One thing I’ve never really considered myself to be is a “truck” guy. However, the majority of daily drivers carrying my name on their pink slips have been trucks; a number of past hot rod/mild custom projects were trucks; and for five years I was the editor of Classic Trucks magazine. Still, while I love trucks of all shapes, sizes, and guises, I’m not real truck guy, per se—more like a car guy with a finicky fondness for pickups. There’s just something very alluring about having a cool-looking vehicle that you can haul stuff in.
That said, I tend to shy away from finished-finished trucks, so as not to completely defeat their workhorse characteristic I so take advantage of (well, that’s the main reason, the other being the fact I never keep ’em long enough to see through to completion). So, when I first laid eyes on Scott Roberts’ ’41 Ford, not only did it awaken my inner non-truck guy, but the hot rodder and mild custom lover as well. It also piqued my appreciation for fine craftsmanship and flawless execution, perfect stance, and spot-on complementary color combination. I have to admit, there was really nothing I could find at fault with Scott’s pickup—not even the fact it wasn’t of GM birthright. Dare I say, faultless? Admittedly, others have declared his ’41 as perfect, and while I’m not always quick to agree with others, in this particular case, I have to say that I do.
Scott Roberts is not a truck guy either, so to speak—and up until this last decade, he wasn’t even a car guy. But this ’41 changed everything, thanks in no small part to his wife, Holly, who not only strongly encouraged him to buy the truck in the first place, but re-inspired Scott to keep going when the chips were down. In all likelihood, you wouldn’t be reading this—nor looking at these photos, for that matter—if it weren’t for Holly. And coincidentally, it all started and ended in the very same place: the Goodguys Del Mar Nats. In 2001, Scott purchased the truck at the show’s on-site Mecum collector car auction; 10 years later, the finished product was debuted at the Del Mar Fairgrounds where it all began.
Despite Scott not being a car/truck guy—nor having any real family automotive heritage to speak of—that didn’t stop him from tackling the ’41 himself from the get-go. Matter of fact, he went so far as to completely assemble the truck’s new chassis he’d acquired from Total Cost Involved and subsequently transfer the FoMoCo tin from its original platform. Eventually, Scott came to the realization that he needed outside help, and though his first foray would not net the positive results he’d anticipated (this is where Holly’s input kept things going), his second, a collaboration with Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, obviously did. For what it’s worth, HRCS’ role in the project is almost as vital as that of Scott’s better half. At the very least, it may not have ended up getting the faultless praise it’s been receiving had it not been for their involvement.
If there is such thing as a “born again” gearhead, it’s probably safe to say that’s truly what Scott Roberts is. And if so, he’s indeed living up to born-again standards by not just preaching the gospel, but dragging his entire family into his newfound, fueled religion.
Rod & Custom Feature Car
1941 Ford Pickup
Scott took it upon himself—literally—to transform his ’41 Ford’s foundation from old to new. He acquired all the necessities from Total Cost Involved, which included a complete frame, stainless suspension, and RideTech components, assembled everything to the best of his limited knowledge, and then proceeded to incorporate all the original tin onto the modern platform.
Untypical of a first-timer, Scott elected to not take the easy road by throwing a crate SBC into the mix, rather, a gorgeous Flathead circa-’50 Ford from none other than renowned flat motor guru Earl Floyd (Battle Ground, WA). The 276ci mill consists of a 4-inch Merc crank, Ross pistons on stock rods, and Isky Max 3/4-race cam internally; polished Edelbrock heads, Offenhauser intake sporting dual 97s, and Vertex magneto externally (majority of which supplied by Flathead Jack’s). Further complementing the Flatty are a polished PowerGen alternator, Edmunds air cleaners, and beehive finned oil filter. Scott took the auto route by mating a C-4 by way of a Flat-O-Matic adapter, ultimately connecting everything with a Currie 9-inch rearend courtesy of a Wenco Industries driveshaft.
Wheels & Tires
Body-color painted Wheelsmith OG-style steelies in 15x6 front and rear are traditionally wrapped in bias Firestone whitewalls (560 and 820, respectively) from Coker Tire and wear ’47 Ford caps and stainless trim rings.
Body & Paint
Beneath that beautiful bronze coating lies mostly original FoMoCo steel, some of which has been subjected to subtle customizing (such as the molded hood, reworked bed rails, and shaved door handles, to name but a few). Hot Rods & Custom Stuff in Escondido, CA, handled all the major work/rework, including the application of the PPG environment-compliant (Envirobase) paint with traditional pinstriping by Robert Gagnon added appropriately. Many of the truck’s exterior hard parts are Bob Drake items, like the grille, bumpers, and headlights, while the bed wood (including stainless strips) are from Bruce Horkey.
Inside, the cab is finished in the same faultless fashion as the outside. Bone-colored leather and vinyl upholstery with gold piping and burnt gold carpet by Armando’s (San Jacinto, CA) is concours quality yet truly traditional. The stock dash features an original instrument cluster rebuilt by Red-Line Gauge Works, hidden Secretaudio and air ride controls. A LimeWorks drop supports a Flaming River column topped by a Juliano’s repop ’37 Ford banjo wheel.