Juanky Built’s 1953 Ford F-100! A Custom Masterpiece Blending Classic Style and Modern Flair

Supply and Demand

WHEN IT COMES TO custom trucks, the aftermarket rules the land—and that sets the consumer up for a little Economics 101 and a lesson in supply and demand. For customizing and upgrading, parts are supplied for the most popular trucks, and for years now that truck has worn a bowtie. This creates a cycle where the parts that are available cause an increase in the same truck being customized over and over.

When building something to this caliber you have to build your own supply so that your brand is now the demand.

However, when you are a custom shop and you’re tired of seeing the same old truck being built time and time again, you create your own aftermarket and tip the scale of supply and demand in your favor. That’s where this particular fat fender F-100’s story begins.

Enter Juanky Built, the small operation created by Juan Ibarra in Miami. Juan established his shop years ago as a side gig to show his creativity and explore projects most people wouldn’t build.

Years have gone by and Juanky Built has expanded from a small garage to a large warehouse in which to create his projects.

As a hobbyist, his resume includes Dodges, both classic and modern, Unibody Fords, Chevy C10s and now this beautiful

Purchased from Edwin Flores, this truck first came to Juan as an unfinished project he could keep for himself. However, as time elapsed on this long project, Flores witnessed the passion and dedication Juan had for the F-100 and ultimately purchased it back so that Juan would instead finish the project for him and build him an uncompromised show truck.

When it comes to detail, there is certainly no shortage here.

Let’s go back to the way this truck was when Juan received it. It was a basket case, an idea started, a Frankenstein chassis and a long way from completion. Metal work had been started to both the body and chassis, but Juan’s experienced eye knew better than to ignore the blatant disregard for detail and correct fitment. So, like many custom shops that acquire an unfinished project, he began to peel back the layers of poor craftsmanship to apply better and more correct quality for this deserving truck.

Starting with the chassis, Juan decided to go over the whole frame and bring it up to his standards. Reworking the front suspension with a Mustang II IFS kit from Heidts and a special set of lower control arms from GSI Machine and Fabrication in Arizona allowed Juan to get the correct track width for this truck. Finishing up the front is a set of Ridetech shockwaves. Out back, he completely remodeled the frame notch and built a custom four-link utilizing Air Lift ‘bags and QA1 shocks. After rebuilding the chassis, Juan took it a bit further and decided to smooth all the welds to make a seamlessly smooth piece of art. As if that wasn’t enough, he two-toned the frame, machined every head bolt smooth and ran AN fittings throughout the whole frame for that extra bit of custom.

A view from the back should always be this nice!

Once the frame was finished, he began to focus back on the body and started the fabrication needed to put this build over the top. To the civilian eye, this 1953 Ford body seams fairly stock; however, the skilled eye can see the many subtle changes made. Let’s start with the most obvious: This ’53 model truck has a ’56 model grille that Juan feels adds a little finesse to the front end. You can also see that the back glass has been transplanted with a big back window from a ’56 model truck as well. Now that your eyes are focusing correctly you can really see what Juan was trying to achieve. Additionally, he began directing his attention to more subtle changes such as the shaved drip rails, the widened rear fenders, the smooth running boards and the extended rear fenders to make the fender-to-body transition flow from bumper to bumper. Speaking of bumpers, the front bumper is a one-off design using almost two whole stock bumpers to give depth and shape to an otherwise boring façade. Further enhancing the bumper is an aluminum portion making a somewhat understated but necessary chin spoiler.

Upon finishing these details and dedicated to augmenting his design, he decided to spend some time accentuating the bed floor of this truck since it would carry an open floor design. First making sure the insides were smooth as glass, and then making a mod most wouldn’t dare, he used Chevy C10 truck inner fenders to cover the wide tread. Next, he built the custom floor using aluminum planks painted to resemble wood, followed by cutting acrylic strips mimicking aluminum to hold the faux wood planks in place. Capping off, quite literally, the bed and frame design are the aluminum horn buttons used for the bag cups and the stylish gas cap by Crafty B Nostalgic Speed Parts.

