Every car and truck enthusiast on the planet can relate. When you've wanted to build and own a certain vehicle from before the time you could drive, and you finally do it, that's a dream come true.
Mark Sanders of Garden Grove, California, has been involved in the hobby for over 42 years. He built a couple of '56 Chevys, a '55 Bow Tie, a '66 GTO, a '68 GTO, and a '30 Ford Model A pickup. But the automotive object of his desire throughout this time was a '40 Ford half-ton. When the Ford was finally finished after four years of toil, Mark gave it a biblically inspired name-Marx Ark, after Noah's creation.
We imagine Noah commenced construction of his ark with the hull. Mark and his son, Mark Jr., began building the '40 at its foundation after completely disassembling the truck. They boxed the frame and installed a Total Cost Involved IFS. Adding Firestone airbags and an Air Ride Technologies tank and compressor provided ride height adjustability and modern handling. Once they'd replaced the Ford's original rearend with a '60 Ford drum-braked 9-inch suspended with All American coilover shocks and a four-link, they took the chassis apart and sprayed it black.
A Borg-Warner Super T-10 four-speed manual trans backs the '91 Chevy ZZ1 engine. After installing the drivetrain in the renewed chassis, the stock fuel tank, refurbished by Matsen Radiator in Stanton, California, was relocated in its original home behind the differential. Father and son plumbed the fuel and brake lines with stainless ones before transporting the truck to Barker Customs in nearby Orange for the professional bodywork.
If the name Art Barker is familiar to readers, the magazine appreciates your longstanding patronage. We've featured many trucks Art has helped craft. He's a master bodyman. It's a guarantee that when a vehicle emerges from his shop, the body panels are pristine. Art gave the sheetmetal his handiwork and widened the rear fenders 1.5 inches for thick wheels and tires. He also made a righteous rear roll pan before his metalwork was ready for the PPG Black and clear topcoats applied by Armando, the owner of Jazz in Stanton, California.
Rather than a flashy interior, Mark followed the classic hot rod hauler theme of the rest of the '40s, opting to have Sonny's Upholstery trim the cab in black tuck 'n' roll leather. When Sonny's was finished, the Ford was completely transformed. Thanks to his son, Mr. Barker, Armando, the other Mark, and friend and colleague Allan Johnson, Mark's '40 Ford half-ton's a 42-year dream come true.