Sometimes ideas and plans can live on in concept form for decades until they finally come to fruition. It’s easy to comprehend, especially when at a young age a particular fascination consumes your thoughts, be it a type of architecture, a career path, or better yet, a style of classic truck. For Dick Schaeffer of Severna Park, Maryland, his obsession with classic trucks started back in the ’60s with his high school daily driver.
There’s nothing cooler than standing apart from the rest and it was easy for Dick to do with a ’54 International hauler packed with Chevy big-block power. Driving the International for a number of years, he spent plenty of time wrenching on it and learning from the experiences it brought along. It was at that time when his appreciation of Ford trucks began to evolve.
As the years moved along there were a number of neat rides occupying his garage including a 1969 Mustang Mach 1, a pair of Jaguar XKEs, and even a small-block-Chevy-powered Datsun 280Z, all of which he put plenty of miles on. Somehow though his plans for a classic Ford truck were kept on the backburner and never forgotten. It’s always fun to come to the realization that its time to take on a quest that will eventually lead you to nirvana.
A few years before his retirement, Dick decided to start looking for a 1948 Ford pickup to act as a springboard for the truck he had been building in the back of his mind since he was a teen. He chose the ’48 model year due to a combination of the year’s style and fact that he was also born in ’48. Sounds simple right? Well anyone out there knows that it can take quite a bit of time to locate just the right base to start your project with. For Dick it meant lots of time searching and networking both on the web and through phone calls to come up with a winner. One day he received a call from a good friend passing through Omaha, Nebraska, who came across a near rust-free, complete truck with a great story behind it.
As with most trucks, they’re born to serve a life of hard work once they leave the production line. It’s almost impossible to find one still in its original state that hasn’t been abused, let alone one where its ownership can be traced back to when it was first sold. Dick followed up on the lead and soon discovered not only was the truck in fact rust free, but that there were only two prior owners. Even though it was a ’49 (and not a ’48) his interest in it piqued especially since visually the 1948 and 1949 models are very similar.
Contacting the current owner he was advised that the F-1 was originally sold to a farmer in Utah with a six-cylinder engine and four-speed trans. It served the farmer well for over 30 years and was then sold off to a mechanic in California who enjoyed it for another 30 years, taking it with him to Omaha when he retired. He began gathering parts for its restoration, but the project languished in his garage till it was offered up for sale. After hearing the stories and seeing the pictures of it, Dick wasted no time in making a deal and having the truck shipped back to Maryland.
Living on the East Coast and being a fan of classic transportation, you would certainly be familiar with many of the superbly crafted hot rods, muscle cars, and classic trucks that have rolled out of The Hot Rod Garage in Denton, Maryland. Dick was no stranger to the work that Ray Bartlett and his team of dedicated craftsman had turned out, so when it came time to take on the build of the ’49 there was no question as to who he would have do the job. After meeting with Bartlett, the pair laid out a plan for the rebirth of the truck with an infusion of subtle, well-thought-out enhancements to bring a whole new level of design elements to the F-1.
Seeing that this would be a full build, the team got started by tearing the truck down to bare bones to evaluate what could be saved and what would need replacement. It was not going to be a stock restoration; many of the components such as the rolling chassis and driveline would be replaced by more modern components. For a rock-solid spine a call was placed to Total Cost Involved Engineering for one of their complete chassis, featuring their exclusive 8-inch main ’rails which are fully boxed with center section and all crossmembers installed.