Though it took a ride in the old ’51 Ford to convince Godwin Osifeso’s fiancée Carolyn that the truck would be a good project for them to undertake along with Godwin’s kids, Garrett, Tilewa, and Olusola, she would become a prominent figure in the restoration of the F-1.
Beforehand, Godwin and Garrett had been perusing Craigslist looking for a new project to share space with the rest of their collection, which includes a Model A pickup, a Mustang, a Thunderbird, and a Harley, among others. What they would eventually find was exactly what they were looking for—an early Ford pickup to complement their maxed-out, all-Ford stable. Upon arrival, however, it turned out that the Ford was worse than they’d originally thought. This was when the conviction set in, solidifying the Osifesos alliance toward getting the old Ford back up and running, and looking better than it had in 50 years.
The crew gathered ’round the drafting table, which as an architect, is a natural gathering spot for Godwin to hash out the ideas they had for the project. The sheetmetal was pretty beat, the truck lacked a bed floor or bumpers, the interior was ripped to shreds, and the dash was hacked up really bad, so these items would have to be sorted out for certain. It was also decided to bring the truck back up to stock height as someone had previously lowered it in a fairly poor fashion.
While the chassis was restored back to stock specs, straight axle and all, the Osifesos decided that the drivetrain would receive a slight upgrade, though keeping with the Ford moniker. Bayer Racing, in their hometown of Rancho Cucamonga, California, put together a ’67 Ford 302ci V-8 to provide the power for their project. Using MSD ignition, the Ford breathes through a Holley carb and Edelbrock intake, and out Hooker headers through Flowmaster mufflers. Power is transmitted to the stock Dana rear through a three-speed automatic transmission prepped by Mynor Martinez. A Lokar shifter helps Godwin row through the gears.
Once the mechanical aspects were sorted out, the team turned their attention to the aesthetic portion of the build, which is when Carolyn stepped in and picked the black and copper color combo that Toledo Auto Reconditioning in La Puente, California, sprayed liberally. Reconditioned bed wood fills the void that existed when they picked up the truck along with a set of bedrails fabricated by Dave Morgan.
Inside the cab, Carolyn’s keen eye was again put to work, choosing the black and copper two-tone leather appointments that were stitched by Sewcal Upholstery. Kicker speakers, amp, and sub punch out the tunes provided by the JVC head unit. Toledo Auto filled the cut-up stock dash and installed a set of Auto Meter gauges to keep a close eye on the Ford drivetrain. A custom center console was fabricated beneath a hide-away, underdash console that houses the JVC head unit and glovebox.
Godwin and his little army of helpers finished the build in seven short months, thanks to many all-nighters pulled off by even the youngest of the Osifeso children. By March 2012, the F-1 was finished, having made their deadline of the Goodguys Del Mar show. Cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway to the show was a highlight of the build Godwin tells us, capped off with an early group of admirers gathering around the Ford at a lunch stop in Solana Beach before they could even reach the car show grounds.
What started as another project to add to the family’s collection soon turned into a family affair, with every member lending a helping hand, from shagging water to cleaning the workspace, often into late hours of the night. After 31 years of automobile infatuation, no better activity seems more appropriate to Godwin and his family. CCT