Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to the above email address.
Today’s featured vehicle is a 1956 Ford F100. This model year is the most popular of the 1953–56 generation, thanks to its unique wrap-around windshield. The second generation of Ford’s long-lived pickup line boasted a redesigned dash and additional sound deadening in the doors. It was also the last generation to wear fabulous retro fender flares that weren’t fully integrated into the side sheetmetal.
This particular F100 goes by the nickname “Little Henry,” first given to it by Terry Custer’s father. Although Terry’s father passed away in 1984, the truck is intertwined in Terry’s life and those of his sons. “Both of our boys took their girlfriends out for dates in the pickup,” Terry says, “and they both ended up marrying those girls.” Though the truck originally came with a 272-cubic-inch V-8 with a three-speed overdrive transmission, Terry has since swapped in a 302 that’s mated to an automatic gearbox, plus rack-and-pinion steering and power disc brakes—all for safety and reliability, he writes. “The truck will never be sold, so originality was not a priority.”
Terry has experienced the deep family ties that a vehicle can represent, and some of the lighter moments, too. “When we take the truck to car shows or cruise-ins, people always ask, ‘What year is it?’ I say 1956. They answer, ‘Yep, I had one just like it years ago. Except it was red, a 1953, and it was a 3/4 ton farm truck.’ I just nod my head and smile back. Little Henry loves it too.”