave the Chev away. I still think I came out ahead.

    Like 11
  3. Ike Onick

    I lived in the SF Bay Area and still have relatives in the Fresno area. This is absolutely as close to a “stock California truck” as will will see. These examples are all over the Central Valley.

    Like 5
  4. Gator Member

    Dang it, my shop is full right now! Otherwise I’d be heading to Fresno to bring this beauty home!

    Like 1
  5. Tracy

    Not being picky but I like honest descriptions and not sellers who try to embellish. The F100 badging started in 1953 and as most of us know the 53-56 bodies were mostly the same except the dash and door change on the 1956. This truck is missing the transmission., has what appears to be a 55 Radio as the 56 truck radio didn’t have the wavey ring, I could be wrong. Here on the East Coast I would only offer 3-4k for it. Out with the 390, in with a 272 or if I decided to modify then I would go with a 312 TBird, just my preference. I have 2 ’56’s F100 chassis and F350 drw with special ordered F250 length chassis.Both of them are Boyertown bodies. The F100 is staying build original, paint code is primer so I free to chose color and the F350 is getting a 272 as the 223 is completely shot, gearing is being changed from 5.88 to something lower.

    Like 3
    • Larry Wigger

      Hey Tracy, I’ve got a rebuilt 292 Y-block that needs a home. Just needs final assembly and something in which to install it. I lost the F-series I was eyeballing for it and would rather do something else. I haven’t run the numbers down, but looks like it came out of late 50’s car/truck, as it has the 2-barrel intake and carb. I was going to do final assembly with a 4-barrel set-up. Supposedly it was bored slightly during the rebuild, but I can’t confirm.

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    This is a good basis for a project. I would be curious as to what happened to the original Y-block. The FE isn’t a bad choice for some people and I might be tempted to use it if I couldn’t find more original engine. The FE is big; it’s heavy; and it has the oil pump in front, putting the sump in the front and consequently, causing interference with the front axle unless you get an oil pan and intake for a 4×4. These were always a classy design and look good bone stock or modified. While I might prefer them stock, I sure won’t kick a modified one off my driveway…

    Like 2
  7. Joe Haska

    If you are a regular B/F reader you might notice, I comment on every 53 to 56 F-100, because in “my mind”, I am an expert. I am just finishing my 5th one, and I hope the last one. It is a 53 with a 390 BB, C-6 and 9 inch. Much like this truck, but because, I believe it to be my last and I got good money for the 4th one, I added a few extras. Mustang !! ,tubular chromed A arms, chrome R/P, 4-bar coil over rear suspension, V/AC, 4 wheel disc brakes, Lokcar-Shifter, Custom gauges, stereo, leather interior, real paint not patina, new glass rubber etc. Yes I went over board and I have no excuse, except I wanted the last one, to be right “for me”.
    My point being of the 5 trucks ,I have done ,this B/F 56 falls into the broad range of all the trucks, I started with and the price,I paid was 5 to 10 K for them ,except the last one(that’s another story). I would say, if this truck goes under 10, it could be a good start, but if you want a nice driver quality truck, you need to know that investment, is going to grow to 25 K plus, depending on your taste and you can do all or most of the work yourself. The good news is ,that you will have the truck you want and if you want or need to sell it, at the worst case,you should come near break even, and if your good maybe make a buck.

    Like 3
  8. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Boy does this bring back memories, one of my 6 brothers had a 55 back in 58. His was white with 272 and three on the tree. It had a drop axle in front and raised in the rear. The stock wheels were reversed and painted gold wearing Standard oil 15″x50″ semi-slicks in rear. The tail lights were built into the rear roll pan and were from a thirty something Chevrolet. The seat was red and white striped tuck n roll and the dash was red. At the time it was the coolest looking truck in Shasta County.
    Concerning the one listed I continue on the path that seems to have been started, keeping the 390 with automatic transmission adding a/c, p/S and brakes. I would paint it pearlised baby blue and add some nice modern wheels and tires.
    That’s just me.
    God bless America

    Like 3
  9. Phlathead Phil 👨‍🦰

    I wonder what’s up with the vintage tin in the background of photog #1?

    I have a client with a red ‘53. He told me some of these trucks had a ‘tilt’ front end from the factory?

    His build took 3 to make one, but it’s one sweet 🍒🥧 !

    Like 1
    • Charles Sawka

      Tilt from the factory ? Tequila perhaps ? Never seen one and I’m an old guy.

  10. Joe Haska

    No tilt front end from the factory, it is an after market kit. It isn’t,t cheap but it works great, only the hood tilts. It is popular it seems like it could be factory, but it’s not.

  11. Charles Sawka

    This one is worthy, but PLEASE do the body work and paint it. California doesn’t need any more “patina “ queens.

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