El Diablo – Fred Bishop’s Red-on-Red ’71 F100
When you inherit an old family pickup, it’s only right to build it into a driver that everyone can enjoy on a weekend cruise. That was the original plan when Fred Bishop decided to finally do something with the ’71 F100 that his wife’s uncle Dave left to them. Uncle Dave was the only owner of the short bed bumpside and Fred’s wife Michelle remembers learning to drive a stick in this very truck.
However, when you’re a serious hot rodder who goes through cars like other people change shoes, plans can escalate quickly. That’s exactly what happened when Fred got together with Wille Davis of WW Speed & Customs in Grand Junction, Colorado. The original plan called for a Crown Vic suspension swap with a cop car drivetrain to make a nice driver, but snowballed into the wicked, red-on-red “El Diablo” creation that earned a Goodguys 2021 LMC Truck of the Year Late finalist position in Texas this past March.
The Crown Vic setup was pushed aside in favor of RideTech ShockWaves weaved into a Heidts front end kit and custom four-link setup in the rear, with 13-inch Wilwood discs behind 22×8- and 24×15-inch Intro Vista wheels wrapped in redline-striped Pirelli tires. The only logical drivetrain choice was a 5.0L Coyote paired with a Ford six-speed automatic. As with the rest of the truck, the Coyote could not be left stock, so a Whipple Supercharger was added to force more air into the cylinders.
The suspension and driveline plans may have changed, but the plan to keep the body as Ford designed remained. That didn’t stop the team at WW from reworking a number of stock panels that are easy to look over. The front end was narrowed slightly, a custom grille was merged with the headlight bezels, the tailgate panel was moved outward, cowl was filled, and the bed panels were modified to match the width of the cab just to name a few. Once prepped, a custom blend of PPG paint, deemed Diablo Red, was sprayed in-house at WW by Charlie Cutts, and the truck immediately took on its devilish persona.
The custom interior is every bit as red as the exterior. Stitchwork was handed off to the Recovery Room, where custom seats and center console were crafted before being covered in leather. Behind the scenes there is a complete American Autowire system, Dakota Digital instrumentation, and a Vintage Air system, while Lokar handles and pedals provide the human connection with a Billet Specialties steering wheel crowing the column.
It’s not always a good idea to deviate from initial plans, but we’re sure uncle Dave would approve of his old Ford’s new lease on life as El Diablo!
Photos by John Jackson