Rod & Custom Feature Car

Gene Fernandez

Sunnyside, WAshington

1934 Ford Pickup


Starting with the stock frame that’s always lived under this truck, the crew at Rocket’s Hot Rod Garage boxed the front ’rails, modified the center crossmember to clear the transmission, while retaining the stock wishbone, flattened the rear crossmember to lower the pickup 4 inches, and added a custom ladder bar crossmember. A 4-inch dropped Super Bell I-beam is hung on a Posies reversed-eye spring and Bilstein shocks, with 12-inch Speedway discs hidden behind custom backing plate covers. Vega cross steering and a Pete & Jake’s pedal assembly were employed, while all plumbing is in stainless steel, with stainless A/N fittings by Race at Rocket’s.


Peek under the pickup bed and you’ll see a rebuilt (by Rick Bootsma) ’34 banjo, with a Hot Rod Works 9-inch axle and open-drive conversion, located on Rocket’s-built ladder bars and a Posies buggy spring. Hot Rod Works Lincoln drum brakes mount at each end of the rearend. Moving up the Driveline Services–built driveshaft, there’s a T5 trans assembled by Race, with a 10-inch hydraulic clutch and Speedway flywheel hooking it to the 59AB Flathead, which now displaces 386 ci. Machined and assembled by Rich Eims at Joe’s Grinding in Yakima, the Flatty uses a 4 1/8-inch stoke Scat crank, Scat H-beam rods, and an Isky Max1 cam. Edelbrock block letter heads flank the Offy dual-intake manifold, which has had its logos removed. A Max Wedge Hot Rod Company air cleaner covers the twin Edelbrock 94 carbs. Rocket’s own Race was also responsible for the headers and 2-inch mandrel-bent exhaust system, with Stainless Specialties mufflers. The entire engine was powdercoated black and detailed at Rocket’s.

Wheels & Tires

Those neat wheels are aluminum artilleries from Wheelsmith, measuring 17x4.5 and 18x7 front and rear, respectively, wrapped in Excelsior rubber from Coker Tire.

Body & Paint

After Metal Works in Eugene, WA, acid dipped the cab, bed, hood, doors, and grille, the rust-free status of the ’33 was confirmed, with just a few old repairs to be put right, specifically the firewall and wired fender edges. A custom gravel pan was fabbed for the front, and a roll pan for the rear, with modified ’32 bumpers used as bumperettes. The hood top is now Rootlieb, with the stock side panels, and a dropped headlight bar was fashioned from a ’34 commercial item. Tim Ueltschi sprayed the PPG Dark Beachwood Metallic, complemented by bronze tinted windows from Sunnyside Glass.


There’s a lot that’s not stock about this stock-looking interior! Rocket’s fabricated a lower gauge panel to house the New Vintage instruments. A super-neat trick is the custom turn signal switch built into the old ignition lock on the stock column, which is now topped by a ’35 wheel. Riley Morris at Rocket’s fabbed the trans tunnel, from which a Lokar shifter now sprouts. The stock seat was covered in leather by Jamie’s Upholstery, and the wiring harness is now all brown cloth covered, by Race, with the fuse panel mounted under the seat while ’36 knobs and handles replace the originals and the neat floor treatment uses recessed rubber mats in custom Zebra wood panels. These panels, as well as the bed floor and custom gun racks, were designed by artist Tavis Highlander, and produced by Bed Wood & Parts in Hopkinsville, KY.