Every issue of Custom Classic Trucks is filled with stories of hobbyists' hot-rod hauler dreams coming true. CCT's Feature Editor acquired the automotive enthusiast gene from his dad. Going to car shows from the age of five, he developed a passion for vehicles from the '20s up to the present day. Father and son Smith have dreamed of building and owning a drop-top Ford from the '30s for more than 30 years. The '33/34 Ford roadsters have always been at the top of the wish list for "Top 10 Vehicles to One-day Own."

Traveling to shows throughout the country, we see an abundance of Ford Model A and '32 Ford roadster pickups. We rarely see a '33/34 phantom Ford roadster pickup (car-bodied roadster pickup). And we've never seen a real commercial-bodied '33/34 roadster pickup, except in photographs.

But, they do exist. By commercial body, we refer to the '33/34 Ford truck grille, hood, fenders, doors, bed, and other truck body panels that were used. According to Jim Wagner, author of Ford Trucks Since 1905, The Ford Motor Company manufactured 347 roadster pickups in 1934. Also in 1934, Ford of Australia began building Coupe Utilities, or Utes, for short. Utes were the first Rancheros, in which the bed and cab were one piece. They had the wondrous Art Deco-influenced car grille and flowing coupe/roadster fenders, first penned by a talented British-born Ford automotive designer Gene "Bob" Gregori. Aussie Ford Utes were available either with folding roadster tops or as closed cabs. They were an instant hit Down Under. So much so, several automotive manufacturers based in Australia and New Zealand still offer present-day Ranchero and El Camino variants.

What we're getting to is the new CCT Project Truck that's being built--a Real Steel '34 Ford roadster pickup. Real Steel Inc. is a division owned and operated by Steve's Auto Restorations (SAR) in Portland, Oregon. SAR is a multi-faceted professional shop that specializes in transforming automotive dreams into reality. As a youngster, SAR's owner, Steve Frisbie, nurtured his love for all-things-automotive in his father's service station. Given Steve's passion, experience, knowledge, and expertise with vintage automobiles in general, and the '33/34 Ford roadster in particular, we knew SAR would be the place to create the '34 Ford roadster pickup cab.

To give the roadster pickup an aggressive street-rod look, we needed a shortened, hot-rod-style bed that would be in proportion to the graceful '34 roadster-car-styled cab. We investigated several vintage pickup bed manufacturers and learned that Pro's Pick in Fergus, Ontario, Canada, manufactures custom-length pickup beds to order.

Since the project truck would look more like an Aussie roadster pickup than one of the 347 commercial-bodied Ford roadster pickups, we needed to obtain steel coupe/roadster fenders. Specialized Sheetmetal in Clayton, Ohio, stamps '33/34 fenders and sells to pro shops across the U.S., including SAR. That was enough to sell us, so we ordered the fronts and rears.

While we lined up the necessary components to go with SAR's first '33/34 Ford roadster pickup cab build, Steve commissioned one of his craftsmen, Dave Brost, to create a rendering of the truck. The stylized drawing would serve as a blueprint to proceed--and proceed, they did. SAR's crew isn't as fast as Ford's '30s assembly line, but they're abundantly more creative and talented. Follow along in words and photos to see how Steve's Auto Restorations worked bare-metal magic with 19-gauge sheetmetal.

Specialized Sheetmetal
6295 Hoke Rd. Dept. CCT
OH  45315
Steve's Auto Restorations Inc.
4440 S.E. 174th Dept. CCT
OR  97236
Pro's Pick
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