We had the pleasure of meeting Norman Truax, and his wife, Betty, owner of this beautifully restored '52 F-1 Ford, at last year's F-100 Supernationals in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Norman's been involved in the hobby since 1979, but his love for trucks started long before that. You see, in 1950, Norman was a young man, and his interest in trucks hit a high-point when his neighbor and good friend bought a brand new Sheridan Blue Ford pick-up truck. "Being a devoted fan of Ford vehicles, I thought it was the most beautiful truck I'd ever seen. Right then I wanted one for myself." But his newfound dream-truck would have to wait a while-close to 50 years to be exact. Meanwhile Norman has kept himself busy with other projects that included a '50 Ford Business Coupe, '53 Ford Victoria hardtop, and he is currently working on a '51 Ford Convertible.
It wasn't until 1999, when he saw an ad in a local classified for a '52 Ford truck, that Norman finally got his chance to live, or in this case restore, his dream-truck. Unfortunately it wasn't that simple. "I had taken a bad cold and was not able to travel and go look at the truck. However, knowing how much I wanted to find a '52, Betty and my youngest son, William, made arrangements to go look at the truck on my behalf." Much to Norman's surprise, that same day the truck was brought home.
The condition of the truck was better then most that trucks Norman and Betty had looked at, and it had a good solid cab. But the rest of the truck was not as good as he had hoped, so he bought a complete new bed and four new fenders. From there they went to James Roberts, owner of Roberts Autobody in Bethleham, Kentucky. James is a close friend of Norman's family and has helped with the Truax's other restorations, and was more then willing to help on another project. For starters, the Ford was taken off the frame and restored from the ground up. The frame was cleaned and left as stock, along with all the other components underneath. All items that weren't repairable were replaced with matching components. The transmission was also left as the original three-speed and reconditioned.
The engine was then removed, disassembled, and thoroughly cleaned and restored to original-specs. Air going into the engine now sails through stock-repro air cleaner, through the stock manifold and original two-barrel carburetor, before being spit out the other end through a Cherry Bomb muffler.
After all of this, the body was reassembled and the pieces Norman had bought were used to replace the parts that the years had not been kind to. On the outside, the body was sanded and primed before being painted Sheridan Blue, the same blue that Norman's neighbor had received his truck in back when it was first brought home from the dealership in the '50s. The interior received a makeover as well. The seats were refurbished and reupholstered in gray and blue. A matching gray headliner was provided by Dennis Carpenter Industries in Charlotte, North Carolina, who also re-did the pickup's wiring.
"Some 40 years after I'd seen my neighbor's brand-new Sheridan Blue pick-up truck, I had one of my very own." When asked what's next, Norman replies, "It is my intention to leave one vehicle to each of my three grandchildren and two sons, who have helped on my projects since they were able to, even though they are Mopar enthusiasts." In the end, the restoration only took two years, and Norman couldn't be happier and we think he has more than enough to be happy about.
Facts & FiguresNorman & Betty TruaxSimpsonville, Kentucky1952 Ford F-1