"Now that's how a '40 Ford should look!" Those were Colorado rodder Doug Stallsworth's words when he first laid eyes on this pickup. Doug recalled his encounter when we mentioned we'd photographed the '40. He told us how the subtle hue, whitewalls 'n' caps, and killer stance just did it for him. It's easy to see why.
Later on at the same rod run, Doug told us how he wandered up to a similar truck and exclaimed, "Now that's how a '40 Ford should look!" This one also had a bitchin' stance and hue but was running Halibrands and radials. "What a coincidence," Doug thought. Then he sauntered around to the passenger side and saw the whitewalls, steelies, and hubcaps. It was the same truck.
John Davis is accustomed to the double-takes his truck gets. He admits that running different wheel-and-tire combos on each side is a bit of a gimmick, but he's got a pretty solid rationale. We'll let him take it from the beginning.
"My affliction with '40 Fords began in the mid-'60s when my brother handed me the keys to his coupe," John says. "He told me that, once I received my driver's license, he would give me the car. He probably thought I wouldn't take him up on the deal, but after many rebuilds that coupe remains my most prized possession.
"A companion pickup had been in the plans since the late '70s," John continues. "I'd been collecting parts since and finally accomplished my mission with the help of a couple donor trucks. One of the trucks was purchased in 1976. It was located on a Montana cattle ranch, where the rancher used it as a refuge if one of his bulls got feisty. I hauled the truck home, threw in a flathead, and drove it several months before storing it in my parents' garage. I was fresh out of college and job opportunities required a move, so the truck sat. I finally hauled it to Denver in the early '90s, where it sat again. In the meantime, another truck was located in Wyoming. The best pieces of both were kept, and what remained was parted with at the swap meet.
"During the buildup I wanted to maintain the traditional look but had a difficult time deciding on the wheel combination. I've always liked Halibrands, but it's hard to beat wide whites with rings and caps, especially on an old pickup. As a result, I decided to run them both until I made up my mind."
The rolling stock is key to the truck's appeal but far from the only cool factor. There's also the bitchin' stance, created with Chassis Engineering leaf springs, lowering blocks, and a '57 Ford rearend in back along with a Super Bell 4-inch dropped axle bouncing on a Posies spring (with two leafs removed) up front. (Wheel and tire sizes, by the way, are 15x6s with 165-15s and 15x8s with 235-15s.) The drivetrain is a simple 350/350 combo with Edelbrock induction and a Gennie shifter.
That perfect pigment is Elk Point Green, a '29 Model A color sprayed by Brad Aregood at R-Good's Auto Works. Brad also built the roll pan that hides behind the bumper and beneath the Mack Products bed. The Spartan cab sports a Glide seat wearing brown leather from The Golden Needle, Stewart-Warner gauges, Juliano's belts, Ron Francis wiring, and Pioneer tunes.
The last time we saw the '40 it still had both sets of wheels and tires on it. It seems John still hasn't made up his mind. Can you blame him?