Hot rod fever is a strange affliction. Once contracted, there seems to be no known cure. Sure it may go dormant for a while, but often it returns later in life. Chuck Greene is an industrial arts teacher at York Technical College, so he spends a large part of his week teaching students how to design, fabricate, and assemble things. He draws on his own education to do this, but also has the benefit of real-world experience to help his students understand how things work.
Like many of us, Chuck became involved with modified cars in his teens, and during his high school years in the early 1970s a stable of modified Mustangs were his means of transportation and this continued through college. In 1986 Chuck decided to build his own house and part of the financing package included selling the Mustangs. By the time the house was completed his hot rod fever had gone into full remission. He actually thought he was over the whole car thing, but fate can change things.
In 2004 Chuck was transferred back into the automotive group at the college and this brought him in contact with two other industrial arts teachers who were real car guys. One was a drag racer, while the other spent nights and weekends building hot rods. As you can imagine it didn't take long for Chuck to get the fever again.
He decided it was time for a vintage truck, and after a lengthy search in magazines, newspapers, and the Internet, he located a rust-free 1952 Ford in Virginia Beach. The truck was a project truck that had never been started, so along with the truck he also received a truck full of parts. Since Chuck had a different vision for the F-1, most of the parts were sold off, making the truck an even better deal. Armed with a garage full of pickup parts and a stock chassis it was time to get to work. Before it was over virtually every inch of this truck would be changed.
If there were a class in college on proportions this truck would be in the textbook. When Chuck decided to shorten the bed 6 inches he thought it would look best if the frame was shortened an equal amount. This allows the rear fenders to be centered in the shortened bed.
After shortening the stock framerails 6 inches, a Mustang II front suspension was grafted to the frame. The frame was completely boxed before the independent rear suspension component mix of Thunderbird Super Coupe, Lincoln Mark VII, and Cobra Mustang were mounted with beautifully fabricated box tubing. The independent rear suspension combines a good ride with excellent handling. A network of triangulated tubing stiffens the frame. Behind the Super Coupe rear you'll find the owner-fabricated aluminum fuel tank. Thanks to the flip-up bed and tilt front end, we were able to see the amazing amount of work that went into developing this chassis.
Power for the truck comes in the form of a 1993 302ci Ford motor. Unlike the rest of the truck, the engine was used as a learning project at the college where students were allowed to help with the build. The 302 was filled with Speed-Pro parts, including the pistons, cam, and valves. The GT40P heads now carry Scorpion aluminum roller rockers under chrome valve covers. The 1993 Cobra fuel-injection system has been polished while a Summit Racing billet distributor combines with a Mallory box to make a reliable hot spark for the Taylor wires. Flowtech coated headers feed the exhaust through stainless steel MagnaFlow headers and a Northern aluminum radiator cools the motor. The owner-built 7-quart oil pan completes the engine.
A 1991 Ford AOD transmission is coupled to the small-block and provides the all-important overdrive for long trips. Inside the AOD Chuck installed a wide-ratio gearset, oversized servos, and a shift kit. A B&M Quick Silver shifter handles the final gear selection.
When it came time for the bodywork virtually every panel on the truck was modified. The pickup bed was shortened 6 inches and now tilts. The hood was pie-cut 3 inches and the vents were filled and every piece of trim was eliminated from the truck. The grille bar was smoothed and the headlights have been frenched. The driprails were removed from the cab and the doors now swing on hidden hinges. Then all of the fender seams were welded along with the hood seams and finally the hood, fenders, custom front pan were all joined into one piece that now tilts forward to access the motor. The amount of work involved is amazing, but what is more amazing is how well proportioned the truck is after all of this surgery. When all the bodywork was complete Chuck sprayed the Summit Racing Pacific Blue urethane. This was his first complete paintjob and like everything else on the truck, it was done in his home garage.
Moving inside the cab, Chuck decided it was time to try his hand at upholstery. A pair of seats from a 1996 S-10 pickup were mounted on either side of the owner-fabricated custom console. The dash was smoothed and filled with Auto Meter gauges while Southern Air maintains the cabin temperature. The steering column comes from a 1967 Mustang topped with a Bride steering wheel. Rattle Trap insulation was installed before the gray carpets, and the entire truck was wired by the owner. After seeing the fit, finish, and stitchwork on this interior, it is difficult to believe this is Chuck Greene's first attempt at upholstery work.
As you might imagine doing all this work in a home shop takes time. And even with help from Harry Partlow during the first few years, it still took seven full years to complete the project. Of course the effort was has been well worth the time invested. By planning and carefully constructing this truck Chuck and his wife Anita have been able to enjoy thousands of trouble-free miles attending cruise nights and national events near and far from their Rock Hill, South Carolina, home. The truck draws a crowd wherever it goes, which proves people know great industrial art when they see it.
1952 Ford F-1
Chuck and Anita Greene
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Wheelbase: shortened 6 inches
Modifications: boxed, front to rear, tube-frame X-members
Chassis plumbing: stainless steel
Rearend / Ratio: IRS from Thunderbird Super Coupe / 3.73:1
Rear brakes: Super Coupe disc
Front brakes: 11-inch GM disc brakes
Master cylinder: CPP
Steering box: '97 Mustang Cobra rack-and-pinion
Front wheels: American Muscle Bullet, 17x8
Rear wheels: American Muscle Bullet, 18x10
Front tires: Hankook 255-40-17
Rear tires: Hankook 295-45-18
Gas tank: owner-built aluminum
Make: Ford 302
Valve covers: polished and plated Mustang
Manifold / Induction: polished 1993 Cobra
Headers: Flowtech ceramic-coated
Exhaust / Mufflers: stainless MagnaFlow
Transmission: Lincoln AOD
Shifter: B&M Quick Silver
Style: F-1 pickup
Modifications: shaved door handles, hinges, driprails
Hood: sectioned, shaved, custom vents
Bodywork and paint by: Chuck Greene
Paint type / Color: Summit urethane / Pacific Blue
Headlights / Taillights: frenched front / stock led rear
Outside mirror: Swan
Dashboard: stock, smoothed
Insert / Gauges: Auto Meter Ultra-Lites
Stereo / Speakers: Sony / Usher / Dayco sub
Air conditioning: Southern Air
Steering wheel: Bride
Steering column: 1967 Mustang
Seats: 1996 S-10
Upholstery by: Chuck Greene
Material / Color: Ultraleather / gray
Carpet: Daytona, gray