Despite the fact that Johnny Morris' name is on the title and that he turned a pile of clean original pieces into this '29 Ford closed cab pickup, he considers this ride on loan from his good friend Steve Ginter. The story between the two friends goes back over a quarter of a century when Steve first found the truck in a North Dakota wrecking yard. Steve really wanted the truck but had no way to get it home. He eventually told someone else about the '29 and that person went and bought it and brought it back to Cincinnati, Ohio.
A few years later, Johnny and Steve were making their way through a local swap meet when they saw the pickup. It was unmistakably the same truck, as it still wore the decade's-old original "Sausage Delivery" lettering on the doors (You couldn't have paid me to take that off! -Ed.). Steve bought the pickup, disassembled it, and stored it in his basement for many years. Johnny tried many times to buy the ol' Ford and only recently did Steve finally give in.
Once in Johnny's possession, he wasted no time finally getting the old Ford back together, a task made much easier because of the pristine condition of the original sheetmetal. Ditching the original frame for a fresh chassis from Brookville Roadster also helped speed up the process. A 4-inch dropped Magnum I-beam suspended under one of POSIES' reversed eye springs sets the ride height up front. An 8-inch Ford rearend hooked to a pair of All American coilovers under a 2-inch kicked-up rear crossmember provides the stance in back. Stopping the Model A is handled by a Magnum disc/Ford drum brake combo with steering chores made effortless through a new Flaming River box. Motivation was kept simple with a box stock 305ci Chevy small-block dressed up with a Weiand intake flanked by a pair of early Corvette valve covers.
The clean original tin that started the whole project didn't need much more than a light scuffing before Johnny had Boyd Spencer coat it with a fresh coat of satin black paint. Finishing exterior touches include a pair of '28 Model A commercial lights up front with a pair of '34 Ford units in the rear hung on custom brackets made from the ends of a stock Model A headlight bar. Inside is more of the purposeful simplicity with the fanciest part being a '32 Ford-style dash fitted with a Stewart Warner panel filled with gauges of the same brand. An owner-built column is topped by a three-spoke steering wheel. The seat, which was made of plywood and foam and covered by a comfy Indian blanket, was another example of the owner's handiwork.
For now Johnny is having a blast tearin' up the road in his cool little Model A truck, but it's a pretty safe bet where it will go if he ever decides to give up the keys.
Johnny MorrisDayton, Ohio1929 Ford Model A Pickup
DrivetrainA Weiand intake and Edelbrock carb tops the bone-stock Chevy 305ci small-block Johnny pulled out of a retired '77 model to provide simple and reliable power for his pickup. A Mallory ignition makes the spark and rams-horn exhaust manifolds send the spent gasses to an owner-built exhaust system. Remaining items like the Corvette finned valve covers come from Johnny's collection of "whatever I had laying around." Backing up the budget mill is a Turbo 350 automatic trans rebuilt by Bill Allen and a new custom-built driveshaft.
ChassisThe foundation for Johnny's hot rod started with a Brookville Roadster perimeter frame set up with a 2-inch kick-up in the rear that he bolted a Magnum 4-inch dropped I-beam to up front and an 8-inch Ford axle to the rear. Magnum discs on matching spindles on the front in conjunction with a pair of Ford drums on the rear do the stopping. A fresh Flaming River steering box keeps the truck between the lines.
Wheels and TiresA set of '35 Ford 16-inch wire wheels (stock 4 inches wide in the front and widened an inch in the rear) ride inside a pair of Goodyear M-90 motorcycle tires up front and a pair of All-State 6.50x16 donuts in the rear.
Body and PaintA very clean set of original 1929 Ford tin only needed a light scuffing before Boyd Spencer gave it all a fresh coat of satin black paint. An original grille sits in front of a Rootlieb hood and '28 Ford commercial headlights take their place up front with a pair of '34 Ford units in the rear. Johnny tracked down a '32 Ford front bumper with just the right amount of patina before bolting it to the front of his pickup.
InteriorA simple truck needs a simple interior, and in this case it's an Indian blanket covering a homemade plywood and foam seat. The remainder is all freshly painted, original Henry Ford sheetmetal except for a Brookville '32-style dash fitted with a set of vintage Stewart Warner gauges in a S/W panel. A PSI Sprint Car steering wheel mounts on top of an owner-built column.