In the January issue of Custom Classic Trucks, we ran an item in Classic News about Chuck Porter's chopped, channeled, and sectioned '49 F-1 Ford custom being tracked down by his daughter Debby Porter and slated for restoration. Since Debby intended to cruise the truck while she was restoring it back to how it first appeared in 1955 on the cover of Hot Rod magazine, number one on her list of things to do was to bring the '49's brakes back up to the original specifications.
After searching for someone familiar with the mechanical workings of '50s-era vehicles, Debby brought the old F-1 to a repair shop that agreed to dial the F-1's four-wheel drum brakes back to their former glory. As we soon discovered when we started this tech, the shop took all of the right steps to ensure a good job. The brake drums were turned, and new brake shoes were arced to match; the hydraulic wheel cylinders were replaced along with installing new flex hoses. All in all, it appeared that the place did a fair-decent job of restoring the F-1's brakes.
But not too long after picking the truck up from the repair shop, Debby fired up the '49's trusty dual-quad Cadillac engine and motored off toward a Friday night cruise. This is where it all went bad. Smack-dab in the middle of rush-hour traffic behind a swarm of trendy Volvos and Lexuses screeching up to a red light, the old truck came to a stop stuffed halfway into an Audi trunk. On the bright side, and amazingly enough, the old Ford fared pretty well (who cares about the Audi) with its trademark custom one-off custom grille intact, but unfortunately, the passenger-side front fender and custom pancaked hood with louvers and a custom-made scoop suffered a heavy hit.
Right out of the gate, Chuck Porter's '49 Ford lost its '80s flavor (or should we say stin