Editor's Note: Getting your truck into Readers' Trucks is a snap, of the camera, that is. All it takes is a stack of good-quality photos of your ride that are in focus and well lit. Due to the volume of mail we receive, we regret that we cannot return photographs. Send photos of your truck (no Polaroids or printouts) to: CCT, Readers' Trucks, 774 S. Placentia Ave., Placentia, CA 92870. It is important that you include a detailed description of the modifications you have made to your truck, including any interesting stories behind it.
What's Up, Doc?
When your day job obliges you to have your arms elbow deep in someone's thinking cap, building a hot rod is a far cry from your typical office duties. Although Randy Jensen, a neurosurgeon from Salt Lake City, Utah, feels right at home in the operating room, building his very first hot rod felt like writing with his opposite hand. However, just because all of this was new to him didn't mean he didn't do one heck of a job on his '55 Ford. For starters, he equipped the truck with a four-link and a Mustang II setup from CPP. Instead of opting for small potatoes, Randy dropped in a 351 Ford Windsor with an Edelbrock manifold and carburetor, a Crane camshaft, and GT 400 heads. Keeping a hot rod feel on the outside is the Viper red paintjob with traditional flames laid down by Osbourne's Custom Cruisers. Even the simple gray interior looks right at home. We wonder what patients think when Randy pulls up to the hospital in the Ford?
Straight To The Point
Jim Stimmel of San Bruno, California, didn't tell us much in his letter, but he did mention that he has been reading the magazine for years and that he loves it, so we're going to go ahead and tally that up as at least one satisfied customer!
As for Jim's '64 Ford Ranchero, we'll tell you what we know. Between the framerails sits a 302 for steady cruising. To spice things up a bit, Jim installed '55 Ford center caps on the 8-inch-wide rims. He also kept things simple with a black paintjob and just a hint of light blue striping. Lastly, the Ranchero was dropped 2 1/2 inches in the front and air shocks were installed out back. Other than that, the only other thing Jim had to say was, "Keep on truckin'."
When one has had their truck as long as 88-year-old Harold Plaster, they're bound to have a few memories. Especially for Harold, seeing that he has had his Model A pickup since clear back to 1938! With the help of friend Jim Loffredo, Harold sent us this little story and a few pictures from his Valdez, Alaska, home about his Model A pickup:
"My truck has scars. They are remnants of a life lived to the fullest, and I treasure them, every one. I am old and so is my truck, but once we were both young, ready to roll without a mark on us or a squeak or rattle. Back then, I worried and fretted about my truck, back in 1938. Oh yeah, I hot-rodded it out with a flathead V-8.
"Every little chip, scratch, or scuff brought a knot to my stomach. I worked so hard on that truck, and at the time I thought it was perfect. I didn't know any better. The day my son played with a toy car on the window, scratching deep lines in it, gave me a flare of anger, and then despair. He was 3 then; now he is grown and gone. I'm alone now, except for my truck, still with the scratches on the window. I love those scratches now. I look at them often; they bring a tear to my eye. How nave a young man can be.
"Some of the paint is missing on the back fenders where hot rubber stuck to it while the tires were roasted. I was 23 then, and me and the boys were burning J-hooks in the hills of Pennsylvania. To accomplish a good J-hook, one had to start on a steep hill, burning rubber as you drifted backward until the hookup made a J pattern of burnt and smoking rubber on the road. Youthful exuberance!
"My hood and grille is dimpled with hundreds of chips, and my windshield is cracked from a rock chip. All this happened when I drove my truck to Alaska in 1968 to work in the oil fields. It was a time of adventure, and the world was open to me. After all, I had my truck and my youth. I thought both would last forever.
"I still drive my truck sometimes. I can't see well at night, so I drive during the day. Sometimes I haul some hay or feed for the horses from the feed store. When I look at the scars on my truck, I remember, and now after all these years I smile."