Certain things just go hand in hand, like spaghetti and meatballs, pizza and beer, lamb chops and tuna fish, and, of course, hot rod shops and shop trucks. Since the start of hot rodding, shops have been churning out some kind of hauler to serve double duty as a parts runner and a rolling promotional showcase. Barris had the Kopper Kart, a customized '56 Chevy; Roth had a flamed '56 Ford; Winfield customized a '40 Ford; Chuck Porter rocked a '49 Ford; and now Ashcroft Motorcycles has this wicked awesome '36 Ford.
For the most part, Ashcroft Motorcycles owner Lynn Ashcroft believes the concept of advertising is to let the custom bikes do the talking. However, things can change. One day Lynn happened to run across a truck in a magazine, and something clicked. All of a sudden, Lynn decided his Salem, Oregon-based shop could definitely use a shop truck similar to the one in the magazine. And just like that, the idea for the '36 Ford, later dubbed El Shoppo Trucko (Oye Mamacita), was born.
For starters, the crew at Ashcroft got a hold of a '36 cab. Although the cab had a '36's silhouette, down below, the floorboards and rocker panels were completely rusted out. The bed they acquired was a little better, but not by much, for it too would need a lot of work along the front panel and bedsides. For a frame, they came across a '40 Ford and decided that would be the build's starting point.
Things were kept simple, with Mexican blankets covering the majority of the cab's interior
Dig the finned getup that highlights the 1955 Dodge Super Red Ram 270 motor.
The first order of business was to shrink the frame down to size. To get the desired length, the crew hacked 8 inches from the frame in front of the rear axle. Then they shortened the frame 10 inches from the rear axle back. For the rearend, a Ford 9-inch with Posi-traction and 3:90 gears was installed. Pete & Jakes springs and shocks isolate the rearend from the road. Up front, a Pete & Jakes 4-inch dropped axle was used in conjunction with '40 Ford spindles, Pete & Jakes shocks, and GM disc brakes. In terms of steering, Lynn pirated a GM steering box. Setting everything off are way-cool SoCal Lakester circle-track racing wheels, 16x6-inch up front and 16x7-inch in the rear, complete with tri-fan knock-off nuts. Taking things one step further are the Excelsior doughnuts, 5.50x16 up front and 8.50x16 out back. Getting the chassis up and moving is the Portland Engine Rebuilders-built '55 Dodge Super Red Ram 270 motor. Giving the Dodge powerplant that period-correct look are custom cast-aluminum ribbed valve covers and an air cleaner. The headers are Ashcroft block huggers that incorporate motorcycle baffles. Backing the motor is a GM Turbo 350.
With the chassis complete, they dropped on the cab. Once the cab was on the truck, the crew could get more of an idea how much they wanted to chop and channel it. In the end, Lynn decided to chop the top 6 inches and channel the body 7 inches. From there, they built a new floor and rocker panels and molded the side window openings. Next up, they installed the chrome windshield frame just the way they found it to give the truck a true vintage look.
The plan all along was to run no hood or hood sides, just a grille shell, but the truck shell wasn't exactly what they were looking for. What ultimately fit the profile was a '34 Ford passenger car nose assembly, and the grille, too, was installed the way they found it. Lynn then incorporated a '33 Dodge Red Ram hood ornament into the grille to tie the Ford and Dodge-powered truck together. The bed was severely channeled and shortened to fit the chassis. Next, the bed floor was reinforced with steel and covered in aged-looking wood. Keeping the bed fully functional is the reworked tailgate that was cut in half and designed to keep only the top portion open. Lighting in the front comes by way of '36 truck headlights, while out back the distinctive '59 bullet taillights glow red. Lastly, the truck was sprayed in a single-stage black with flattener and silver pearl by Barron Customs and Joe Miller.
In the interior, things were kept simple. The majority of the interior is covered in Mexican blankets. For a steering wheel, Lynn used a '56 Oldsmobile doughnut, but the most unique feature is the .410-gauge shotgun that protrudes from the floorboards as a shift lever. All in all, the '36 is quite the calling-card parts hauler for the crew at Ashcroft Motorcycles.
The Ashcroft Motorcycles logo found its way into the bed when the Ashcroft "A" was cut fro