Tony Lyles Coyote-Powered ’53 Ford Is A Show-Stopper

Ford owners are typically more conservative about trading in their classic truck. In lieu of trading in our Ford, we modernize what we have. These new engines offer the greatest reliability and performance from the blue oval factory. In the case of Tony Lyles’ truck, this has happened on more than one occasion.

Lyles’ father had originally purchased the truck in 1968 to be used as a work vehicle. The truck was even equipped with a flatbed and cattle racks! While a great work truck, the motor lacked in performance as the anemic flathead motor paired to a three-speed transmission lumped along. The father and son duo knew something needed to change.

Lyles Family Project

When Lyles’ turned 17 he and his father decided to bring some power to the truck. They would team up together to replace the weak flathead with a 289 cubic-inch small-block Ford. A Powerglide transmission was mounted behind it. This would offer them a variety of performance options the flathead didn’t. This was the first swap the truck received and ironically the first one that Lyles participated in. The father and son team figured this would provide enough power for the old work truck.

Unfortunately, “enough power” is a fictitious phrase we tell ourselves. Not soon after receiving the truck, another motor and transmission combo entered the engine bay. Lyles slowly added more bits to the truck before getting the itch to create something completely new. In 2019 he took the bait and would soon find himself in a restoration and motor swap.

Final Form

Lyles knew the single cab deserved a fresh motor and transmission. After all, the years of being used as a tool were behind it. The truck was now destined for show and shine events. What better way to modernize an old pick up? A Coyote motor of course! Lyles decided to install a Gen 1 Coyote backed by a 6R80 transmission. The rearend was swapped to an 8.8 unit to handle the power with 3.55 gears inside.

The original F100’s wiring harness was next to none, so Ron Francis wired the new combination in. Ron Francis also handled the install of the Telorvek EFI system. This would handle the Coyote’s sequential fuel injection. To aid in handling a TSP power steering kit was added along with a Mustang II front end by Fatman. A set of US Mag 18×8 wheels finish this build. One look at the truck and you would assume the paint was done at the time of the swap. However, this paint was sprayed in 1999 with PPG Cardinal Red and maintained ever since.

The End Result

Lyles turned what was an old work truck into a show-stopping single cab. The new motor and transmission combination has breathed new life into the performance and drivability aspect. Furthermore, At this year’s Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival the truck received both the sponsor’s choice award and special recognition award!

About the author

James Elkins

Born into a household of motorsport lovers, James learned that wrenching takes priority over broken skin and damaged nerves. Passions include fixing previous owners’ mistakes, writing, and driving.
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