It was about 7 p.m. on a workday; I was driving in the slow lane for some odd reason when I spotted this slow-moving red pickup. The truck had a slightly different take than what I have seen before on the old F-1 body styles. The rear end had a cool look about it and when I pulled alongside it I noticed the wide but smaller wheels. I slowed down and followed him like a hawk until he pulled off the freeway. Somehow I managed to get alongside him and ask him if the truck has ever been in a magazine; he said "No." So I tossed him my card, and asked him to call me if he was interested. Figuring he would never call, I waited a few days and then gave up hope. Then, the following week he called and introduced himself as Mike Poppe. "I was the one you had thrown your card to on the off ramp," he says. The rest was history.
When Mike decided he wanted to add another vehicle to his collection he was on the look out for a truck that would catch his eye. He already owned a '46 Ford coupe that he took to different car shows throughout the year but he was now looking for a truck to show off. It is funny what unique characteristics about a vehicle can catch our eye and make us say that is the one. This was true in Mike's case. Although you don't see too many front bumper covers on older vehicles, Mike has a three-piece bra set on his '46 coupe. While he was at the Cruisin For a Cure car show in September 2008 a '48 Ford F-1 with a front bumper cover caught his eye. Mike saw it as a sign and said that's the one. He soon became the new proud owner of the F-1.
Purchasing a truck at a car show has its perks; mainly there are a lot of nice vehicles to choose from. The truck was in good condition and was 80 percent complete when Mike took it home. Since this was not a ground-up build he focused on the things that needed to be fixed and what restorations he wanted to do to make the truck his own.
Mike first took care of the radiator and fan, because at idle it would overheat. Mike also noticed that most of the gauges didn't work so he removed the instrument cluster, and then realized that a few of them were not hooked up yet. With the appropriate senders like fuel, oil pressure, and coolant temp Mike was able to see some feedback from the dash. New Monro-Matic shocks were put on all four corners to help keep the cool 15-inch Bundik wheels on the ground. Speaking of wheels, they were the previous owner's decision to have put on the truck. Mike says he wasn't sure about them at first but now has grown to love them. A wide set of BFG Traction T/A tires were mounted on the Budnik Wheels and finish off the unique stance of the vehicle.