Ron Ping did the required...
Ron Ping did the required bodywork before spraying the Super Jet Black DuPont paint. A Rootlieb hood was used, and Tru Spoke wheels (14s and 15s) were wrapped with 185/70-15 and 225/70-15 rubber.
A call to my brother in Colorado in 1974 was all it took. I asked him to leisurely look for an old rust-free Ford Model A truck. Within a week he called back and informed me he bought a '29 Ford roadster pickup and he wanted it out of his garage! So a friend built a trailer and we left Kansas City for Denver.
The truck had been raced (a Chevy 409 was stuffed into the engine compartment) and wide slicks were mounted on the back. Ron Miller of Liberty, Missouri, offered to slide in a Chevy 283 for the 409, but the engine was burned so he took a check for the 283.
Then it was time to restore and rebuild. We boxed the frame, put in a Corvair front suspension as well as a Powerglide transmission and a Ford rearend. Randy Barnes, also of Liberty, massaged the aged steel body and shot several coats of yellow lacquer on the body and black lacquer on the fenders and running boards. The '35 wire wheels were added and a roll 'n' pleat interior adorned the restored truck.
A tan-colored pleated 'n'...
A tan-colored pleated 'n' rolled interior is a nice contrast to the inky-black exterior color.
Once the original-looking Ford was finished, I found I was moving to New Jersey to accept a new job; the truck only had 23 miles on the odometer. We packed up the moving van and headed toward Montclair, but I soon resigned from that job and moved back to Kansas City.
As we were driving back to Kansas City, I looked out the side mirror of the rented moving van to see my recently restored roadster pickup had fallen off the tow dolly and struck a guardrail in the Pocono mountain area of Pennsylvania. The accident had happened in a slow-moving construction zone and the barrier had stopped the truck from plunging into a chasm. I was dumbfounded. What do I do now? Two young men in a beaten-up pickup truck suggested their father, who was a mechanic, might be able to help and he arrived with a tow truck and loaded up the truck. I followed to where they worked on the vehicle all day Sunday by repairing the suspension with parts from his junk yard, fixed a wheel, and then chained the truck down for a safe drive home.
Stewart Warner gauges are...
Stewart Warner gauges are used on the dash, with the odometer rolled to 23 miles during the last rebuild to remember the fateful moving day when the truck fell off a moving tow dolly. Carriage Works supplied the steering wheel.
I asked, "What do I owe you?" Looking directly at his sons he said "You don't owe me anything. I don't believe in working on Sunday, but my two boys don't agree with me. You owe them $80."
The damaged Model A then limped to Easterwood Chassis of Raytown, Missouri. He had just opened a new shop and it seemed this would be a great first project. However, he got so busy the truck just sat. Some years later, he started on the project by ordering a Pete & Jakes frame and suspension parts. All the parts were chromed, polished, stainless steel, or powdercoated. Easterwood assembled the suspension along with building a recessed firewall for the polished Chevy 327 engine and added floorpans for the Lokar shifter and pedals.
After a few years the truck was trailered to Ron Ping of Kansas City. He stripped the yellow paint, straightened the body, and spayed several coats of DuPont black before color sanding and polishing it all. Also, a custom gas tank was built, a Painless Wiring kit was used, and a new top was stitched by Grandview Auto trim.
Tru Spoke wheels were attached and Wilwood disc brakes were used. A ceramic-coated exhaust exits from under the running board and a nifty stake bed insert was designed to cover the stake bed pockets, but it can be removed so a stake rail can be used.
When the oval-shaped speedometer was rebuilt, I was asked if I wanted it recalibrated to 0 miles. I replied "Leave it at 23, for that is where it was when it slammed into the guardrail 25 years ago! Now we enjoy adding accident-free miles while cruising the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City
Looking For Nice Hot Rods
We want photos of your street rod, whether it's under construction or finished. Or maybe you know of a place where some early iron is just "rusting in peace." Send us a handful of good, sharp, 4x6-inch photo (not inkjet) prints in the mail to the address below or email digital images (each should be least 2 MB in size, or just set your camera at its highest setting) of the front and rear three-quarter views, the engine, and the interior. Camera phone shots aren't good enough quality. Email the info about you and your car to email@example.com, or mail the prints and specs to: STREET RODDER / Early Iron, 774 S. Placentia Ave., Placentia, CA 92870.
Sorry, prints will not be returned.
Here's Gary at Easterwood's...
Here's Gary at Easterwood's shop with his truck almost 10 years ago. It would soon be getting a Pete & Jakes chassis with a Super Bell dropped axle and a Chevy Nova 10-bolt rearend.
Here is Gary's brother sitting...
Here is Gary's brother sitting in the roadster pickup in 1974 in Denver, CO, just after buying it for Gary.