Founded In '47, the Dukes...
Founded In '47, the Dukes car club of Spokane is likely one of the nations oldest clubs still in existence. Al joined them in '61, and he's been a duke ever since.
Al's Mill is a '64 327-inch...
Al's Mill is a '64 327-inch Chevy with an Edlebrock intake manifold and carb. Note the dual scoops on the hood side
In honor of the policeman...
In honor of the policeman who gave Al a ticket for expired plates on that fateful day back in 1960 when he towed his truck home, Al hand-formed his dashboard out of copper. The steering wheel is a Lecarra, and the gauges are from Stewart-Warner.
C&B in Spokane stitched the...
C&B in Spokane stitched the '34's interior in genuine Naugahyde.
The bed in Al's '34 is real...
The bed in Al's '34 is real maple, just like a Fender guitars neck. Its 10.5-gallon moon tank goes a long way thanks to a 9-inch Ford Packing a set of 3.0:1 gears.
Fat Bridgestone meats mounted...
Fat Bridgestone meats mounted on American Torq-Thrust wheels are guarunteed to deliver mile after mile of custom classic cruising
There are events in a person's life that for one reason or another will never be forgotten. For Al Davis of Spokane, Washington, it was his graduation from high school in 1960. Thanks to a purchase made that day, he ended up with a class ring he'll never misplace. For the paltry price of $350 Al hauled home a '34 Ford pickup complete with a hopped-up Flathead mill. Of course, even back in '60 buying an old truck with such a low price might be an indication of a few slight mechanical problems.
Indeed, the '34's Flat motor was seized tight with a cracked block. Al figured this meant it was time for an overhead, so he located a 331-inch Cadillac motor and hooked it up to a '39 Lincoln Zephyr side-shift tranny. The combination perked the little '34 up, but the Caddy motor started to develop an ever-increasing appetite for '39 Zephyr transmissions. Tiring of snapped trannies, Al's next powerplant was plucked from a '64 Chevrolet passenger car. The 327-inch small-block motor received a '65 Nova SS 350-horse hydraulic lifter cam with a pair of power-pack heads to complete the high-performance package. For the transmission, Al scrounged up a Turbo 400 automatic from a '65 Chevy and set it up to run in a lighter vehicle.
By the time '69 rolled around, Al had chromed just about everything on the '34, from the top to the bottom. Everything else was painted Candy Oriental Purple or wrapped in black tuck 'n' roll. The little truck turned out so fine that it took first in its class at the 1969 Oakland Roadster Show. But as Al and his '34 Ford's 10th anniversary approached, the '70s marked a decade of change for both of their lives. Al started to get deeper into the family thing, and the little '34 sat for over 10 years in a good friend's garage before it would ever be driven again. Al told us, "If it hadn't been for him, I probably wouldn't have it today."
Today the '34 sits on a set of '34 Ford truck 'rails (the originals, no doubt) boxed and prettied up by Pat Kelly Auto in Spokane, Washington. In fact, Pat is responsible for hanging a whole bunch of neat goodies on the '34. Up front, Pat slung a Magnum tube axle equipped with disc brakes for binders and 15x6 American Torq-Thrusts for rollers. Steering chores are handled via a '72 Vega steering box capped with a Lecarra steering wheel. Bringing up the rear, Al's pickup has a fully chromed Ford 9-inch rearend complete with a Posi packing 3.0:1 gears and a pair of wider 15x8 Torq-Thrusts to handle the extra meat.
For the '34's mill, Al opted to retain his trusty vintage 327, but he looked to modern times for induction. Placed in between a pair of tasty-looking Offenhauser valve covers is an Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold with an Edelbrock AFB carburetor feeding gasoline to eventually end up as spent gases exiting through a pair of Hedman headers.
When Al bought his '34, he was told the truck was chopped and channeled and the bed shortened in '55, but no one could remember who did it. It's too bad; that's neat stuff to know. As the '34 appears on our pages, this is the third time Al has blown the truck down to the bare framerails and built it back up. This time around Al beefed up the cab with steel 1x2 box tubing, then did the bodywork. Once the '34 body parts were good to go, they went to Ken Spieger at Budda's Bodyshop in Spokane for custom paint. Ken laid on a super slick coating of PPG's Purple Haze, then drowned it in PPG clear.
To lighten things up visually on the inside, Al yanked out the '34's black tuck 'n' roll interior, then had C&B in Spokane reupholster everything in charcoal and gray Naughahyde. Instrumentation on the '34 features a dashboard packed full of traditional Stewart-Warner gauges with a unique purple haze backlighting.
At the close of our interview discussing all the nuts and bolts on his '34, Al recounted his truck's history before he bought it. "The guy who owned it before me was, as most hot rodders were back then, kind of a renegade. I don't know if the court forced him to join the Navy or if he enlisted, but when I bought the '34 from his parents and tried to tow it home, the local cop stopped me. He told me the '34 wasn't going to get away from him like it had so many times in the past." CCT