April 2019 - Beach's Great-Looking Truck Had Cracked-in-Half Frame Rails
I came across my great-looking F100 truck 13 years ago. I found it nearby in East Lakeland, Florida. This is a short-bed step side, had been in a barn for about 20 years and it cleaned up quite nice, done up in red paint with a solid body. Just $4,000 and it was mine, all mine. That makes the seventh Ford truck which I now own.
But I am getting ahead of myself. I am retired now, with 70 years of age looking me in the eye. But I worked all my life as a boiler maker, Local 433. I traveled all over the country on various industrial jobs. However, I was born and raised in Plant City, and have always lived here.
Annette and I have a total of 16 children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. So I have to keep on buying Ford trucks so I will have one for each of them. Fortunately, many of them live in Florida, so they won’t need to be driven too far. We even see our relatives and friends every week. Every Saturday morning about 15 of us meet for breakfast at Snell Grove restaurant. Sometimes they even help me fix my trucks! Now back to my F100.
After I bought the truck, I researched its history and discovered that it was originally purchased new in 1954 by a farmer from Orlando, Florida. The farmer then moved to Kansas City, Kansas and titled it there. After a few years he moved back to Florida and titled it there. The farmer and the truck got old. The truck was parked in a barn for 20 years and the farmer was parked in the local cemetery.
When I got the truck, I drove it “as is” for a while before I decided to restore it, body off frame. I got a shock. Behind the engine compartment, the frame was broke in two, both sides at the cab mounts. Frame mount rivets were all that was holding the frame in place. Anyway, I reinforced and welded the frame back together. Now I can guess why that happened. The truck has had a hard life. Hint: it had two sets of overload springs on the rear. If this truck could talk it would surely tell some good stories. The truck still has its original 239 c.i. engine and a three-speed transmission. The odometer shows 169,000 miles. I have turned every nut, bolt, and screw on this truck. If you need technical help on your old F100, call me on my cell phone 813-679-1110. I notice that CVA does not have tech advisors for Ford trucks, so I will be glad to help.
I changed the color from factory red to black and platinum--#98 in the Ford Ranger color code (a Ford which I also own). On the bed floor, I put red cypress and four layers of clear coat. The entire interior is outfitted with original factory components. I did put in all new glass and rubber.
I want to give thanks to Dennis Carpenter, LMC, G&G, National Parts Depo, and Mid-Fifties Parts. I recently put a set of wide white tires on it. I enjoy the thumbs-up when I have it out driving. I now have $16,000 in the truck: $4,000 to purchase, and $12,000 to restore. My side kick Pete the Aussie (an Australian shepherd) enjoyed cruising with me. Funny that the truck turned out the same color as the dog. Pete the Aussie passed away about two years ago and I really miss him. So now I have Cody the Aussie to cruise with.
My brother told me that the reason I have so many trucks is because they took all of mine away when I was a child. Anyway, the neighbors don’t complain because they are all housed in my barn and garages. Since I finished the F100, I have started restoration of a 1931 Ford coupe. It will be original, not rodded. Some say that any old fool can restore a car, but it takes a real man to chop one up. I disagree with that. I say that it takes a real man to keep seven Ford trucks running and then go and tackle a rusty 88-year-old Ford coupe.
I have been a CVA member for 12 years, but I have never owned a mid-50’s Ford car. I plan to find one and restore it—right after I finish the 1931 Ford coupe!
Ron & Annette Beach
Plant City, Florida