In the time before convenience stores with gas pumps ruled, the land was populated with service stations staffed by many young gearheads. The local station owner always seemed to have a pickup truck of some kind. Looking back on it, many of them were hot rods or good hot rod material.
One of those icons, a '32 Ford pickup, had been put into service at a Shell station I worked at in the mid-'60s. Typical of those shop trucks, it was transformed from your average beater to its new role with a poppy red paint job and a new interior. Over the years the trusty Ford wore several sets of mags or wire wheels, some new shoes for the old parts runner. It became forever associated with the owner and the business.
Ford's '32-34 model has always been a favorite candidate for hot rodding. Our '34 version here has had as many alterations as a rental tuxedo, not that the original was a bad design; it is just as one modification is made, then another helps the theme. Overall we have given it a car-like roof. The visor was eliminated and the front of the roof reshaped to utilize a passenger car windshield. A 3-inch top chop is the major change with the windshield posts angled to mimic the grille. The bed is shortened, the new hood lengthened, and the body moved back-enough metal movements to modernize but not disguise. By having a longer hood we can modify the firewall for both maximum legroom and engine space. To accent the front, a new grille insert and aftermarket headlights are installed. The rear view is finished off with a roll pan including modern lighting. A hidden license plate mount helps keep it clean.
As a shop truck, reliability was foremost, and our shop truck ancestor had a 21-stud flathead that always answered the call. Our modern re-creation is all Ford with a 5.0 and AOD to an 8-inch rear axle. The wide wires sport modern rubber attached to an updated chassis with the mandatory dropped axle. The early Ford-derived running gear is destined to live for a long while in the 21st century.
I know what became of the service stations...I wonder what happened to that red '32?