Mike Self April 26, 2023 All Feature Vehicles
Barry Hogues could have had pretty much any ride he wanted. After serving 20 years as active military and following that up with a decade-long stint at the White House in the Department of Homeland Security under Presidents Clinton and Bush, Barry decided to retire and take some time to relax and reflect on his distinguished career. But, Barry’s mind eventually wandered to other things, such as what kind of sweet ride he wanted to get to celebrate his retirement.
Sure, he thought about some of the more obvious contemporary choices, such as a new C7 Corvette (or even a Stingray), but he knew it just didn’t have the same panache as something vintage. It eventually struck him that the dream ride of his youth had always been a ’55 Ford F-100, and now was the time to actually own his favorite truck. Buying one finished would have been the easy way out, and it would have saved him some time and definitely some money, but that wasn’t how Barry wanted to roll.
Instead, a buddy of Barry’s turned him on to a local shop, which just happens to be pretty well known (and legendary) in our circle: Little Shop MFG. Eric Saliba and his crew have been turning out metal masterpieces for many years now, and would have been the perfect choice even if
he had been 10 states away. As luck would have it, though, they were in the same town, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.
After consulting with Eric and the Little Shop family, Barry knew he had found a good match, so he turned his attention to actually finding a truck. His search brought him to Fort Leonard, Missouri, which wasn’t exactly next door, but it could have been worse. Once his newly acquired ’55 F-100 was in its new home in Lawrenceburg, Little Shop got to work.
The truck was stripped down to its undies, and everything was media-blasted for a fresh start. The front received a TCI Mustang-II-type setup to replace the factory beam, as well as a modern rack-and-pinion steering system. The rear got a TCI 4-link with RideTech coil-overs on the 8.8-inch rearend, which were all vast improvements over factory in terms of handling and comfort. Although this was a modern build, Barry still wanted it to be reminiscent of his ideas for the truck back when he was a kid, which included old-school wheels and whitewalls. The Little Shop guys came up with the perfect solution: 20-inch Detroit Steel Wheel artillery wheels with specially made Diamondback whitewall tires.
Everything was coming together nicely, but it was going to need a more modern power plant that Barry could rely on to fire up at a moment’s notice to take him wherever it is that retired guys go. Sure, there are tons of options these days, but there’s something to be said for going against the grain every once in a while, so Barry chose the Type O of modern engines: a 5.3L LS-based Vortec. Of course, a couple of strategically placed, 3D-printed FoMoCo emblems were affixed just to keep some people scratching their heads.
Barry’s F-100 was ready for the next stage, which meant prepping the body for color. Things stayed relatively stock for the most part, with the exception of smooth front and rear pans. Everything else was restored and finessed back into shape as needed, then sprayed by Tim Dunn with a satin version of Ford’s Orange Crush, with materials from Axalta. Various key components were finished in satin black, providing a nice contrast with the stunning orange paintwork.
Barry has the truck of his dreams, and is enjoying the fruits of his labor and service to our great country.”
The truck’s interior is as amazing as you would expect from Little Shop MFG. Seats from TMI Products provide a new level of comfort without having to scratch-build anything, and matching door panels and kick panels are a vast improvement over what the factory provided. Lokar took care of many of the aluminum goodies throughout the cab, and Dakota Digital gauges give a glorious all-in-one view of the truck’s vital signs.
With Barry’s truck finished, all that was left to do was take it on some shakedown runs, which included a few Goodguys events in Nashville and Columbus, Ohio. Barry has the truck of his dreams, and is enjoying the fruits of his labor and service to our great country.
With Barry’s truck finished, all that was left to do was take it on some shakedown runs …”
1955 Ford F-100 – Lawrenceburg, TN
CHASSIS & SUSPENSION
WHEELS & TIRES
BODY & PAINT
INTERIOR & STEREO
From the Owner: “Eric Saliba and the rest of the Little Shop MFG crew: Josey Sandy, Tim Dunn, Justin Allen and Tim Potts, as well as Lokar, Inc., Dakota Digital and TMI Products.”