It has been a LONG while since my last post, since I bought the truck of my dreams. 4 months! The truck had a "working" engine when we bought it...supposedly. In actuality it was far from working. Whoever put the engine in there wired things all over the place and it was shorting out my starter. The previous owner told us we needed a new starter. Two starters later we figured that wasn't in fact the issue. The engine was not in good shape and all the weird wiring was messing things up. We decided a professional was the best person for the job so off to the shop it went. Several months and several thousand dollars later, HENRI, yes I named my handsome truck Henri, has a new engine, a rebuilt transmission, new seats (third row from an old Suburban), new tires and new rims!
Upon it's return to us we were able to install door handles, and one door lock. Apparently these trucks never had a lock on the outside of the drivers side door. It was for safety purposes. They wanted people to exit and enter through the passenger side door so they were standing in the street to get in or out. Weird huh? We didn't figure that out until after we drilled a hole in the door. Just one thing to add to the list for body work later. My husband had to learn a new skill to weld a frame together for my new bench seats. Our neighbor, Scott, was nice enough to let us use his tools and show him how to do it. We also put a steering wheel gear indicator thing on so you can tell when it's in park, reverse, or drive...apparently we don't have a neutral so on the indicator the neutral is our drive. Fun right? HAHA! Gotta love vintage restoration projects and all the quirks that come with it.
We still need to do a ton of body work, move the gas tank line, line the bed, and completely line the entire inside and work on the dash a bit. BUT..... IT DRIVES!!!! I got to drive my truck for the first time ever yesterday! I took him to go get tacos with my favorite person, my loving husband.
A week ago I bought the car of my dreams on a whim. I have always dreamt of restoring an old Ford Pickup Truck from the 50's, but I found one even older! It's a 1949 Ford F1 mod.
I love the look of the old cars but the modern amenities of the new. I wanted the body of the pickup, but something that had power steering, power breaks, power windows, AC, navigation or backup cameras, and it had to be automatic because I couldn't drive stick to save my life. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find that at an affordable price? Well we did! This handsome fella had everything I wanted!
Sounds too good to be true? This truck is FAR from perfect. Yes, it has a ton of amenities that I was looking for, but it's a bit of a Franketruck. That's what they call trucks that are pieced together from various bits and pieces of old trucks. For some Ford purists that would be a huge turnoff, but for me that's kind of what I was looking for since I wanted a modified version of an old truck. This truck body is sitting on a 1983 Ford pickup truck frame which is why I have power steering and power breaks. Makes driving a lot easier than the old 1949 frame. The front was patched up with some shotty body work and putty. there are definite areas that look to be rusted out in the corners of the body. One of the doors doesn't quite line up perfectly. The hood doesn't like up perfectly. The front wheel fenders don't match the back. One of the swing windows on the passenger side doesn't close or match up to the frame. It has its issues to say the least. This Sunday a mobile mechanic is coming by to check out the engine as it has some gremlins that are sucking the battery dry. Not sure what's going on and we want to get it checked out by a professional to ensure that its safe to drive. One of my tires is also flat because there's a leak near the rim. I want to replace all the rims and tires anyways so no big deal. It has a far way to go, but it was affordable and way cheaper than buying a fully restored pickup.
We have given ourselves a year and a half to make it ready to be driven as my daily vehicle. So many people buy these cars but never drive them. I want to drive the hell out of it! We have a leased vehicle and that lease is up in February 2021 so we have until that date to make this one what I want it to be. It's not a lot of time, but we hope we can invest the time and money into it to make it just awesome. And who knows, I might be able to work something out to make it my mobile shop for the business...
I plan on documenting the process all the way so you can follow along with me and maybe learn from my mistakes or give me advice if I'm doing something completely wrong. I hope you enjoy my journey through this restoration adventure.