John Marks – Ole 53

Johns 53 F100 is a top looking vehicle insured with Shannons as “show quality finish in an every- day driver.”  John bought it 9 years ago from a South Australian importer/dealer.

At the time I was looking for a suitable big ex fishing trawler, and drawing a blank for 4 years.  My BIL Allan  (WDCVC member with an FJ and a 57 Buick Roadmaster) conned me into buying a car (of my choice). At the time I was short of space, time, and had kids at school.” say John

The next issue of Trade-a-Boat contained my 42’ trawler, so then I had two major projects.

The Ford started life on a farm at Kimberley, Idaho.  In its latter years there it was probably just a paddock ute.  Not too rusty, (cab corners and fender ends), it had plenty of dents and cracks.  It’s real appeal was the original 239 side valve motor and 4 speed floor change.  The farmers sold it to a Californian in 1996, who parked it in a shed and then died.  My dealer obtained it from the widow, according to him.

“I’m handy with mechanicals, but not a panel beater or spray painter.  I originally envisioned a budget resto, with not too much exterior finish.  The cab was repaired and converted to RHD by Dean Finch in Spotswood, and then sent to Charles Restos in Williamstown.  Hearing my instructions, Mark advised me that he only had one level of finish: fully blocked and prepared to A1, and lots of 2 pot enamel. I just sighed and said OK”.  This set the tone of the whole job.

Tru Line Engineering in Moonee Ponds reconditioned the engine, giving it oversized S/S valves, and seats for unleaded.  Also full flow oil filtration, a mild cam, and 30 thou overbore.  All engine replacements, 12v alternator and Mallory electronic ignition came from Hot Rod and Custom Supplies in Plainwell Michigan.

Many boxes of most else came in from Mid Fifty, a dedicated F100 supplier from Golden Valley, Arizona. Ford made 120,000 trucks each year, so its big business restoring these in the States.

The Australian delivered front end and steering components were donated by Tony Cardamone, of Bendigo, who was going for  modern stuff on his 55 effie. Some other bits were salvaged off a very rusty F600 in Williamstown.  Although the truck is a true 53 model, it has the better looking grill and bonnet emblems of a 55.

Springs to stock height from Jacobs Springworks in Sunshine.  Upholstery by Tuckers Transport in Werribee.

The 1960 PB Kriesler wireless (AM only) from Allan, and the antenna and much assistance with wiring from my brother Don.

Chassis repairs, and the assembly of the Hughes Australian tub by Marty Spiteri, welding dynamics.

The windscreen wiper kit from CAE in Castlemaine was a saga in its own right. Much assistance on the brakes from Hoppers Stoppers.

2 ½” single exhaust by Professional Exhausts in Airport West.

Elio Massari fixed the guards, grill, front panels, bonnet, and running boards. These painted by Mitch at Old School Bodyworks.

The tub floor is selected spotted gum, from Bunnings. Blake Jobson cut and machined the timber to fit. Custom rear bumper by Flat Stick maintenance in Moolap.

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