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Local builds Snakebit F-100 for charity

Hot rod a cross between truck and Shelby Mustang by jeff davis

W

hat happens when you crossbreed a vintage Ford truck and a tire-peeling Shelby Mustang? Saskatoon’s very own homemade hot rod: the Snakebit F-100. The built-for-charity custom truck grabbed the attention of the automotive world in November, when it was featured at a major Las Vegas car show called the Specialty Equipment Automotive Show. KISS bassist Gene Simmons unveiled the custom truck, alongside his Saskatchewan-born wife Shannon Tweed, taking the hype to the next level. Now the Snakebit has clinched a coveted premium position at this year’s Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, to be held in Scottsdale, Az in January. The Snakebit was dreamt up by Saskatoon’s Tom Foster, president of Industrial Machine and Manufacturing. He said all profits will go to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, as a gesture of thanks for

the help they provided his daughter shortly after she was born. Watson initially aimed to raise $55,000 for the hospital by selling the F-100. After recent coverage on some influential American auto blogs, Watson is hoping the one-ofa-kind roadster can pull in upwards of $500,000. “Gene stated he’s not going to be happy unless the truck raises over a million dollars,” Foster said. Foster said the project began simply as a team building exercise for the men in his fabrication shop, and has gone far beyond anyone’s expectations. “We’re in the business of building and repairing mining and oil and gas equipment,” he said. “Automotive was new to us, but we have all the equipment needed to do it, and a lot of our staff are motor heads.” Watson’s project began with a 1956 Ford F-100 he and his staff purchased from a dealer in Washington State back in 2010. The idea soon evolved from a mere restoration to transforming it

into a sort of homage to the legendary Shelby Mustangs. The build team pitched the idea to Vaughn Wyant, owner of Jubilee Ford, and before long the Saskatchewan Ford Dealers Association was on board. They offered a new Shelby Mustang to cannibalize, but the team decided to take the equivalent value in parts instead. Now with a paid account at the Ford racing store, Foster’s team selected a new supercharged 5.4 litre V8 engine producing 550 horsepower — the same one found in the new Shelby Mustang. Next they widened the truck by five inches, dropped in a high-performance drivetrain and exhaust system, added a six speed manual gearbox and fitted 20 inch rear wheels. To give the Snakebit that wow factor, they called in Byron Thiessen of Creative Concepts and Restoration. He designed the final body concept and put on the finishing touches: custom lights, tonneau

box cover, faux-wood highlights and a unique leather interior. The name, by the way, is a nod to the king cobra snake decal that storied customizer Carroll Shelby put on all the Fords he tuned. Brynn Boback-Lane, president and CEO of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, said the Snakebit project has been an inspiration to raise the remaining funds needed to build the new hospital. “Just like the hospital, this concept

car project started as an idea and a desire to do something better for our community.” If you are interested in more details about the Snakebit, and the story behind it, check out its website: www.wheelsofdreams.ca. Feedback? Text it! (306) 881 8372

@VerbSaskatoon jdavis@verbnews.com

35 Nov 15 – Nov 21 /verbsaskatoon

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Verb Issue S273 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)  

Verb Issue S273 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)

Verb Issue S273 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)  

Verb Issue S273 (Jan. 17-23, 2014)

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