Well, I've finally got the bug to start working on the Little Truck again. I cleared the shop of other projects and pulled the body back off.
Sherry will be the Director of Restoration for this project. We'll likely do a "traditional rod", no billet, no electronics, but also not a RatRod. I've learned to paint very well, so building something and then putting a flat black primer job on it just doesn't appeal to me.
One thing I'm going to change is the tranny. I've already found a Ford AOD to take the place of the C6. For highway cruising, the overdrive is really nice. I'm also considering other intake manifolds, as some of my buds are telling me that I won't like the tunnelram. The tunnelram is a definite traditional "eye-candy" piece, and I'd like to try to keep it. It's not a difficult swap if we later decide to go to something else.
I'm also trying to fully understand the front suspension. The spindles that are currently on there are Model A spindles that have had the ends cut off and tierod end holes welded on. They seem to fit fine, but it's not the way most folks do it. I do have a pair of 35-36 spindles that look like they would work if the steering arms were bent.
So it appears that the LittleTruck is once again at the beginning of a new life. I look forward to working through the issues and exchanging ideas with the folks that have "been there/done that".
In the fall of 1992, Paul unfortunately crashed his private plane and passed away at the age of 42. It was way too early.
Sherry and I, who were married the previous year, inherited the Little Truck. I was determined to finish the truck. I worked on it for the next year or so, and realized that there was still a lot of fabricating to do to finish this project. I was a bit intimidated and awed by the talents of the real builders like Paul. I had always done my own work on my Mustang, and Paul and I replaced quarter panels and painted it, but none of that compares to the engineering/fabricating of a custom rod.
Sherry and I moved out of state, and I quickly bolted the body back on so I could transport it. We've used it as a place to hold boxes for the last 12 years...sad I know. I've restored a few cars in that time, including our 66 Mustang Convertible, but the Little Truck project still seemed daunting without Paul's help.
The family was flooded out of their home and lost nearly everything, but did drive the Little Truck to safety. Priorities changed, and the Little Truck got moved to the back burner as they moved into a new home and built a shop. I started dating their daughter, Sherry, and was very interested in the old truck. Paul and I started disassembling it because he had a new plan.
Once it was down to the chassis, Paul boxed the rails, installed new crossmembers, driveshaft loop, a 4" drop I-beam, Saginaw steering, and relocated the brakes to under the floor. He built a 302 with tunnelram and found a smallblock C6 tranny. The custom motor mounts were another challenge for Paul. Someone told him the idea wouldn't work, so he had to prove him wrong.
Paul had family in Evansville, Indiana. One day on their way out of town, they noticed a sign for a carshow. They stopped by just to have a quick look. A few dozen cars were on display, and they made a note to return the next year. As it turns out, that was the very first Frog Follies. Paul and Rita made the Frog Follies a family tradition.
Shown in the third picture is Paul and his grandfather.