Once the painstaking task of metal work was over, the build seemed to get a little easier. Moving on to the paint phase of his build, Juan decided to trust a familiar shop with the chassis and truck body. DZ Custom out of Miami covered the entire chassis in a Mercedes silver metallic and matte clear, and then two-toned portions of the slick frame with a custom mix PPG blue. For a major contrast, the entire truck was painted in a custom mix PPG white, and then accented with the same Mercedes silver metallic and matte clear. The number of hours involved in making a body this smooth with a chassis to match is undeniably shown in the finished product.

After years of hard labor and certain setbacks it was finally time for final assembly, and that’s when Juan decided to build the 347ci small block Ford powerplant. Wanting a reliable and tunable engine, he decided to top it off with a Fast EFI set up matched to an Edelbrock intake. Juan himself built the engine to his specs and then backed it up with a C4 automatic transmission with some B&M internal upgrades. Linked through the custom light weight driveshaft is a fully built 9-inch Ford rear end stuffed with a high performance posi unit and 4.11 gears. Once the drivetrain was mounted to the chassis via custom mounts, Juan built the 3-inch exhaust utilizing Borla Exhaust mufflers to tone that stout stroker motor down.

Since the truck was now being finished as a full custom show vehicle for its new owner, Juan decided not to stop short like many builders do, “It’s not the Juanky Built way,” he says. He decided to pull the C5 wheels by Coys and do a complete makeover. First, the wheels were completely stripped and powdercoated white by Bullseye Powder Coating in Miami. Then they were taken to DZ Custom to lay down that familiar silver with a matte finish on the center spokes. Blue pinstriped details by Clay’s Custom Pinstriping finished them off. Next, Juan pulled another veteran builder move and combined two different brands of tires to get that perfect stance he was after. Up front he chose a BFG g-Force T/A tire for the 20×8.5-inch wheel and contrasted that with the meaty Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R tire to wrap around the massive 20×14-inch rear wheels.

The last thing to do on this Juanky Built truck was design an interior that would be as esthetically pleasing to the eye as the rest of the truck. So, Juan did what any smart man would do and called on the Texas-based company Snowden Custom Seats. After taking delivery of the seat and finding out it fit like a glove inside the cabin, he secured George’s Upholstery and Sabian Ortega with the task of helping him finish the one-off interior. Using black leather and blue suede as his primary colors, Juan decided to push the design even further with a CNC’d stitch pattern that spreads across the bench seat. It’s also used sparingly on the door panels and center console. Keeping with this sophisticated look, Juan finished out the interior using an Ididit steering column attached to the Billet Specialties leather-wrapped steering wheel, a Hurst shifter, Vintage Air climate controls and the attractively displayed Dakota Digital VHX gauges. Once again, blending subtle mods with radical fabrication proved to be a great formula for this build.

With the truck finally finished, the custom world can finally look at this Juanky Built creation and appreciate the fact that the aftermarket would have been mostly useless to this truck and builder anyways. When building something to this caliber you have to build your own supply so that your brand is now the demand.

[divider] TECH SPECS [/divider]

1953 Ford F-100
Miami, Florida


  • Stock frame boxed in and smoothed
  • Mustang II IFS front
  • Ridetech shockwaves front
  • Custom four-link rear
  • QA1 shocks
  • Air Lift airbags rear
  • Accuair air management


  • 347 ci small block Ford
  • Edelbrock Fast EFI
  • C4 automatic transmission
  • Ford 9-inch rear end with 4.11 gears and posi trac
  • Borla 3-inch custom exhaust


  • Coy’s C5 20×8.5/20×14
  • BFG g-Force T/A
  • Mickey Thompson Sportsman
  • 265/35-20 front
  • 29×15.00 rear


  • 1956 rear big window
  • 1956 front grille
  • Smoothed drip rails
  • Smoothed running boards
  • Fabricated custom front bumper and rear roll pan
  • Widened factory rear fenders
  • PPG custom mix white and matte grey


  • Snowden bench seat
  • Black leather/blue suede
  • Dakota Digital VHX gauges
  • JL Audio sound system
  • Billet Specialties steering wheel
  • Ididit steering column
  • Hurst shifter
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