They've been overlooked for years, but we have to believe that '67-and-later Fords will be seen more and more as classic cruisers in the coming years. The biggest problem seems to be finding a nice, clean example. Utica, Michigan's Ken Sulky was fortunate enough to find this '69, then he painted it bright red, added chrome wheels, new tires, and fresh carpet. Powered by a 351-W/C-four combo breathing through dual Flowmaster mufflers, the shortbed Ford is a great-looking and smooth-running ride that Ken says holds its own on Michigan's annual Woodward Cruise.
It may not be finished yet, but Chad Wells' '49 F-1 already tells an inspiring story (read this month's Behind the Wheel for details). Chad is well on his way to completing his first "rodstoration," thanks in part to a lot of encouragement from Editor Rizzo's writings. The truck started out in pretty decent shape (as you can see in the first photo), but Chad and his brothers, Jeff and Roy, are still cutting no corners in its reconstruction. The list of upgrades includes a detailed frame, Eaton rear springs, a CCP steering box, Chevy crate engine, Painless wiring, and lots of other goodies. Even longer is the list of body mods like the homemade rolled pan, Hagan gas door, recessed smooth firewall, Pro's Pick bed, Fairlane tilt nose, and shaved handles. All this progress has been made in a scant six months, so we wouldn't be at all surprised to find this truck finished by the time you read this. Watch this space for a follow-up.
You may think that tinkering with classic trucks is an exclusively American endeavor, but this '56 Chevy comes to us from Anders Gordon Brondt of Copenhagen, Denmark! Anders bought the Bow Tie in 1995 and quickly did what most red-blooded Americans would do- yanked out the six and dropped in an '88 Chevy 350 backed by a TH350 transmission. Then he had the body sprayed bright orange with flames and added whitewalls, matching wheels, and chrome smoothie hubcaps. Cruising on a cloud of blue neon lights, Anders says he has "lost a lot of girls" by dedicating his time going to U.S. vehicle shows around Scandinavia and Germany.
The color on David Ramsey's '69 C-10 is Victory Red, and we'd be willing to bet that this is the view seen by anyone willing to take him on at a stoplight. The Arkansas-based Chevy runs a 327 with "all the goodies" backed by a Turbo 350. This combo sends power to a 12-bolt rearend with 4.11:1 gears and lots of rubber. It's not all "go," though, as David has also lowered the truck to a ground-hugging stance, restored the interior, and added such amenities as a '72 van tilt column, Dakota Digital gauges, and a Vintage Air system. That's all fine and dandy, but David's real "victory" came on a different front. "The little lady didn't understand the day I brought it in on a trailer from a pasture," David says. "Now I can't keep her out of it!"
Merc In Ford Clothing
Gerald Vine nicknamed his pickup "Jerry's Merc," but it's not one of those Canadian Mercury trucks. It's actually a '48 Ford that has borrowed much of its equipment from a '66 Mercury Montego. For starters, the front of the Merc frame was grafted to the F-1 frame, bringing its 410 V-8/C-6 combo with it. The Merc's 9-inch rearend was also employed, along with its dash and steering column. Outside, Gerald chopped the top 4 inches, extended the cab 6-inches, shortened the bed, made his own rolled pan, and added a tilt frontend. It's all covered with light lavender paint, and Gerald is proud to say that he did everything except cut the glass and stitch the upholstery.
We All Scream For
Ice cream! As the owner of Creanies Ice Cream in Sicklerville, New Jersey, you can imagine Rob Crean's excitement when he discovered this '50 Chevy ice cream truck in a garage. The truck was all original and intact (the refrigeration system was even in working condition), and basically just needed some cosmetic restoration to get it into shape. Now Rob and his family are having a ball cruising the ice cream truck to events. "It is a great feeling when I pull out two-foot-long popsicles for the kids and fresh-made ice cream sandwiches for the adults," Rob says. The truck originally belonged to Pied Piper, an ice cream company in northern New Jersey. Rob is looking for more information on the company, and invites readers to e-mail him at email@example.com if they have any to share.
When you live in a state as big as Texas, it just doesn't seem right to drive a mini-truck. That's the conclusion Jimmy Coker came to after driving a cramped, under-powered '92 Ranger for too many years. A brief search led him to this '66 F-100, which he purchased for just $1,000. The F-100 came with a six-cylinder drivetrain, but Jimmy quickly upgraded to a 302 V-8 equipped with an Edelbrock intake, 600cfm carb, Comp camshaft, and a Pertronix ignition. He also installed a C-4 automatic, power steering, and power brakes. "Now I have the power and look I was after," Jimmy reports. Sounds like the perfect vessel for cruising the Texas plains.
Canadians Dave and Eva Shmyr live just a few miles from Forever Ford columnist Gary Pratt, but he hasn't converted them to his blue-oval ways. No, the Shmyrs are Chevy folks, as evidenced by their very clean '66 C-10 shortbed fleetside. The truck has been completely rebuilt and now features Early Classic dropped spindles, a Camaro rearend, and four-wheel disc brakes. A ZZ-4 crate engine and TH350 transmission provide power, while the body wears Porsche Red paint over its straight sheetmetal, smooth tailgate, and rolled rear pan. All told, it's one cool Chevy. And rumor has it that Gary even rides in it from time to time (don't worry, Gary, your secret is safe with us).