In '03, Denny was doing well working for a construction company that had quite a large shop with some extra space that was lent to him complete with tools to work on the F-1, which proved to be the catalyst to set the project in motion. Now, part of the truck's junkyard pedigree included plenty of rusted-out sheetmetal, and what was there waved like a passing parade. Denny didn't have much bodywork or welding experience, and it was do or die time, so he read everything he could get his hands on for tips, talked to anyone he could find who was versed in these areas, and finally jumped in and gave it his all after restoring the chassis back to stock. He banged, sanded, hammered, dollied, ground, and welded on the less-than-desirable old tin for months until it resembled a truck again. He also found a decent steel '47 bed box to replace his, so he changed the rear fender mounts to hang his later fiberglass fenders.
After successfully completing all the bodywork and feeling more confident, little did Denny know he was about to jump from the frying pan and into the fire when he decided to tackle the painting chores as well. He had painted some of the construction equipment for the company, but he didn't have much automotive base/clear paint experience, to say the least, but he thought, "What the heck?"
He bought some Martin Senour Crossfire Volvo white paint and an HVLP gun and gave it the old college try, but since the shop was heated with kerosene and quite dirty, it proved to be an uphill battle that netted painting everything an average of three times to get it right, followed by learning how to color-sand and buff each piece. Being as determined as he is, Denny even learned how to restore all the stainless trim on the F-1 thanks to the TV show My Classic Car! To round out the F-1's newfound glory, it now rides on steel 15-inch Gennie wheels and BFGoodrich Silvertown whitewalls from Coker Tire dressed up further with beauty rings and '42 Ford-style hubcaps Denny picked because he prefers the earlier script logo.
Inside the cab, Archie's of Avella, Pennsylvania, recovered the stock bench seat, and Denny handled the rest of the chores with a headliner and interior kit and a weatherstrip kit from Dennis Carpenter. The tunes come from the fresh stock-spec 239-cubic-inch 8BA Flathead V-8 that was rebuilt by Smith's NAPA in Washington, Pennsylvania. Denny painted and detailed the motor along with rebuilding the Holley 94 carb, fuel pump, water pumps, and transmission.
The last 30 years of Denny's life had its share of ups and downs, but it seems he's on the right track now, and to keep things in order he takes the F-1 out regularly and just drives with no particular destination-he sees it as therapy for both the truck and himself. Just what the doctor ordered!