Ralph Davis had restored a clean little Model A Ford that he and his wife Margaret enjoyed cruising around town in and had planned on leaving to their son when they passed on, but they also had a daughter that they didn't want to leave out of the loop. Ralph had received a '50 Ford F-1 as part payment for helping a friend restore his Model A and thought it would be perfect for his daughter Linda. Well, Ralph was knee-deep in the restoration of the F-1 when he passed away in 1998. Linda still inherited the truck, but it was nowhere near the state her dad had in mind for the early gift; now what? Linda's husband, Richard, found himself inheriting the job of finishing where his late father-in-law left off.
This was easier said than done, since during the last few years of his life, Ralph wasn't getting around so well. He did manage, however, to get the F-1 torn down to a shell. In Ralph's time away from the truck, those around it had neglected the project. When Linda and Richard came to claim her inheritance, they found many parts scattered and presumably missing, which made for a rocky start to this large-scale jigsaw puzzle. Ralph was a man on a mission and had set out to restore the Ford to its original glory, so that's the torch the Parks now had to bare for the duration of the next three labor intensive years while the lineage of the '50 was investigated and put to use along the way.
When one commits to a stock restoration they are in for more painstaking work than most custom builds encounter since all the parts and pieces need to be correct or "numbers matching", you can't just to the parts store or flip open any catalog to find what you need, you gotta dig, which was soon found out by Richard, as the first order of business was rebuilding the flatmotor. The 239ci flathead in the truck ran, but was quite tired and it had many passenger car parts on it which wouldn't be right for the resto. As with many of Ford's little water-boilers, when the engine was torn down, too many cracks made themselves known to deem useable. Well, three motors later there were enough satisfactory piece to put an engine together that Ralph would've approved of, so Keith Maness at the Car Quest in Silver City, North Carolina, machined all the iron and Richard put everything back together.
The other major part of the job was fixing the well-worked Southern hauler's sheetmetal. At the time, Richard couldn't find many repro steel parts for the '50, so much of the original tin was fixed the old-fashioned way with patch panels and some hammer and dolly work. The old bed had seen more than its fair share of use, so the obliterated panels were replaced with new ones from Dennis Carpenter Reproductions. Figuring out what the truck's original color was seemed like getting to the center of a Gobstopper. At the bottom of five or six layers of paint, Richard found Ford's Meadow Green hibernating. Memory Lane Auto Restoration in Mocksville, North Carolina, took on the rest of the body and paintwork. Alan Kinder and Tom Baker also suggested the use of a tintable truck bed liner for the underside of the body and fenders to coincide with the other objective the Parks' had, making all this effort and work last as long as possible. On that note, much of the chassis hardware was replaced with stock-spec stainless steel fasteners when possible.