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Over the company's long and storied history, Ford trucks have been the backbone of vehicle sales. A Ford truck was seen as a rugged, durable workhorse that could get the job done. As trucks started to move beyond their status as a spartan tool for the job and became comfortable, stylish and dare we say, a touch luxurious, customizers picked up on pick-up trucks and Ford's F-series have always been at the top of any true truck fan's list.
In 1968 Pickups Limited, a club devoted to 1953-1956 Ford F-100 trucks, was formed in Orange County, California. Then in 1983, with chapters throughout the western states, Pickups Limited inaugurated the first F-100 Western Nationals (launched as the Truckin’ Nationals River Run), held in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
On June 25, 2022, the Orange County Chapter of Pickups Limited presented the 39th Annual F-100 Western Nationals. The F-100 Western Nationals is the largest classic Ford truck show on the West Coast and takes place at the 63-acre Canyon RV Park, nestled within the 795-acre Featherly Wilderness Preserve. Canyon RV Park is situated along the Santa Ana River in the Santa Ana Canyon, parallel to California Highway 91.
Not limited to just Ford F-100s, the F-100 Western Nationals is open to all Ford and Mercury trucks built between 1946 and 1979. Show trucks roll in at 7 a.m. and spectators are allowed in after 8 a.m. after paying $10.00 a truckload for parking. Everyone can hang out until 3 p.m., when the show closes. Truck clubs can enter together in a pack and park in the same area they parked in years past. For example, the “Dentside” clubbers always prefer to park along the road towards the bridge.
As evidenced by the photos, the number of later model Ford trucks up to 1979 are as great, as are the number of 1953–1956 model year F-100 trucks present, indicating that the love for classic Ford trucks will never die.
The Orange County chapter of Pickups Limited is the mother chapter of the club, and as presenters of the F-100 Western Nationals every OC member volunteers their time to make the event a great show with the entire proceeds donated to “Cruisin’ for a Cure.” An Orange County tradition since 1999, Cruisin’ for a Cure donates all proceeds to benefit prostate cancer research at KSK Cancer Center in Irvine, California.
Best of Show was awarded to David Tumnio of Oceanside, California andhis 1960 Ford F-100 crew cab. A custom overbite hood draws in added induction air.
Painting the grille surround body color added a subtle custom touch to this not-so-subtle short bed, Styleside Ford F-100.
1957 to 1960 Ford F-100 trucks were nicknamed “Fridge.” David’s 1960 has to be the only crew cab Fridge with a Big-Window cab.
This Ford is the winner of the Best Graphics award. It features metalflake, candy and pearl paints that feature "webbing", a 1960s favorite of custom painters. The effect is cause by spraying un-thinned acrylic lacquer.
Here’s the holy grail of mid-fifties Ford F-100 trucks: the one-year only Big-Window 1956 Custom Cab with Big-Window only stainless-steel door trim.