What is your gearhead dream? Maybe it's a 3,000-square-foot garage full of vehicles, possibly with some kind of house attached. Maybe it's your own personal road race course. Maybe it's having a father who instilled in you a passion for custom cars and trucks—or a son who owns a top-shelf hot rod shop.
For many people in this hobby, these dreams never get further than the imagination, but for a lucky few, one might become reality. For Ed Tesar of Brunswick, Ohio, it was the one about having a shop-owning son. For Dan Tesar, Ed's son, and the co-owner of Precision Hot Rods & Fabrication Inc. in Macedonia, Ohio, it was the one about having a father who encouraged his interest in this stuff.
Dan and his wife Kim got the idea to build a truck for Ed about six years ago. "My father worked at the same machine shop for 35 years and always did a lot of machining for us. When he retired, we wanted to build something for him that he would have fun with," Dan explained.
The raw material for the project was a rusty old 1947 F-1 pickup. The plan was to build it as a resto-mod with an upgraded suspension for driveability. That plan was faithfully adhered to, starting with the truck's "killer chassis," as Dan calls it.
Modifications to the frame, include the Pro Street style rear. The front suspension was replaced with a Chrysler-style torsion bar setup, utilizing Mopar spindles, power steering, and 11-inch disc brakes. The rearend came from 9-inch specialists John's Industries in Caspian, Michigan. It runs a 3.55:1 gear ratio and is equipped with Truetrac limited slip. Tying the rear to the frame are a four-link, coilover shocks, and an antiroll bar, from Total Cost Involved. Rear drums are from John's Industries; a Kugel pedal assembly activates a Corvette master cylinder.
Dan says the 1947 was built for fun and for the street, so he must have figured that 620 horses was a good number to deliver the kind of fun they were looking for. The Ford Racing Performance Parts 514 crate engine is built around a stroked 460 block, with SCJ aluminum heads. The Victor Jr. manifold is built for a Dominator; Dan used a custom-built Dominator-style carb from CFM Performance Carburetors in Litchfield, Ohio. A Cadillac air cleaner adds some early style to the all-business engine. An MSD ignition and Taylor wires deliver spark, and a Walker radiator and Spal dual fans keep the engine from overheating. Dan built the stainless steel headers and exhaust pipes, with a pair of SpinTech stainless mufflers to keep the decibels down. A Gearstar C6 transmission and converter, spinning a Denny's Driveshaft, delivers torque to the rear gears.
From the outside, the fat rear tires are the only indication of the performance modifications made to the F-1. The body, which was rough and finished in primer when the project started, has been mostly restored—with a few low-key exterior changes. The stock front bumper was shaved. A rear roll pan was built below the tailgate, with cutouts for the tailpipes. The stock taillights were exchanged for 1937 Ford taillights mounted on the fenders. The bed floor was redone using oak with a green stain, with a custom toolbox built for the front. When the 1947 was ready for paint, Precision created a custom mix of PPG paint now known as Tezar Green. The chrome was revived by Jon Wright at Custom Chrome Plating in Grafton, Ohio.
Wheeltubs extend into the bed to accommodate those super-sized meats. Nitto NT404 305/60R17 high-performance truck tires were wrapped around 17x9.5-inch classic five-spoke Torq Thrusts from American Racing. In the front, 15x6 Torq Thrusts are paired with 165R15 Firestones.
The inside of the cab, including the Glide Engineering seat, was covered in cinnamon-colored leather by Lehman's Upholstery in Wadsworth, Ohio. Jim Maneri installed an American Autowire harness to keep the VDO gauges, Vintage Air A/C system, and other electrical components are functioning. The 1940 Ford steering wheel turns atop a Flaming River tilt column.
The F-1 became a top priority project during the time it took to build it. The truck was finished in 10 months—but the goal—to build a fun truck for Ed Tesar, was accomplished over the rest of Ed's life. He drove the 1947 around the Cleveland area, and to shows in the region, sharing driving privileges with his friend Bill Wermen. After Ed passed away in February of last year, Bill continued to keep the truck on the road, including a trip to the Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus in July. The truck was built to create fun times for Ed. We can't think of a better way to keep his memory alive than by keeping the fun times coming.