Most rodders like roadsters but, after you've owned a few, what else can you build? That was the question facing Gary Meitner from Great Bend, Kansas. Having been involved with hot rods for nearly the past five decades, Gary has seen a few cars and owned more than a few, too.
A '69 Chevy 350 resides up front, and is connected to an '89 700-R4 trans that was assembl
But a desire to have something a little different than what had gone before is what motivated him to build this '32 Ford roadster pickup. At first glance, his pickup looks like it has all the right pieces in all the right places but, the closer you look, you see nearly everything on this car is not where ol' Henry Ford originally designed it to be. Gary began his project by gathering parts from different years and figuring out what worked well together.
The best place to start to describe what's different on Gary's Deuce is the chassis. It's set up on a 111-inch wheelbase, 5 inches over stock. The 'rails are from ASC, and were boxed, pinched, and Z'd by Cornhusker Rod & Custom. From there the owner added his own flat front crossmember, center X-member, and raised rear crossmember, as well as C-notching the rear.
Out back a Halibrand quickie (3.55:1 gears and 31-spline axles) was used, as was a Total Cost Involved Engineering antiroll bar, Pete & Jakes shocks, and Posies quarter-elliptic springs. He made his own Panhard bar and dialed in a set of Ford drum brakes.
The front suspension centers on a 4-inch-drop axle attached to a set of '48 Ford wishbones. Gary also cut some stainless steel tubing at an angle and inserted sections into several spots on each wishbone for some unique-looking lightening holes. All of the suspension parts were powdercoated matte black by Pro Coaters of Augusta, Kansas. Next a monoleaf spring and another set of P&J shocks went in, and '51 Ford F3 backing plates were used with a set of Buick finned drums to supply the "whoa." The '36 Plymouth wheel centers were dropped into a set of 15- and 16-inch hoops by Rally America in Fresno, California, and then wrapped with Vredsestein 155R-15 tires up front and Goodyear 245/75-16s out back.
Black leather, stitched up by Steve's Upholstery, is used throughout the interior, from th
... A pair of gauges (fuel and volt) is mounted below the dash to the left of the '40 Ford
The bed is a heavily modified '40 Ford unit from MAC's Antique Auto Parts, and it works we
Though the bed is 1940, the tailgate is 1937. The rolled rear pan, frenched license plate,
Power-wise, Gary didn't think his truck needed a big motor, so a bored (0.030 over) 350 did the trick. Linus Bogner, from Medicine Lodge, Kansas, did the necessary machine work and assembly on the V-8, and he used a COMP Cams bumpstick, a single Holley 600 carb, and a PerTronix electronic ignition system to get things going. A stainless steel exhaust was tack welded together by the owner with Jackson Motor Sports in Great Bend doing the final TIG welding. John Koochel, also from Great Bend, assembled the transmission, which is a 700-R4 out of an '89 Chevy.
So far, so good. All the parts sound like a normal build, but here's where it gets a little trickier. The roadster's cab is a fiberglass unit from Gibbons, and has been extended 2 inches behind the doors for a little more legroom in the cockpit. A 'glass '40 dash was also sectioned in, and a steel firewall was pushed forward 3 inches, which required the hood top to be longer by 3 inches. Gary contacted Hoosier Hoods (Richmond, Indiana) who sold him a stock-length, one-piece hood top, which Gary then cut lengthwise and, after adding a Hoosier Hoods hinge, added the extra steel needed to make it all fit. The hood sides were made by the owner, but the louvers were added by Wichita's Rich McGreger, and a '32 grille shell and insert came from Vintique.
The bed cover is a roof section of a '63 Plymouth station wagon, fabbed by Gary.
The Halibrand quickie (with 3.55:1 gears) was fitted for 31-spline axles and works with a
The bed is another story. It's a steel '40 Ford unit from MAC's Antique Auto Parts, and it was not only shortened 28 inches but sectioned 2 inches, and a '37 Ford truck tailgate from MAC's was also attached. Then, to top it off, Gary made a bed cover out of a roof section from a '63 Plymouth wagon.
Gary Meitner fabbed many of his own pieces for his car, including the subtle Pitman arm fo
The 'glass dash holds an OTB Gear aluminum insert that contains a trio of Stewart Warner gauges, with another set of two gauges found under the dash and to the left of the column. Rich Fox, from Affordable Street Rods in Great Bend worked with Gary on creating and installing the wiring panel. The '40 Ford steering wheel copies the '40 theme of the bed and the dash, and Gary also made his own bench seat, to which Steve's Upholstery added the pleated black leather-the same material used on the door panels. To literally top off the car, the owner crafted a top for his ride and had Steve Stegman cover it.
The truck's first road trip was to the Goodguys' Kansas City show where Gary received a STREET RODDER Top 100 award, given to rides that best exemplify what hot rodding is all about. If you see this truck at a show or spy it parked at the local burger stand, make sure you take enough time to drink it all in-you'll be as impressed as we were!