The Reierson ’56 Ford Pickup
Finding a car to shoot at the Lonestar Round Up is never a tough task, but finding space to shoot it at the fairgrounds is damned near impossible. So when Tom Davison approached me with camera in hand and a grin, I knew I needed to start thinking about a locale.
We both agreed that there might be some open space with a view behind the swap meet area, so Tom hurried off to find Ken Reierson to see if he’d be willing to brave the fairground traffic and let Tom shoot his 1956 Ford F100 out in the open. From what I hear, it didn’t take much convincing.
See, Ken isn’t new to the arm twisting shenanigans of hot rodders. In fact, he’s a skilled player.
Ralph Ray, Ken’s cousin, bought this truck new in 1956 and Ken has been honing his negotiation deftness for as long as he can remember trying to buy it from him. Ralph was a hard sell simply because he feared the inevitable – he knew that if he sold the truck to Ken, it wouldn’t take long before Ken started to hot rod it.
A few years back, however, Ralph celebrated his 90th birthday and finally capitulated to the pressure. He sold the truck to Ken and relented to the inescapable destiny that the truck’s future held.
Ken, never being one to disappoint, quickly got to work by buying a shilo of GM parts to outfit the Ford – An SBC to replace the tired old Ford motor, ’59 Chevy headlights to light the road, ’58 Biscayne tail lights to hold off the tailgaters, a ’58 Chevrolet truck bumper to bump with, etc… All capped with custom touches like a tube grille, a really nicely formed rear nerf bar, and of course a 4″ dropped axle (nice work Sid!) to show off the chrome reverse rims shed in whitewall tires.
It all adds up to something that might have made Ralph a little hot under the collar, but would fit perfectly between the stunted cover pages of an early Rod & Custom Magazine. Sitting on the tarmac of the Round Up, this thing looks as though it rolled straight out of 1959 or so. It’s just right… and if Ralph is still around, I’d bet he would agree.