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'37 Ford PU bobber truck


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Years ago I chopped a '37 cab (my first ever chop) and it didn't quite turn out right. Then I planned to use the cab to build a rat truck with an inline 6, but used that engine for another build. Every few months I get the cab out and mock it up with various engines and spare parts, but nothing ever came of it because I didn't have any frames that would work very well. I'd shortened the bed, but as the glue dried the panels warped. It went back in the box.

A couple days ago, inspired by the trucks of Rudy Rodriguez and Ian Loska, among others, I decided to just make a frame, and go from there. So far, it's coming together fairly quickly.

Some notes:

-AMT '27 Touring front wheels and tires

-Monogram classic rear tires on Monogram '30 ford wire wheels out back

-Ford 9" from AMT 57 Corvette street machine

-front axle from AMT '29 Ford roadster, modified with some bolt detail, scribed lines on the spindles, and plastic axle stubs

-disc brakes from the junk pile. Calloway corvette, maybe?

-resin Buick Nailhead from The Parts Box in Australia.

-AMT '34 Ford grille

The plan is for a fairly extreme neo-traditional rod. At this point I'm undecided if it will get shiny paint or patina, or a combination of both.

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Little update--the beginnings of a front and rear crossmember are in, as well as scratchbuilt rear quarter-elliptical leafsprings and driveshaft hoop. Also built another front radius rod. It's almost up on all fours now.

The plan is to do a triangulated 4-link in the rear, using the leaf springs as the lower pair of links.

Also cut the deck down to fit in the shortened bed.

I think if the radiator is tilted slightly, there should be ample clearance for the tie rod. The grille will be laid down to match the angle of the cowl cut-line (or maybe slightly more).

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Thanks Colby!

Some more little updates...I've been struggling with the rear suspension, it's almost sorted now (the quarter-elliptical lower links are missing in this photo). It took 3 tries to get the suspension brackets "close enough" and more or less placed correctly. It will all be hidden by the bed, anyway.

Also have the beginnings of some simple engine mounts, and started hacking and chopping the interior bucket and firewall. I think I'll build a new, flat firewall and possibly trim down the cowl apron---or whatever that perimeter piece is called...it's going to get in the way of the rearmost exhaust port, so it might get the knife.

This thing is going to have severely limited foot space thanks to the height of the transmission and bellhousing inside the cabin. But it should look cool, lol!


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Hey Bernard, it's the other way 'round actually--I just started building it last week, after seeing your rat rod build and barn-find gasser and feeling like I should start something in that vein!

It might end up being shiny...I'm kicking around the idea of maroon, burgundy, root beer, black cherry nail polish. We shall see....

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Thanks guys :)

A little more progress has been made on this one. Since the last update:

-driveshaft cut down from a parts-box unit

-steering tie-rod and dropped steering arms fabricated

-interior cut-outs mostly boxed in (where the frame rails pass through the sides of the interior)

-flat firewall with U-shaped indent for distributor

-steering box (Revell '55 chevy) added with wire steering shaft. It's going to need a u-joint and possibly a support block

-rear suspension mocked up with rubber cement. Some of those links are going to have to be glued solid before painting, otherwise final assembly is going to be a gong show. It all wants to fall apart, all the time :P

-probably going to drop the triple rochesters (?) from the Lindberg '34 pickup on top of the nailhead. I'm currently trying to kitbash some flame-arrestor style air cleaners or cal-custom style finned scoops (maybe by cutting the rounded ends off of some finned valve covers and using them as air cleaners...)

-currently experimenting with copper wire for creating headers. Not happy with the pattern yet, will consult reference and try again.

Getting the steering box, fan belt, lower radiator hose, radiator, tie rod, starter, and engine mount to all fit together has been difficult, but so far it seems to be working! There might even be room in there for a mechanical fan.

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Well, I knew that steering box was too good to be true...had a look at it again and FAIL: I forgot to account for the length of the pitman arm when placing the box. Can't move it forward (tie rod and radiator in that space) and can't move it back (lower radiator hose off the water pump). So instead of a cross-steer setup, I'll move the box back to tuck in behind the engine mount, rotated 90 degrees to poke through the frame, and run side-steer instead.  So silly. I was hoping to keep it looking un-cluttered by using cross-steering, but there just isn't quite enough space.

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