Teddy Dixon is a man of many interests. After retiring from a career in law enforcement, he enjoyed his 50-acre farm in Virginia, where he raised llamas, goats, and sheep. Now living in Florida, Teddy continues the diversity, dividing his time between his sign-making business and investing in his lifelong passion, automobiles. Owning a total of 119 vehicles in the last 30 years, Teddy says his current Ford pickup ranks in the top three. What caught the attention of this avid enthusiast? In addition to his enthusiasm for all things automotive, Teddy has also been building Harley-Davidsons for the last 40 years. When he saw the subtle use of Harley accessories on the '35 Ford truck, like the fishtail exhaust pipes, side mirrors, and front turn signals, he was hooked.
Originally begun by Florida resident Henry Howard in 1992, the truck was sold, almost complete, after 4,000 hours and seven years. John Kelley from Long Island, New York, bought it and added several innovative details, including the flame-licked surfboard. Teddy, now residing in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, one of the top surfing capitals of the country, saw the truck, bought it from Kelley, and is continuing the upgrades.
Much of this truck's charm comes from a combination of pieces expertly blended together. It is a '35 even though the grille, fenders, hood, and side panels, liberated from a '36 roadster, might lead you to think otherwise. The "just right" look of this Ford begins with the '35 cab, which is chopped 4 inches and channeled 3. The '36 passenger car's front end adds a unique touch along with just a little confusion for anyone trying to pinpoint the truck's exact vintage. Although the bed is a stock '35, the fiberglass tonneau cover is one of a kind, featuring a modified board for the surfer look and incorporating a modern, center-mounted brake light for safety.
The truck's lines flow seamlessly together. Front fenders blend smoothly into the running boards that join with the rear fenders. Panels cover gaps between the bed and the running boards, and there are cutouts for the functional Lakes pipes. Both bumpers use sheetmetal pans that visually connect them to the body. Details abound, beginning with the shaved door handles, the Harley fishtail exhaust pipes, Harley turn signal lenses, rare Jordan Playboy headlights, and frenched Caddy taillights. The 15-inch Corvette wheels are painted red to match the body and accented with chrome rings, small hubcaps, and '50s-style bullets. Big and little Coker wide whites complete the exterior, painted a retina-searing Chevy Hugger Orange.
Inside, the first step was sound deadening applied to all the interior sheetmetal. Everything was upholstered in a combination of black and white with white Econoline van seats, white door panels, and black carpeting. Stewart Warner gauges on the dash, '50s-style dice accents, and a '40 Ford wheel work perfectly together. The overhead console holds the Kenwood stereo, and music pours from the 5.5-inch component sets in the kick panels and the 6x9s behind the seats. The rearview mirror is a miniature surfboard, and those are Teddy's actual baby shoes hanging from it. A Lokar floor shift actuates the 350 Turbo transmission. Power windows and a highly functional Vintage Air air conditioner make this truck a perfect ride for Florida's warm days.
Thirties on the outside but modern under the skin, the truck rolls on a reinforced chassis fitted with a '72 Chevelle front clip, 11-inch disc brakes, and Fat Man Fabrication's lowered suspension. The rear uses parallel leaf springs to hold the 8-inch Ford rearend equipped with drum brakes and 2.90:1 gears. The hood, modified to tilt forward, reveals the 300hp 350 Chevy V-8 fitted with an Edelbrock 650 carburetor and intake, Corvette HEI ignition, and factory exhaust manifold flowing into Smitty mufflers. The 350 Turbo makes the truck a sweet driver, something Teddy does every day. "In the five months that I've owned it, I've already put more than 5,000 miles on it," he says, so you know he enjoys his time behind the wheel. "It loafs along at 2,000 rpm at 70 mph." Future plans for Teddy include completely reupholstering the bed with rolls and pleats to match the interior and enjoying his Just Right vintage truck for a long time to come.
A 300-horse small-block 350...
A 300-horse small-block 350 Chevy mated to 350 Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission supplies the necessary grunt for Teddy's Ford. Smitty's glasspack mufflers supply the sound.
Corvette wheels with a bullet...
Corvette wheels with a bullet are stuffed into Coker whitewalls. The pickup's perfect stance is compliments of Fat Man Fabrications.
A touch of the old and a whole...
A touch of the old and a whole bunch of the new are thanks to a white tuck 'n' roll interior engulfed with ice-cold A/C from Vintage Air and rockin' sounds from Kenwood.