This section of my web site is going to be dedicated to following my progress on my latest major project, a 1936 Ford Pickup. I hope to add updates over time, showing my progress as I wade through a project I'm sure will be well above my head. But, hey - I've never let that stop me before... This will hopefully be both a journal and a reference for myself, and maybe in the process I can educate or entertain some others as well as myself. I expect this to take several years, and progress will be sporadic, dictated by either how much spare time I have and how much spare cash I have to spend. Hell, I still have yet to finish the shop in which this thing will be built!
I'm also going to use this opportunity to get to know some new (for me!) web software. I'm sure there will be mistakes, so please be patient!
First off, I don't claim to be any kind of expert. I'm sure that more experienced rodders out there will be horrified by the tales I'm sure to spin. In my defense, I used to be a bit of a motorhead... Nothing much, but had the bug enough to build a couple hot rods when I was younger, including a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T and a 1969 Camaro RS. I then delved into Harleys when my brother and I bought an old 1973 FLH and a stroker in a hardtail frame, both of which gave us a great amount of wrenching experience. I also wrenched and painted quite a bit on other things like old Chevelles and dirt bikes (back when I was young enough to take the abuse from them!).
While I still own the Hog, even after more than 20 years, the hot rods are long gone. But that bug has been growing as of late...
To explain just how I started this project, I need to explain just how it came about. My nephew has recently taken possession of my dad's old 1936 Chevy Standard. Unfortunately a tree had fallen in a windstorm and damaged the grille and grille shell, so I would occasionally peek around in the local trade papers to see if one ever came up. I spotted a '36 Chevy grille in an ad for a long list of various parts for sale in a town about 3 hours south of here I thought I would check out. I wouldn't normally have driven that far to look at a grille, but this line (the same ad, just a little further down from the the '36 Chevy grille) of the ad got stuck in my head and it got me curious:
... bodies and parts. Fords: (2) 1936 pickups; 1938 4 door, 1938...
I have always wanted a '36 ford pickup. It's a project that's been in the back of my mind for a very long time, and I thought I would take advantage of the situation to take a look and see what he had.
Getting the Truck
It was just before Thanksgiving, 2006, when Sandy and I made the trip down. The fellow doing the selling was a "good ole boy" - a kind of guy I grew up around, and was an old rodder from a different era. At least I was in familiar territory with him. When we looked at the '36 Chevy grille, it was plain to see it was the wrong one. The grille was for a pickup, not a car, so I wasn't going to find the grille for my nephew that I hoped I would. So, I went on to ask him about the two '36 ford pickups he had listed in the ad.
He said that it was really more like 1-1/2 pickups. It had been two complete pickups not long before... Seems some fellow from Oregon had wanted just the cab of one of them for a "rat rod" he was building, and had left the rest of the pickup with him. What he had left had been disassembled by the previous owner who had given up plans to restore it. I asked to see what all was left. How bad could it be? My first view was a bit disappointing, to say the least:
There it was, pretty much just the cab alone, and looking in pretty poor shape, and COMPLETELY disassembled. This didn't look too good, so I asked him about the rest of the pickup. He brought me to the back of the yard, where we found this:
Well, at least there was a frame - but things weren't looking too much better. I thought he said he had two pickups! Anyway, next he leads me on to an old bus (you can see the front of it in the photo above). Inside the bus was the rest of the two pickups:
I did a quick inventory of everything I could think of, and it seemed to me that most of the parts were actually there. There was 2 hoods, 2 sets of fenders, 2 radiators... you get the picture... of just some of the major parts. There really was only one truck, with a few spare items. Seeing the thing was mostly there, I took a closer look at the cab, and it looks a little bit rougher than it really is. It's been sandblasted, but then not painted and left outside, so rusted quickly. In reality, there is bad rust in only 2 areas, the rocker panels and the front cab corners. One piece I noticed is missing is the dash panel...
I had to think on it for a while. I checked prices, and thought of buying a '36 or a '40 I saw on Ebay until the price for each went through the roof. A week before Christmas I figured what the hell. I called him back and bought the pickup for too much money (but still far, far less than the ones on Ebay!). I opted just to buy one of each of the duplicate parts he had, and risk it on getting what's left.
The seller was gracious enough to deliver the truck to my house when the trailer I had lined up for making the journey threw a bearing and was unavailable. After a little detective work, I found the truck's identification number which is located in three locations on the frame - all on the top drivers side... I found the one just behind the front wheel. Then we compared the two titles he had, and got the correct one. Seems this truck was last titled in 1972, and last license in 1977, so it's been sitting for almost half of it's 70 year life span.
Assessing the Parts
The next stage (or should that be the "first" stage?) will be to go through, assess, and catalogue all of the parts I have. I think the best route will be to try find a body and chassis parts catalog, if I can, and then go through each part - photographing and cataloguing it for later reference and possible re-sale, depending upon the route I choose to rebuild the old girl. I will add more to this part of the page when I get to it, and will provide a summary here with links to more specific sections for anybody interested.
I did take a closer look at the cab, and it looks a little bit rougher than it really is. It's been sandblasted, but then not painted and left outside, so rusted quickly. In reality, there is bad rust in only 2 areas, the rocker panels and the front cab corners.
Planning the Project
It's generally a good idea to plan out just how the truck is going to be built before diving in too deep... There are many options to consider. This section will also be updated as I know more, and summarized here with links to more specific sections as I see they are needed.