Finding a clean, one-owner truck is pretty much all of our hopes and dreams on four wheels, but that's few and far between these days. We've all heard about the old lady that bought a car new way back when, and still only drives it to and from the beauty parlor/grocery store. But where are the old ladies that bought trucks? One guess--Texas!
Back in 1948, Myrtle Ferguson bought a new Ford F-1 and did her best to care for the truck. She kept it her whole life and finally left it to her grandson in Stephenville, Texas.Enter Edd Hopper. Edd had been a fan of the '48-52 F-1s since he was a teenager, but never managed to own one...yet. Like a match made in heaven, Edd just happened to notice Myrtle's old truck sitting behind her grandson's garage one day, but soon heard from an outside source that the truck wasn't for sale, so he didn't stop and ask.
Over three years later, Edd's curiosity finally got the best of him and he knocked on the grandson's door, only to be told what he already knew. The heavenly part came four days later when the grandson called Edd and explained that he just bought a new RV and didn't think he'd ever get around to restoring granny's truck like it should be. Needless to say, Edd wasted no time picking it up once a deal was struck.
Edd worked to build the F-1 he always wanted over the 14 months that followed. He installed a front clip from Chassis Engineering, which eliminated the stock I-beam axle and brought the front down closer to the ground where he wanted it. GM disc brakes were installed on the Heidt's spindles and a Unisteer rack-and-pinion was used to maneuver the truck, along with a Limeworks steering column topped with a Lecarra '40 Ford wheel. In the rear, Edd replaced the stock, parallel leaf springs with lowered versions from Chassis Engineering as well as their hangers and shocks. The original rearend was swapped for a Ford 9-inch with 3.25:1 gears.
Having grown up "way back when," Edd has a love for the Ford Flathead V-8, and would be able to express it with the motor in the '48. A stock 255ci '52 Mercury engine was used as a basis for the build, which started with a leg up since it already comes from Ford with a coveted 4-inch stroke crankshaft. From there, Automotive Machining in Stephenville bored the cylinders 0.060-inch over for a final displacement of 265 inches and installed Egge pistons and an Isky 77B camshaft for the "right" sound. On top of all this is a set of Offenhauser 7.4:1 aluminum heads and an aluminum four-barrel Sharp intake. To back the 3/4-race flathead, Edd found and rebuilt a T5 transmission out of a '85 S-10.
As far as bodywork goes, Edd was lucky because Myrtle was apparently a careful driver. Along with the lack of dents was a lack of rust, so after making sure the body was straight, he sprayed the truck in DuPont Cloud Mist Green. The stainless grille bars came from CW Moss and the front bumper is from Dennis Carpenter, while out back he had Brian Richardson make a custom roll pan that houses vintage Ford passenger-car taillights and covers the No Limit gas tank under the bed.
Inside the cab is where Edd planned on spending quite a bit of time, so a comfy bench seat was had from ISS and covered in Papyrus and Taupe Ultra-Leather along with the rest of the door panels by Cooks Upholstery in Murphy, Texas. Under the dash, Brian Richardson made the filler that houses the Coyote air conditioning controls, outlets, accessory VDO gauges, and the Pioneer stereo.
We're pretty sure that even in Myrtle's wildest dreams she never imagined her old truck would turn out to be such a stunner. It beats rotting away behind the garage waiting for that elusive "someday." Nice work, Edd! CT
Facts & Figures
n Edd Hopper
|CHASSIS ||Frame: stock |
Rearend / Ratio: Ford 9-inch / 3.25:1
Rear Suspension: parrallel leaf, Chassis Engineering
Rear brakes: Ford drum
Front suspension: Chassis Eng. IFS
Front brakes: 11" GM disc
Steering box: Unisteer
Front wheels: Wheel Vintiques steel, 15x7
Rear wheels: Wheel Vintiques steel, 15x7
Front tires: Diamond Back Classics WW, 205/70R15
Rear tires: Diamond Back Classis WW, 235/70R15
Gas tank: No Limit, under bed
| Transmission: '85 S-10 T5 |
|BODY ||Style: F-1 |
Fenders front / rear: stock, steel
Grille: stainless steel, CW Moss
Bed wood: White Oak, by owner
Bodywork and paint by: owner
Paint type / Color: DuPont / Cloud Mist Green
Headlights / Taillights: stock / '46-48 Ford passenger car
Bumpers: Dennis Carpenter / custom by Brian Richardson
|INTERIOR ||Gauges: stock and VDO |
Air conditioning: Coyote
Steering wheel: Lecarra '40 Ford
Steering column: Limeworks
Seat: ISS bench
Upholstery by: Cooks Upholstery, Murphy, TX
Material / Color: UltraLeather / Papyrus and Taupe
Carpet: light brown tweed