In Escondido, California, Hot Rods & Custom Stuff proprietor Randy Clark has enjoyed a long, prolific run as a builder of hot rods, customs, classics, and of course custom classic trucks. The building and maintenance of customer projects is done for deep-seated sentimental reasons at times. That said, there is no stronger, more sentimental example than Randy’s own father’s ’41 Ford pickup. Truth be told, this truck is really a clone of its predecessor, which Randy’s father, Paul W. Clark, used as his daily driver from 1950 to 1970. As Randy vividly recalls, “It was red with yellow wheels and it would go 90 mph in second gear. It had a hot rod flathead with Lincoln Zephyr gears. It was dad’s truck and I was ridin’ shotgun as often as possible. That truck inspired my love for all cars.”
As the story goes, in 1970 the first ’41 was retired and relegated to an outdoor resting place at the Clark family ranch where it sadly deteriorated over time. The clone seen here has a history with the Clarks as well, having been rebuilt end to end, twice during its own term of service, which began in 1977.
Even in its current incarnation, the pickup’s frame remains essentially stock, only this time re-riveted as necessary by Randy. Suspension up front consists of a dropped Ford axle, Durant monoleaf spring and Bilstein shocks to tame the savage streets of Escondido. Bringing up the rear is a stock ’41 Ford banjo rearend and radius rods, also suspended by a Durant monoleaf spring and Bilsteins, while Wilson Welding Lincoln-style backing plates and stock Ford drums provide an adequate whoa-to-go ratio for a 59A mill (the one the truck was born with), all hopped up by H&H Flatheads of La Crescenta, California. Backing H&H’s powerful package is a stock, column-shifted ’41 three-speed “standard” transmission, last rebuilt at HR&CS by Jim Sheridan.
Because this is, after all, a tale best told by someone who’d been there and done that, let us now turn the storytellin’ over to Randy.
“At age 51 Dad was diagnosed with cancer, and the prognosis wasn’t good. He struggled through two or three years of operations and radiation. One day while visiting with my dad at his ranch, he mentioned that he wished his old ’41 pickup was running ’cause he really missed driving it.
Aside from deletion of the stock spare tire hanger and the leaded-in-rear cab seam, there are no body modifications to speak of. The deep reflections in the PPG topcoats all but speak for themselves as the fit and finish throughout is nothing short of superb.
“Dad had never before asked, nor even hinted that he wished to have his ’41 running again. I called my brother and we hatched a plan to find a ’41 Ford pickup and restore it for our dad. A Christmas present it was to be! The problem was; it was the middle of August. We located one in Chino, California, went and got it, and the race was on to get it rebuilt and roadworthy with only four months ’til Christmas.
“My friend, Bob Goff offered to help. We tore the truck apart and rebuilt the brakes, suspension, trans and radiator—all of the mechanical stuff to make it safe. Pretty would come later!
On Randy’s request, the crackly...
On Randy’s request, the crackly block of the pickup’s original 59A was salvaged. A stock crank and .060-over pistons now add up to 247 cubic inches. The camshaft of choice carries a .355-lift and 274-degree duration, which further benefits from adjustable lifters. Intake is Thickstun and exhaust begins with Fenton.
As a fitting tribute, the...
As a fitting tribute, the ’70s-vintage, personalized California license plate continues to bear the initials of Paul W. Clark.
The pickup rolls on painted...
The pickup rolls on painted steelies—a combination of original 16x4 1/2 and Wheel Vintiques 16x6, manually mounted with Firestone bias-ply rubber from Coker Tire.