Back behind the barn was where this '38 Ford pickup sat in several piles, rusting away for a couple of decades. Until one fateful day six years ago when Carl Monroe of Central Point, Oregon, noticed the old Ford pickup and asked if it was for sale. The truck's owner, Carl's co-worker, thought it might never get put back together, and if he could get $500 for what was left, then it was a done deal. Carl was pleased to hand over the money and load the pickup pieces onto his trailer-it took two trips, but most of the truck was there.

Carl wasn't quite sure exactly what he had purchased. Little by little he became more acquainted with the '38 with the large oval grille. It wasn't pretty, but it was a vintage Ford truck that might make a neat street rod hauler in time. The next six years Carl tinkered with the truck and thought about the challenge he had taken on. His job as a powerhouse superintendent left him with a desire to use his hands for something more productive than pushing paper at the office. So Carl studied plenty of magazine articles and started purchasing parts for his pickup project.

He began by boxing the original frame-rails and installing a TCI Mustang II IFS with rack-and-pinion steering. Most of the feature articles Carl had read mentioned a Ford 9-inch rearend. His 9-inch rearend was purchased with 3.25:1 gears. And the idea of antisway bars also appealed to him, so they were added to the list of parts to purchase. With the proposed Corvette engine, ventilated disc brakes would be needed, so they were installed on each wheel for modern stopping power.

From a '69 Corvette Carl found a healthy 350ci small-block. He added an Edelbrock 600-cfm four-barrel Performer carb and Pertronix electronic distributor and ignition. John's Trans-missions in Grants Pass, Oregon, backed the V-8 with a rebuilt '76 TH350 trans.

A fair amount of work was required to get the body ready for paint. Carl teamed with pro painter, bodyman, and good friend Nick Camacho, also in Grants Pass. They shaved the door handles and metal-massaged '37 Ford headlights into the fenders. The owner installed a Bitchin' Products firewall and cab floor before Nick applied several coats of House of Kolors Tangelo pearl and clear-coats to the separate exterior components. In anticipation of trailering the pickup to the upholsterer, the men assembled the truck on the chassis.

Jerry's Upholstery in Medford, Oregon, narrowed the supplied Chevy S-10 truck seat 6 inches and trimmed the bench in gray-dyed leather. Using a Ron Francis wiring harness, the owner wired the Ford and installed Classic Instruments in the dash. Carl's installation of AirTiques HVAC, Specialty power windows and wipers, Auto-Loc door openers, a '01 Ford cup holder and three-point seatbelts brought the six-year construction project to a close.

One of Carl's most gratifying moments came when he was able to chauffeur his mother-in-law around in the street rod hauler. Diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 2005, a last wish was to ride in the new/old Ford truck. According to Carl, she smiled from ear to ear.