Making progress on the Ford


THE OLD FORD PICKUP is coming apart fast now. I gutted the cab this week, getting it ready to pull off the chassis so I can weld in a new floor and shoot a fresh coat of acrylic enamel inside and out.You can see a big hunk of the right-side floor pan missing.

Big safety improvement that Ford introduced in 1948: Gas tank behind the seat instead of under it. That way you get blown out through the windshield instead of up through the roof. Heeey, I can see my hooouse from heeere!

I want to be able to run the motor this winter when the truck is stripped down to the chassis, so I bundled up the cab wires and hooked up the instrument cluster and water temp gauges. Separate gauge for each engine head.

Today I pulled the rear fenders off the box and ground the heads off the eight bolts that hold the box to the chassis. Ground out quite a few rusty bolts today. I was waiting for my beard to catch fire, kept smelling bits of hot metal in it. Should have worn a mask. My lungs feel like crud.

The box is kindly heavy. I used 2×4’s to lever it off the chassis.

Ryan and Russell Hanley stopped by and we turned the box upside down so I can grind out the bolts that secure the white oak boards to the frame.

The toll of 15 New England winters! Lots of welding ahead on this rig. Those two quarter-inch holes are where the left tailgate hinge bolts up.

Tailgate, hinges, plates and brake light. Just one brake light in ’49. And one windshield wiper. Passenger doesn’t need to see in the rain. And no seat belts. Drive accordingly.

Is it my imagination or is the old bomb smiling?

Tony DePaul, Cranston, Rhode Island, November 5, 2011









About Tony

The occasional scribblings of Tony DePaul, 62, father, grandfather, husband, freelance writer in many forms, ex-journalist, long-distance motorcycle rider, motorcycle wrecker, motorcycle rebuilder, collector of surgical hardware, blue routes wanderer, outdoorsman, topo map bushwhacker, handy with a wrench, hammer, chainsaw, rifle, former photographer, printer, logger, truck driver, truck mechanic, jet fueler… blah blah...
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6 Responses to Making progress on the Ford

  1. William Stenger says:

    It looks like you have a lot for work cut out for you Tony (pun intended), but I know you can handle it! Your project reminds me of the Plymouth I owned before I got married. I took it apart and did not put it together again for many, many months. I don’t think I want to do that again. I like your idea of keeping the gauges and harness hooked up for the winter. Good luck and keep the pictures coming.

  2. Tarquino F. Flores says:

    I showed the pics to my girfriend and she sayed “that truck is too old” y told her “is not old….is classic”. Nice to hear about you, Tony. 🙂

  3. Mike Bullock says:

    All that rust just breaks my heart.

  4. Eric Benjamin says:

    You need to stick a 428 Cobra Jet and C6 in that puppy!

  5. Ellie McCarthy says:

    Hi Tony: Looking at your truck reminds me of my sister Peg’s car. It’s a Toyota Tercel that she bought in 1994, so it’s 18 years old and still running. When she bought it, it was fire engine red, but now, it looks like your truck when you bought it, a pale shade of pink

    This year, Peg decided she didn’t want to drive anymore, so she gave her pink car to her daughter in New Jersey. Believe it or not, the car made it all the way from Pawtucket to Burlington, N.J., which is south Jersey and it’s running just great.

    Just one thing, it only has one airbag, for the driver. I guess in that year, Toyota didn’t include airbags for passengers.

    It’s a relic, but it runs great.

    God luck with your truck


    • Tony says:

      Hi Ellie,

      Technology marches on. The truck predates seatbelts. I can’t imagine why I didn’t put belts in it in 1995. Definitely will this time.


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