Mark Pierson’s Showstopper: The Unconventional Beauty of a 1954 Ford C750 COE

Mark Pierson’s OMG-Worthy COE

When the time comes for a seasoned custom car builder and collector to look for something ‘different’ than they have had in the past, this is what they gravitate towards. Just finding a ’54 Ford C750 and getting it back in driving condition would fit the bill for staking claim on possessing an uncommon vehicle, but there’s always more room to further venture out into the territory of truly unusual. Mark Pierson of Sarasota, Florida is a well-documented car and truck enthusiast who is always hunting for his next wild addition to his collection. While he currently has several unique vehicles in his stable, his latest acquisition captures far more attention than the rest.

Aged To Perfection  

While Mark is never afraid to dive deep into a project to bring it back from the grave, he purchased his 1954 Ford C750 cab-over-engine (COE) in previously rebuilt condition. The cab is still in factory form for the most part. The naturally weathered patina has been left alone because there’s just no way of recreating the perfectly imperfect surface of a truck that has been under the elements for 70 years. That’s not saying that there isn’t beauty of a well-executed ‘fauxtina’ finish, but there’s nothing quite like the real deal.

Bumper Fab 

The one thing that Mark did add to the cab comes in the form of the crazy one-off front bumper. Built from stainless steel and adorned with rows of intimidating spikes and lights, the bumper features post-apocalyptic styling that would look right at home on a purpose-built rig starring in Mad Max. Once it was completely mocked up, the bumper was sent to C2 Powder Coating in Bradenton, Florida so it could be treated with a transparent copper color to better blend in with the C750’s aged appearance.

A Solid Foundation 

Before Mark purchased this ’54, its previously caretaker vastly enhanced the performance of the truck in so many ways. The original engine and suspension systems were tossed aside for the much fresher power plant and chassis from a 2000 Ford E450. The transplanted components, especially the Power Stroke 7.3L mill, worked perfectly to get the C750 back on the road. The dual exhaust stacks that now tower over the already tall cab make for a lasting first impression, especially when there’s black smoke billowing out from them. The stock E450 transmission was also incorporated into the build, so even though Mark’s big old truck looks like it would move slowly and clumsily down the highway, it’s now quite spirited thanks in huge part to its updated diesel engine and transmission combo.

“The naturally weathered patina has been left alone because there’s just no way of recreating the perfectly imperfect surface of a truck that has been under the elements for 70 years.”

The E450 engine and transmission weren’t the only items worthy of transferring over to the C750. The entirety of the factory E450 chassis was utilized, along with the braking system to give the ’54 modern ride quality and stopping power. Even though the incorporation of the frame and suspension components worked well for the task at hand, Mark felt compelled to add a custom touch in the form of air bags, as well as a PSC hydraulic steering cylinder. The ability to adjust the truck’s ride height was well worth the effort, and to double down on the old Ford’s updated air ride system, a set of 26-inch JTX premium forged wheels and high-performance Pirelli tires were mounted and bolted on. A 15-inch flatbed platform was soon paired with the frame, and the new rear fenders along with the killer dually wheels below give Mark’s latest project a stylish yet functional sensibility to the truck’s outcome.

Things To Come 

While the C750’s interior hasn’t seen any major upgrades yet, a set of Dakota Digital gauges and air ride and A/C controls currently sit as the only modernized amenities to have shown up so far. Mark doesn’t plan to leave the inner cab space as untouched as it currently is, however.  He does want to build it up to full show-worthy shape featuring a loose copper-centric steampunk theme, and we can’t wait to see what he does with within the confines of the weathered Ford shell. It won’t take a whole lot to increase the cabin’s cool factor as there is nothing as appealing as the nostalgic look and feel of classic factory charm.

“The original engine and suspension systems were tossed aside for the much fresher power plant and chassis from a 2000 Ford E450.”

Since Mark has finished putting his own personal spin on his C750, he has only managed to display it at local auto events due to time restraints. He does want to make his way outside of the state of Florida wish his new ride in 2024, so keep your eyes peeled for his menacing flatbed Ford while out at shows this season. This creation is sure to turn some heads as well as take home a few trophies in the process. Folks love to see something different, and this ’54 COE model is just that. From the classic, patina-clad cab to the modernized wheels and exhaust stacks and one-off bumper design, this truck checks all the boxes, which will bode well for it on judging scorecards this year. The original builder engineered the overhaul wonderfully, and Mark has every intention to further capitalize on the excellent starting point he was given to work with.

1954 FORD C750

Owner: Mark Pierson
Sarasota, FL


  • 2000 Ford E450 Power Stroke 7.3L
  • 2000 Ford E450 4R100 automatic transmission


  • 2000 Ford E450 factory suspension
  • E450 rear drive axle
  • Front and rear air springs from Airbagit
  • PSC hydraulic steering box

Wheels, Tires & Brakes

  • 26×9 JTX wheels
  • 295/30/26 Pirelli tires
  • 2000 Ford E450 front and rear brakes, master cylinder

Body & Paint

  • Original untouched patina on the 1954 cab
  • Original handles and emblems were powdercoated w/ transparent copper to match wheels and bumpers
  • One-off front bumper
  • Body & Paint

Interior & Stereo

  • Unmodified 1954 interior
  • Air ride controls and A/C controls
  • Dakota Digital gauges


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