There's a first time for everything. Pick pretty much any topic, and there has to be a first time that you experience it in some way, shape, or form. Classic trucks are no exception. Whether it is a family heirloom hand-me-down, a junk heap bought with hard-earned lawn-mowing money, or simply a project bought later in life, each and every one of us had to start somewhere. Even if you were "born" into the hobby, you began with something, didn't you?
For some of us, our de-virgining didn't take place until later in life. For whatever reasons--family, extra income, etc.--it's not until the comfortable years that a hobby such as this can truly be enjoyed. For Oklahoman Jerry Carmack, when he finally decided it was his time to delve into the antique automotive world, he started searching for a "complete car." Never considering actually having one built or simply finished, when he came across a partially started '41 Ford pickup project, he was leery, to say the least. That was until he was bitten by the bug and knew this was the project for him. Three years later, Jerry officially became a full-fledged classic trucker.
Though a '41 Ford isn't your average classic truck fare (seems to be more often lumped in with the street rod crowd), it is without a doubt a truck--and about as classic as you are gonna get! Even with all the hoopla pushing the late-model movement (for us, late-model is still classic), there's no denying the flowing, artistic lines of a '40s pickup--especially a Ford! And that may be just what attracted Jerry to this particular model--that and the fact that this would be his very first project of this nature (which would involve plenty of planning and arranging the right players to help accomplish). Once Carmack had located the right (competent) shops in his area, he embarked on a three-year journey. With the help of Terry Harris at American Street Rods and John, Sonny, Joe, Dave, and Jerry at East Wheatland Street Rod Repair, the goal was accomplished, and as you can see by the accompanying photos, very competently indeed!
Carmack's cruiser is based on a worked-over chassis by Oklahoma's Elite Street Rods. The front portion is equipped with a Mustang II-based IFS, while the rear's 8-inch differential is supported by a triangulated four-link with Aldan coilovers. A custom-fab'd X-member replaced the old stamped-steel Ford support. Moving back up front, a '79 Chevy 350 from East Wheatland Street Rods, your basic stock small-block with a sprinkling of external goodies (Edelbrock, MSD, etc.), is teamed up with a same-year Turbo 350 trans. Jerry dressed the SBC up with an array of Zoop's polished bracketry along with various chrome mounts, and matching "nameless" valve covers and air cleaner. It was very clean despite the tight quarters between the pickup's fenders.
On the outside, the '41 appears pretty much as stock as you can get, yet it still reeks of cool. From the repro Bob Drake '41 commercial grille (same as a '40 Standard, but note the commercial-only hood strip) to the OE bed with Mar-K oak bedwood, it's a resto freak's dream. But look a little closer, and you see a nicely integrated Hagan gas filler door, a rolled rear pan, and hidden tailgate latches. Other non-stock items, such as '40 passenger car taillights, a sedan delivery rear bumper, bedliner-coated running boards, and Wheel Vintiques steelies on Cooper blackwalls, simply add to the coolness factor. Pete Sapp is responsible for the neutral PPG Dove Gray paint over his own bodywork.
Finally, Jerry had his virgin project completed at Frank Smith Upholstery in Oklahoma City. Using a custom-made bench seat and scratchbuilt door panels (with '32 Ford armrests), the truck's Spartan interior has been comfortably done up in charcoal-colored leather with matching cut-pile carpet. The stock steel dash features a black-anodized RH Jones panel with a set of VDO Cockpit Night Design gauges directly above a GM tilt column with a Lecarra Mark 9 wheel. Old Air A/C-heat and a Custom Autosound/Jensen sound system (all installed by American Street Rods) are pretty much the only amenities that could be squeezed in and still allow room for a passenger!
Admittedly a looker, Jerry's Ford is also a driver. Year-round he can be found behind the wheel heading off to Kansas, Missouri, Texas, or wherever the "Heartbeat" (sorry Ford guys) of his pickup desires!
|Facts & Figures|
|Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|1941 Ford Commercial|
|Modifications||MII front crossmember, custom X-member|
|Modifications done by||Elite Street Rods (Oklahoma City)|
|Rearend / Ratio||Ford 8"/3.00:1|
|Rear suspension||triangulated four-link, Aldan coilovers|
|Rear brakes||Ford drum|
|Front suspension||Elite Street Rods MII|
|Front brakes||Ford disc|
|Steering box||Ford power rack|
|Front wheel make, size||Wheel Vintiques, 15x6|
|Rear wheel make, size||Wheel Vintiques, 15x8|
|Front tire make, size||Cooper, 165/R15|
|Rear tire make, size||Cooper, 235/75R15|
|Gas tank||Tanks Inc.|
|Year and make||'79 Chevy 350ci|
|Valve covers||chrome no-name|
|Manifold / Induction||Edelbrock Performer/Carter AFB 600|
|Ignition / Wires||MSD|
|Exhaust / Mufflers||2" / Flowmaster|
|Make and model||'79 Chevy 350|
|Modifications done by||Don Collins (Noble, OK)|
|Modifications||rolled rear pan, Hagan gas door|
|Fenders front / rear||stock|
|Hood||stock with Commercial trim|
|Grille||Bob Drake repro Commercial|
|Bed||stock, Mar-K oak wood kit with stainless strips|
|Bodywork and paint by||Pete Sapp (Oklahoma City)|
|Paint type / Color||PPG / Dove Gray|
|Headlights / Taillights||stock / '40 Standard|
|Bumpers||no front, sedan delivery rear|
|Gauges||VDO in RH Jones insert|
|Air conditioning||Old Air|
|Steering column||GM van tilt|
|Upholstery by||Frank Smith Upholstering (Oklahoma City)|
|Material / Color||leather / charcoal gray|