Back in the shifting agricultural industry of the mid-'60s, Denny Rodgers' father sold his struggling dairy along with part of the main farm to start a small automotive salvage yard on what land was left. This went well for about 10 years until his father passed away in '76, when Denny's mom decided to sell all the vehicles in the yard to a man with a crushing operation for $35 each, knowing she wouldn't be able to run the yard. Denny figured he'd better get while the getting was good, so he found a ragged old '50 F-1 in the yard, gave his mom the money, and a few days later more than 130 vehicles were crushed for scrap.
To get the Ford on the road, Denny swapped the stock Flathead V-8 for a six-cylinder he saved from an F-2, built a wood flatbed, patched the fenders, and spray painted the truck black. The Ford worked hard for a while hauling dirt, blocks, or whatever else Denny was up to, but it proved to be unreliable in the end, so he parked it in '78 with plans to fix it up "someday."
A year passed and the Ford just sat waiting, and Denny thought he'd better at least try to start it periodically, so using his brand-new Mustang, he pulled around to his backyard to give the truck a jump to see if it'd run. Maybe it was jealous or mad, but somehow he caught the door of the three-month-old Mustang on the F-1's bumper and ripped the door off! Needless to say, he didn't start the F-1 that day. Luck would elude Denny for a few more years, especially when the glass company he worked for in Prosperity, Pennsylvania, shut down and he lost his job-the irony. Work was hard to find, and soon he offered the truck to his neighbor for $500, who bought it and added insult to injury by quickly selling it for a profit at an auction while keeping all the spare parts and the parts truck he got from Denny!
Fast-forward to better times; in '90 Denny and his son were headed into town one day when they saw a '50 Ford truck that looked suspiciously like his old one for sale on the side of the road. Indeed, it turned out to be his old truck, but Denny thought the asking price was too high and figured they just weren't meant to be together. Luckily for Denny, his wife Linda thought differently. Knowing what the Ford meant to her husband, she went back with her brother to buy it. Talk about a surprise! He would even buy back the other parts truck from the neighbor after all this time, but it was still going to be another 10 years before Denny would get serious about the truck.