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1953 Ford F-100 - Barn Finder

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 2015-03-13 Tommy Lee Byrd

1953 Ford F 100 Rear © Provided by Hotrod 1953 Ford F 100 Rear

Corky Coker is the type of guy who loves almost anything with wheels — or to be more specific, anything with tires. He is the owner of Coker Tire Company, which is a supplier of tires and wheels for lots of applications, such as restored classics, hot rods, classic trucks, motorcycles, and much more. Corky has traveled the world to help grow the business, and his efforts have been wildly successful. Coker Tire is now the world's largest supplier of tires and wheels for collector vehicles.

Without question, Corky is a diehard car guy, with an incredible collection of super rare automobiles, from the early 1900s, all the way into the '90s. He's a southern gentleman and his Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company headquarters is also home to his very own museum, packed full of all things vintage. When asked about his favorite piece of the collection, Corky will rarely give you a straight answer, because he loves all of his treasured vehicles, but when asked which vehicle gets driven the most, the answer is clear — the 1953 Ford F-100 shop truck.

Corky says, "The truck is easy to drive and it's dependable — that's why it tends to get out and about more than some of my other cars and trucks." Some of the other cars and trucks in Corky's collection require a lot of maintenance, and it's not just a matter of turning the switch and hitting the throttle, so most of the other vehicles are a bit more inconvenient to drive. "As long as you can drive a straight-shift, you can drive this old truck — just pump the gas a couple times and it'll fire right up," said Corky, as he did just that to pull it out of the shop for our photo shoot.

1953 Ford F 100 Engine © Provided by Hotrod 1953 Ford F 100 Engine

The F-100 gets used for its original purpose, which in Corky's definition is "hauling stuff." It's been on countless barn find adventures, including all of the awesome finds on "Backroad Gold," a TV show that starred Corky and aired on the Travel Channel in early 2014. It was even used as the centerpiece in Coker Tire's SEMA booth display in 2013. The truck has been used in commercials, photo shoots, and other promotions because it's simple, cool, and has just the right amount of patina to meet Corky's approval.

Corky has owned the truck for quite some time, and in terms of appearance, it's mostly original. Under the hood is a different story, as the F-100 features a fine-tuned flathead V-8 that offers plenty of power and overwhelming amounts of cool factor. Local flathead guru, Bobby Roberts gave the engine his magic touch and it has been running strong ever since. Behind the flattie is a T-5 five-speed manual transmission.

We love Corky's truck because it has very subtle styling, but gets a lot of attention wherever it goes. It's a great contrast with its owner, as Corky is anything but subtle. It's a killer truck that serves as a rolling billboard for all things Coker and Honest Charley, and it's also a staple in Corky's collection of cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

1953 Ford F-100 - Barn Finder 1953 Ford F-100
Corky Coker

Chassis

Frame: Stock
Modifications: Custom transmission crossmember
Rearend / Ratio: Stock / 3.92:1
Rear suspension: Stock leaf springs
Rear brakes: Original 11-inch drums
Front suspension: Stock solid axle with parallel leaf springs
Front brakes: Original 11-inch drums
Steering box: Original
Front wheels: Stock steel wheels, 16x4.5 inches, powdercoated red
Rear wheels: Stock steel wheels, 16x4.5 inches, powdercoated red
Front tires: Coker Classic Whitewall Radial, 6.00R16
Rear tires: Coker Classic Whitewall Radial, 7.00R16
Gas tank: Stock

1953 Ford F 100 Classic Instruments Cluster © Provided by Hotrod 1953 Ford F 100 Classic Instruments Cluster

Drivetrain
Engine: Ford flathead V-8
Heads: Edelbrock aluminum
Manifold / Induction: Edelbrock / dual Stromberg 97 carburetors
Ignition: Mallory Unilite distributor with MSD 6AL digital ignition box
Headers: Red's headers
Exhaust / Mufflers: Straight pipes, no mufflers
Alternator: Powermaster GM-style one-wire
Transmission: T-5 five-speed
Modifications: none
Shifter: Original-style floor shift

1953 Ford F 100 © Provided by Hotrod 1953 Ford F 100

Body

Style: F-100
Modifications: none
Fenders front / rear: Original
Hood: Original
Grille: Original
Bed: Original steel, hickory floor by Bed Wood and Parts
Bodywork and paint by: Mother Nature
Headlights / Taillights: Stock
Outside mirrors: Original
Bumpers: Original

1953 Ford F 100 Steering Wheel © Provided by Hotrod 1953 Ford F 100 Steering Wheel

Interior

Dashboard: Stock
Gauges: Classic Instruments cluster
Air Conditioning: Vintage Air
Stereo: Flathead with straight pipes
Steering Wheel: Original
Steering Column: Stock
Seats: Original bench
Material / Color: Indian blanket seat cover
Carpet: Original rubber mat

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