We're not one to rewrite the rules around here, but we're going to have to state that envy is no longer one of the seven deadly sins. Why's that? Because if it were, then this radically customized '36 Ford wouldn't be plastered all over the pages of CCT.
Philip Dummer has been working at Mike's Auto Body in Melbourne, Florida, for the past decade. During that time, the shop owner, Philip's father-in-law, built a '39 Ford Coupe that Philip couldn't get out of his head. When the chance came to buy the shop from his father-in-law, Philip and his wife, Valerie, jumped at it. As it turns out, being the boss definitely has its perks, because when Phillip took over, it was time to build him a ride. When the thought of what to build crossed his mind, the first thing that popped up was the Ford coupe, and then he thought about the '36 flatbed Ford truck sitting in his father-in-law's backyard. Grabbing inspiration from the coupe and the truck, and an extreme case of the snowball effect, Phillip now has something for others to envy.
Phillip put ace metal man Todd Hare of Mike's Auto Body in charge of turning the hay hauler into something even Ford never built. Todd started with the '36 cab and front fenders, late-'80s extended-cab Ford Ranger, and a concept from Phillip. After that, just about everything you see was shaped, stretched, formed, hacked, whacked, and more by Todd's hands. For starters, the frame was sliced and diced. Then a triangulated four-link with a Ford 9-inch was installed in the rear, and a Heidt's IFS was installed up front. Then an Air Ride Technologies system was installed in the chassis.
Once the chassis was squared away, Todd began on the body. First off, the key piece of the puzzle, the cab, was dropped on the body. Next up, Todd sliced down the cab's rear and lengthened it 13 inches. Instead of using sheetmetal from a different cab to stretch the cab, Todd handformed all of it. With the cab stretched, the next step was to chop the top 2 1/2 inches. From there, things only got crazier. Todd placed a '37 Ford passenger car grille in the chassis' nose and then mounted the front fenders. What he saw wasn't to his liking, so he reshaped the front of the fenders to get his desired contour.
Because the front end was pretty much all handmade up to this point, the rest of it had to be as well. Therefore, Todd's next project was to take a sheet of sheetmetal and transform it into a hood. After that, he built the hood side panels, but there was even more work to those than just flat pieces of metal. Todd and Phillip didn't want to use traditional headlights, so they placed a '99 Lexus projection lights inside the truck's cowl. From there, Todd formed the blisters, which are handformed from metal and vacuum-formed acrylic plastic, on the sides of the hood panel so the light projected from the headlights could beam out.
With the front wrapped up, it was time to swing toward the truck's rear. To accomplish this, Todd took the inner bed, which is more or less used as a mounting point, off the Ranger and mounted it to the frame. The bed's entire outer shell was the work of Todd. He formed the bedside, belt line, roll pan, and literally every external piece of sheetmetal you see. With the bed done, he tied the truck together with his own rear fenders. After that, he built the running boards that tie the front and rear fender together. The last thing to do was finish off the little things, so Todd fabricated stainless steel taillights. After that, he fabbed the stainless steel bed cover as well as the rest of the truck's trim.
With the exterior finished, Todd worked on the engine compartment. He began by building the valve cover and air cleaner covers to mask the GMPP 350 Ram Jet motor. Then it was onto fabbing the inner fender panels. When all the metalwork was finished, the truck was swung to the other side of the shop, where shop painter Scott Murray applied the Sikkens black and custom-mixed candy brandy wine. Complementing the paint job are Boyd Coddington rollers.
The last step of the build was the one-of-a-kind interior, and it's no surprise that Todd's name is all over that, including the stitching. He started with a '39 Ford bench seat. After that was modified, he handformed everything else-the dash, center console, door panels, trim, and more. The only store-bought products are the ididit steering column, Classic Instrument gauges, Vintage Air A/C unit, and a few other odds and ends, but for the most part, even the interior was done by Todd. Todd even covered the inside of the bed with the same interior scheme. Now that the truck, dubbed Redwood, is finished, the newest case of envy is Lincoln's new Blackwood truck!
About the only thing not Todd-made is the ididit steering column, Vintage Air unit, Classi
Hard to believe that under all that sheetmetal sits a GM Performance Parts Ram Jet 350.