Saugertiesian Joe Bisignano’s pickup restoration wins first prize in national contest

Joe Bisignano and son (photo by Robert Ford)

Saugerties resident and award-winning car restorer Joe Bisignano can now add another feather to his cap. The former superintendent of the village of Saugerties water department has been named the winner of the annual Goodguys Speedway Motors Homebuilt Heaven contest for his restoration of a 1952 Ford F100 pickup truck.

Bisignano credits the residents of Saugerties for giving him the win the contest. He asked people to go to the Goodguys website to vote for their favorite rebuilt vehicle.

According to Goodguys, Bisignano received 2267 votes to beat out the restoration of a 1964 Ford Falcon, which received 2158 votes.

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The first-gen F100s like Bisignano’s are a special breed and significant in the history of Ford trucks. Not only are they the first postwar truck design from Ford, but also the first series of trucks designed on a ‘real’ truck chassis. Up until 1947, Ford used car chassis underneath their trucks.

“Built at home in Saugerties, this ’52 rolls on a stock chassis with the original 215cid workhorse six-cylinder, which was the motor of choice before the big V8s. A three-on-the-tree three-speed gearbox controls the shifts. At the corners are color-matched steel wheels wrapped in Coker whitewall tires. Pleasing to the eye, the truck retains its original styling: factory Ford Meadowbrook Green finish, chrome bumpers, stock grille, and an oak-bed floor. On the inside, Joe’s truck is tastefully wrapped in tweed,” said the writeup on the Goodguys website.

Bisignano’s vehicle was one of 19 entered in the nationwide contest. He purchased the vehicle from local resident Doug Robinson for $3000. It sat in his backyard until he decided to retire a number of years ago. At that time his wife, Landa, worried that Joe would get underfoot. She told him to go out and restore the old truck.

And that old truck, in addition to winning a number of trophies at car shows, is the winner of the 2016 Goodguys contest.

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