There's no better way for a shop to showcase their capabilities than to have their own promotional vehicle, which they can present at car shows and on the street. Renowned custom car builder Gene Winfield recognized the value of having a hopped-up shop truck back in the late '50s when he designed and built his 1935 Ford hauler complete with a healthy 4-inch chop, dramatic stance, and signature vibe for which he has become famous. A regular at shows and cruise nights, it not only exemplified Winfield's talents, but also served a utilitarian purpose.
As was the fate with many custom vehicles back in the day, it was eventually posted in the back of Hot Rod magazine's Hot Rod Mart for sale in 1963 for $1,875. Since the truck was not mothballed away once sold, it wound up serving duty on the circuit in one form or another for quite a while.
It was great to catch original builder Gene Winfield and current owner/restorer Gary Hatfi
The passing years eventually led to a few non-invasive changes. After a couple of owners and surviving two floods, it was pretty thrashed, beaten on, and left for dead. Sitting dormant since 1965, the truck was discovered in Oregon less engine and transmission, and purchased by Gary Hatfield of Hatfield Restorations in Canton, Texas, who took on the challenge of bringing the truck back to its original glory. Since the truck went through a few changes while owned and shown by Winfield, Hatfield decided to bring it back in its first iteration circa '61. This was as it appeared on the pages of Custom Rodder magazine in October of that year, Flathead powered and painted in Cinnamon Bronze Candy.
The full-blown restoration was benefited by the fact that the truck was still intact with many of its classic parts still bolted to the body and chassis. Once it was completely disassembled by the team at Hatfield's, it was stripped of its existing deteriorated 40-coat lacquer Candy Blue hue, revealing its original Candy Cinnamon Bronze color in the process. Finally in bare metal, the team artfully restored each panel while working along with Winfield who graciously answered any question they had during the process. The truck's signature 4-inch chop, flowing '40 Chevy truck rear fenders, louvered hood top, and rolled rear pan set the tone as the team worked tirelessly to bring it back to life. There were a number of obstacles that needed to be addressed with the original front nerf bars, exhaust, and wheel covers missing. The team at Hatfield's researched each individual issue, and started with reconstructing the tube and mesh front nerf bars from scratch. With only minimal portions of the custom side exhaust still with the truck, they tracked down some of the now-rare ribbed exhaust pipe to reform the alluring pipes and capture their original elegance. Finally Winfield was able to help out in the reconstruction of the stylish wheel covers by supplying Hatfield with four center bullets to mount to the '50 Merc steelies. From there, Hatfield worked with Mooneyes who cut the aluminum center discs while Advanced Custom Chrome created 16 bullets per wheel to complete the caps.
H&H Flatheads built this dazzling 255ci Flathead to mirror the original engine. Breathing
When sold by Winfield, the truck was powered by a 265ci Corvette mill. In order to bring the original roar back a call was placed to H&H Flatheads for one of their highly polished and detailed 255ci V-8s, which is backed by a Hatfield-prepped '40 Ford transmission. With the original spine and suspension completed, the driveline was lowered into place. To complete the truck, a matching rolled interior was stitched up by Hatfield's in the correct '57 Olds gold and white Naugahyde.
Encountering the truck in person is nothing short of breathtaking and the team at Hatfield Restorations should be applauded for their painstaking efforts through the restoration process. Seeing Winfield with the truck again . . . priceless!
Winfield's original design is nothing short of breathtaking. Flowing '40 Chevrolet rear fe
One of the many signature designs on the truck include the molded custom ribbed side exhau
The team at Hatfield's masterfully recreated the original interior using '57 Olds gold and