"My wife Mary cried when she saw what we had purchased sight-unseen," says veteran street rodder Art Bishop of Aurora, Colorado. "The top of the '41 Ford cab was crushed. The doors were rusted through and partially missing. There was no drivetrain and no window glass. The fenders were crushed and torn in several places. Straightening out the rusty and crusty mess appeared to be a life-long project."
For the average guy, it might have been even longer. However, never ever suggest Art Bishop is the average truck builder. Bishop, a retired data systems analyst and longtime member of the Denver Roadsters, spent the next 2 1/2 years performing the impossible as he transformed the battered '41 into this head-turning and award-winning street truck.
However, Art is no glutton for punishment. He got a head start on the project by discarding the sadly abused, original '41 Ford 1/2-ton chassis. In its place, he substituted new boxed Total Cost Involved framerails and crossmembers. In order to improve the steering and stopping, new parts were selected from Pete & Jake's. Suspension on the '41 consists of a Super Bell dropped tube front axle and '41 Ford front spindles, TCI front shocks, Mustang II front disc brakes, and Super Bell/Chevy Vega crossover steering gear mounted with a TCI four-link.
In the rear, Art installed a 3.55:1 geared 8-inch Ford rearend pirated from an early Ford Mustang, which now rides on a pair of Eaton-Detroit leaf springs. The '41's chassis rolls on a pair of polished and personalized-15x7-inch (rear) and 14x7-inch (front)-Centerline Champ wheels, sporting Armstrong Fortress radial rubber.
Powering Art's resurrected beauty is an owner-assembled '78 Chevy 400ci V-8 containing a Sig Erson cam and valvetrain, a Weiand aluminum intake, a 650-cfm Edelbrock Performer AFB carburetor, and a Sig Erson engine detail kit. Engine cooling comes from a Griffin four-core aluminum radiator. Handling the estimated 375 hp is an owner-assembled GM Turbo 400 with a polished transmission case.
Now that you know the inspirational story behind the Bishop's '41, you can fully appreciate the effort to create such outstanding paint and bodywork. Art performed the metal-massaging magic at home in his garage. That included hammering out the '41's rumpled top, stitching the fenders back together, rebuilding the bottom half of the truck's doors, and completely rebuilding the pickup bed-which now features a rolled rear pan, smoothed tailgate, and varnished oak flooring. Along the way, Bishop also added a Hagan flush-mount fuel door to the driver-side rear fender. Looking at the truck now, it's hard to believe that it was once a deserted derelict.
After painting the truck in Porsche India Red, Bishop finished out the exterior using Bob Drake '40-41 Ford reproduction body trim pieces. Incidentally the rear taillights, minus blue dot lenses of course, came from a '39 Chevy.
Beautifully stained oak panels are just part of the great bed-floor kit from Bruce Horkey
This is the view most folks get of the Bishop's Porsche Indian Red '41 Ford as they go sai