The 2013 SEMA Show is still in its beginning stages, but already many big reveals have struck a chord with audiences. Perhaps the vehicle that will leave the biggest impression with truck lovers is the custom 1956 Ford F100, which has been dubbed the "Snakebit."
While the Snakebit probably won't be able to handle any extreme off-roading any time soon, it is certainly a bold look at the possibilities of truck mods, and its reveal was fit for any high-end vehicle.
Unveiling the Snakebit F100
Ford pulled out all the stops to show off the Snakebit F100 - including outfitting the debut with some big names. The automaker recruited KISS bassist Gene Simmons and his wife, actress Shannon Tweed, to do the honor of revealing the final product.
The Snakebit was the idea of Tom Foster, a car builder is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He designed the truck with the classic Shelby Mustangs in mind, and you can see a few sporty touches present on the finished vehicle. For example, the interior of the truck, including its leather bench seat, has been contoured to match the Mustang. Even the wheels, which measure in at 18 inches in the front and 20 inches in the rear, were inspired by the sports car.
Extensive truck mods
Updating a 1956 pickup truck wasn't simple by any means. The vehicle went through some intense rounds of truck modifications to get it up to par. To start, the wheelbase was extended by 5 inches and the box was widened to look proportional. It was capped off with a billet machined floor, which was designed to look like natural wood. That style is mimicked in the rest of the interior with touches like handmade panels, two-tone leather and a wrapped dashboard.
Powering it all is a 5.4-liter V-8 engine with a revamped exhaust system. It is capable of putting out up to 550 horsepower, which is controlled by the five-speed manual transmission. Custom-built headlights and taillights stand out from the metallic gray paint job to provide plenty of visibility and a clean, streamlined appearance.
All for charity
Simmons may not have been wearing his iconic KISS facial makeup, but that is likely because he wasn't present to promote his own music. Rather, he was there to be a part of a good cause. The Snakebit F100 is set to be auctioned off by Barrett-Jackson early next year, with all of the proceeds from the vehicle going to fund a children's hospital in Saskatchewan. That Canadian region is one of only two provinces without a dedicated children's hospital and also happens to be the location of Tweed's hometown, bringing the whole event full circle.
"The Wheels of Dreams project symbolizes how people can come together and meet the needs of our children and families by raising much-needed funds for the new Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan," said Brynn Boback-Lane, president of the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. "Just like the hospital, this concept car project started as an idea and a desire to do something better for our community. What began as a grassroots idea the volunteers and supporters of Wheels of Dreams have turned into a major international fundraiser opportunity that will ultimately benefit our foundation."
Although the Snakebit F100 was just one of about 50 vehicles Ford brought to the show, it is almost definitely the one people will remember best - and if all goes well, the one that will bring in the most money for a good cause. Simmons himself said that he hopes the truck will sell for more than $1,000,000 at the Barrett-Jackson auction.