When Paul Cammack retired and sold his auto body shop to one of his employees, he was finally a free man-but what's a free man supposed to do? Build a classic truck, that's what! Paul has been into old cars for more than 45 years, but he hadn't yet built a truck, and it just so happened he knew where to get one.
Back when Paul owned the shop, a young man came in with a '48 Ford F-1 that was a little worse for the wear. He wanted to know what it would take for the shop to transform it into a street rod, but unfortunately his ideas were loftier than his checkbook. The man was so discouraged that he sold the F-1 to Paul, who put it in storage for about a year before selling it to his friend Mike, who then stored it for another year. Mike soon made a deal with Paul's bodyman to trade him the truck for labor, but that ended up falling through. After all the changing hands, the truck wound up back in Paul's ownership again.
As mentioned before, Paul has been around the block in a few cars over the years, so he wouldn't have much of a problem building the truck once he got started. He knew he wanted the '48 to handle, so he installed a Fatman Fabrications Mustang II front clip and a '98 Ford Explorer rearend complete with factory disc brakes and a 3.73:1 limited slip.
He added Air Ride Technologies 'bags, ShockWaves, and sway bars to both the front and rear suspension to help get the F-1 a few inches closer to the asphalt when desired. For power, Paul went with a tried-and-true 350 Chevy Vortec motor and matching TH400 trans from the same '00 donor vehicle. The 330-horsepower small-block was dressed in plenty of chrome and polished bits from Billet Specialties, Vintage Air, GM, and Edelbrock. Coated block hugger headers breathe into a 2 1/2-inch custom exhaust system, and underneath the truck there's a pair of Stainless Specialties mufflers that dump out under each running board.
Paul naturally handled all the meticulous bodywork that the F-1 needed, as well as shaving the door handles, adding rear wheel tubs, and general tidying up before Gaines Auto Body (his old shop's new name) painted the '48 in orange and silver hues from PPG. From here the truck was taken to Interiors by Ed in Mitchell, Indiana, to get its unique and striking upholstery job. Ed's made the custom center console that houses the Air Ride and Vintage Air controls as well as the B&M shifter and proceeded to cover it and almost everything else in the cab, including the floor, with orange leatherette while adding a few silver accents. A Billet Specialties steering wheel sits atop the ididit tilt column and matches the 18- and 20-inch Vintec-series wheels from the same company that rounded out the F-1's stance.
While Paul noted that the most challenging part of the build was "everything"-like most projects-we'll bet he's figured out how to enjoy his hard work and retirement by now!