The list of reasons that a particular project gets delayed can be a long one. “Life gets in the way” is how most of that list is summed up. It’s fairly rare to see “our house and garage burned down” on the list, but that’s exactly what happened to Jerry & Cynthia Curry shortly after Jerry brought home a 1936 Ford pickup.
The previous owner had passed away before ever starting the project, his widow sold Curry the very rough condition truck for only $1200. The fenders and running boards were rough, the truck was at previously a flatbed, but it looked to be a good basis for Curry’s vision. After 20 years in a lean-to and an 8 month delay to rebuild the house and garage Curry was able to begin a 2 year build on the ’36. One major obstacle was that the title and the bill of sale were both in the house at the time of the fire, so after a pile of paperwork a new title was obtained and the project could progress with the confidence that the truck would be driven when it was done.
Curry had always liked ’36 Ford pickups, and had a plan for this build from the beginning. The hardest part of the build was to stick to that plan, when you’re going through a build this extensive there are always ways you can stray from the initial image, and they always seem like a good idea at the time. The vision was a “timeless build that would fit in well at all kinds of shows.” Now that the truck has been together for awhile and the Currys have been able to drive it and take it shows across the Midwest Jerry says he “wouldn’t change a thing.”
Very little remains stock ’36 on this very subtle custom hot rod pickup. Literally from bumper to bumper every part of the truck has received special attention. The bumpers themselves come from a 35-36 Sedan Delivery, the rear with a splash pan custom built by Curry. The fenders and running boards were on the truck when it was purchased but they were rough and required a lot of work to get straight, after that work the entire body was leaded by Ray Petre, no bondo was used anywhere on the truck. The stock ’36 grill shell was laid back 1 1/2” and a new grille insert and surround were fabbed up, again by Petre. The grill itself is made from flat bar stock which has been powder coated and the surround is hand formed stainless steel. Flanking the new custom grille are modified ’36 headlamps, mounted low on the fenders for a cleaner look. The truck’s mirrors were given the same treatment, bringing them in closer to the body for a cleaner look. Out back the stock bed sides are filled with Mack Products oak wood bed kit, which has been raised 3” to allow room for the C notch.
Under a Rootlieb hood top and open sides is a 283 Chevy engine which has been balanced, blueprinted, bored .030 over and has been fitted with 305 cylinder heads. Stuffed with stock connecting rods & flat top pistons, & a Howards camshaft. Topped off by an Offenhauser intake and a triple Rochester carb setup, with spark provided by a Mallory distributor. The exhaust gasses are routed out through blockhugger headers before heading to the owner built 2 1/2” diameter exhaust with 30” glass packs. To further dress up the engine Curry fabricated a few custom brackets and used lots of chrome along with vintage Corvette valve covers providing just the right look. The engine and trans were assembled by Jeremy Coker at The Compound in Merrillville, MO. The 1971 GM 350 trans is controlled by a Lokar floor shifter.
Under the truck Curry handled the fabrication work himself. The frame has been fully boxed, C’d in the back for clearance and fully powder coated for a long lasting finish. Front and rear suspension assemblies come from TCI with a Mustang II in the front & a 4 bar in the rear. The front ride height is adjustable thanks to a pair of AirRide Technologies Shockwaves and while the rear is at static height with a pair of coilovers. For a rear end Curry found a Ford 9”, the braking duties all around are handled by GM discs. All of the fuel and brake lines are polished stainless steel and feature AN fittings. The ’36 rolls on 15×6 Wheelsmith brand wires in the front and 15×7’s in the rears with Diamondback white wall rubber at all 4 corners.
The 2” chop was the first one that Curry had ever done, pulling just enough out to give the truck better proportions without being noticeable. Inside of the cab the interior features a Glide engineering bench seat covered in black vinyl to match the tuck & rolled door panels and custom carpet by Ray Petre. A hidden Kenwood CD player sends signal to a pair of Kenwood speakers cleverly hidden in the old heater box mounted on the firewall. Heat & air now come from a Vintage Air unit and enter the cab through kick panel mounted, owner fabricated vents. A ’40 Ford dash was narrowed to fit the cab & the stock gauges were rebuilt by Lee Kelly. The custom built steering column is topped with a stock 40 Ford steering wheel.
When asked how much the build cost the reply was “too much.” However when you see the response that the Curry’s ’36 Ford gets at every show it goes to, you can see that it was worth it. Curry says the most memorable thing about the truck has been the response that it gets wherever he takes it. The custom mixed PPG Green/Gray paint catches most people’s eyes and the truck’s details keep them circling the truck instead of walking on by. From traditional hot rod shows to street rod events, the crowds love this ’36 Ford.
See you at a show,
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