As a youngster, Brad Dennis was enamored with Ford trucks. It may have been a result of riding in his dad’s F-100 as he grew up, or maybe he just appreciated good ol’ American workhorses. Whatever spurred his interest, it was at the ripe old age of thirteen that he purchased his own classic pickup—a well worn ’53 Ford F-100.
At that time, Ol’ Blue (Brad’s name for his mechanical pal) was in need of some TLC, to say the least, but that fact only added to Brad’s determination. With help from his dad, he and Brad found a good running 302 and three-speed, dropped it into the truck, and did a bit of electrical wiring so it was at least drivable. Lots of neighborhood joyrides later, Brad enlisted the help of his dad’s cousin (a body man by trade) to prep and paint the pickup while another cousin helped with some electrical work. That help, along with a lot of elbow grease by Brad and his dad, resulted in a neat driver. By the time Brad hit sixteen the truck was pretty close to where he wanted it, heck, some new wheels and tires and a bit of interior work and Ol’ Blue could have been deemed finished.
Unfortunately, within just a few weeks of getting the truck really road ready, a severe storm made its way through town blowing two large trees right down on top of his pride and joy. The trees not only crushed a good portion of the truck, it devastated Brad as well. In the days that followed, Brad’s folks gave him a choice—he could put Ol’ Blue out to pasture and they’d help him buy something else, or they’d help him find the parts to put the pickup back together again. Well, just as any dyed-in-the-wool classic trucker would do, Brad chose the repair route over the replacement route. Over the next year or so, Brad and his dad replaced and/or repaired a large part of the damage. A family friend came to the rescue as well, offering to prep and repaint the truck for a reasonable price. Brad took him up on the offer and almost a year to the day later Brad and Ol’ Blue were back on the road again.
Brad drove the truck everywhere and anywhere over the next few years. In fact, he and his future wife went on their first date in Ol’ Blue. Apparently, his girlfriend Jenny took a liking to both Brad and his truck and, after a while, ultimately agreed to become Brad’s wife. After the wedding, the couple made a nice life for themselves and as they started a family Ol’ Blue began to get less and less attention over time. Even though the pickup wasn’t his main focus anymore, Brad still maintained his interest in classic trucks even attending the F-100 Supernationals to keep his interest alive.
After two beautiful children and the building of a new house, Brad decided it was well past time to turn his attention back to Ol’ Blue. It was 2002 when the third round of rodstoration began. Brad’s dad was again there to help, but the situation changed a bit from the last two go-rounds—this time Brad talked his dad into rodstoring his own old truck (the ’72 Ford Brad had ridden in as a youngster). So this time, the pair got down to work—each one on their own classic pickup instead of just Brad’s. Over the following five or six years, the duo worked on both trucks at the same time, offering each other a helping hand as they both progressed and enjoyed the quality time the project offered them both. Upon completion of both trucks, Brad reflected on the task and quickly realized that a large and important portion of both tasks was the quality time and pleasant memories both Brad and his dad enjoyed during the process. CT
Brad and Jenny Dennis
1953 Ford F-100
boxed, Fat Man front crossmember, custom trans crossmember
Rearend / Ratio:
parallel leaf, Mid-Fifty lowering hangers
Fat Man Fabrication MII-style IFS, Total Cost Involved control arms, MII spindles
American Racing Torque Thrust, 15x7
American Racing Torque Thrust, 15x8
BFGoodrich T/A, 225/70R15
BFGoodrich T/A, 255/70R15
’89 Ford 351W
Manifold / Induction:
: Flow Tech
Exhaust / Mufflers:
custom 2½”/Flowmaster 40-series
’78 Ford C6
rebuilt by Gary & George Wireman, Lexington, KY
rolled pans, filled stake pockets, shaved, relocated fuel filler, smoothed firewall
Fenders front / rear:
Midwest Early Ford
Bodywork and paint by:
Paint type / Color:
DuPont/Ford Grabber Blue
Headlights / Taillights:
TPI-Tech, Mid-Fifty insert
’78 Ford Bronco
’89 Ford pickup
Mike Horn, Irvine, KY