I’ve always had a low key lust for Hayward Mendenhall’s 1956 Ford Pickup. He bought the truck new in late 1955 and wanted to spruce it up a bit – give it some personality. He had heard about Larry Watson’s new found talent as a striper and had seen a few examples of his work at the Bellflower Drive-in. He was impressed and soon found himself waiting in Larry’s parent’s driveway. Once Larry made his way home from high school and put his books away, the two got down to business. Hayward came for a simple stripe job, but Larry wanted to broaden his horizons a bit and add not only striping, but scallops as well. Hayward relented and eight hours later got the truck of my dreams.
As far as I know, the truck was never featured anywhere. Its only appearance that I’ve ever been able to find was in the 1958 Renegades Rod & Custom Motorama Program. That photograph is featured above.
Recently, I’ve been dreaming of my own fat ass Ford and started hunting for more examples of Hayward’s ’56. I came up empty handed, sort of… See, in my search I rediscovered some footage of Larry Watson discussing some of his favorite builds. It’s a solid hour of what it must have felt like to sit in Larry’s living room while he talked over a buzzing projector… Only missing the sound effects… Check it out: