Riz, I’m just starting a classic truck project (a ’48 Ford F-1) and I’m having a hard time deciding how to go about modifying the chassis and running gear to make it handle and perform more like a late-model pickup. If you were planning a project like this what would you do? Knowing you can’t give me step-by-step instruction I’d be interested to hear the general direction you’d take in hopes it’ll get me off the starting line and into the garage. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Art, I’d be happy to give you a bit of a heads-up on how I’d tackle the project, just keep in mind that it’s only my personal preference. That said, I actually put together what I thought was a nice ’48 F-1 myself some years back, so here’s what I did:
At the time, I chose to toss the front end and replace the solid axle with an aftermarket Mustang II-based IFS setup. I kept the rear a parallel leaf design but swapped the rear end for an 8-inch from a Granada and mounted it above the springs rather than below ’em like it was from the factory. Drivetrain-wise, I swapped out the flathead six that was in it originally and installed a 289/C4 combo in its place. The small V-8 and automatic made the truck really reliable and plenty powerful for around town and highway cruising and the IFS and disc brakes made it drive and handle great. If this sounds like it might be the way you’d wanna go I’d suggest sitting down with a copy or two of CT and checking out the component options you’ll find offered by any number of our advertisers. You’ll be surprised at how cost effective it can be going the aftermarket route—if you stick to the entry-level components they all offer. I hope this helps you make a good choice or two and that it gets ya out into the garage swinging wrenches instead of putting the project off while ya sit there scratching your head. Best of luck, and keep me in the loop as things progress. RIZ
Jim, I have just finished a frame-off restoration of a ’46 Ford pickup. It isn’t a professional restoration and not one of those multi-thousand dollar builds. I did the majority of the body work and paint and mainly farmed out the mechanicals to a couple of local shops. I think it is a truck that could possibly serve for an article in your CLASSIC TRUCKS magazine. It’s unusual since you don’t see many intra-war trucks and I can’t remember ever seeing a ’46 in your magazine. I’m a retired physician and this is my first attempt at an automotive restoration. I was wondering how you determine and what criteria you use to select trucks for your magazine. I’m sure you have many out there that would like to have their handiwork featured. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks for your input in advance.
Hi Phil, Thanks for taking the time to drop me a line. There’s not too much in the way of hard criteria when it comes to featuring a pickup. The best way to have one considered for a feature in CT is to email me a few images and a bit of background info on it. If it’s something that really catches our eye then we’ll get back to you and try to figure out a way to get it professionally photographed.
Owner submissions and trucks found at events throughout the year is how we find virtually all of our feature truck material, so attending multiple regional events during the driving season increases the odds of getting noticed and shot. I hope to see some images of your ’46 soon. RIZ