Gene Simmons’ custom ’56 Ford F-100 ‘Snakebit’ to sell for charity

1956 Ford F100 "Snakebit." Photo courtesy Wheels of Dreams.

1956 Ford F100 “Snakebit.” Photo courtesy Wheels of Dreams.

A custom 1956 Ford F-100 will be sold at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Jan. 17 to raise funds for the new Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan in Canada. The Wheels of Dreams Project – created to develop the truck – is a unique collaboration involving KISS bassist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Gene Simmons, his wife and actress Shannon Tweed-Simmons, along with area businesses including the local Saskatchewan Ford dealer association.What began as a team building exercise for Industrial Machine & Manufacturing in Saskatoon, Canada, has become an international symbol for helping children. The sale of this one-off truck will aid in the development of a new hospital dedicated to healing them.

“We’re honored to play a role in this unique project,” said Vaughn Wyant, co-chair of Wheels of Dreams and president and CEO of Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group. “The new children’s hospital will fill a critical healthcare void in our community, and our Ford Dealer Association is working hand-in-hand with other local businesses and the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan to make it a reality. It’s gratifying to see this grassroots movement take on an international focus.”

“Snakebit,” as the truck is known, is a blend of street rod styling with influences from the iconic Ford Shelby GT500. It boasts a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 breathing through a high-performance exhaust system. A six-speed manual gearbox feeds the estimated 550 horsepower to the 20-inch rear wheels.

The wheelbase was extended five inches, while the box was widened and dressed with a billet machined floor to simulate wood-grain. It is topped with a custom tonneau cover while the headlights and sequential taillights are custom-built. The handmade panels and two-tone leather in the interior are eye-catching and the knobs on the leather-wrapped dash are custom-made, as are the armrests. Furthermore, the leather bench seat is designed playing homage to the Shelby GT500.

The project inspired Simmons and Saskatoon-native, Tweed-Simmons, as well as Saskatchewan’s Ford Dealer Association to join the effort. Saskatchewan is one of only two provinces in Canada without a dedicated children’s hospital. Though the fundraising campaign to build the hospital started several years ago, the group collectively wanted to do their part to achieve the 2016 construction completion goal.

“Saskatchewan’s Ford Dealer Association eagerly provided funding for this very specialized build,” said Dianne C. Craig, president and CEO, Ford of Canada. “We’re grateful for their commitment to make a meaningful difference in our community.”

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