Some could say the heavily modified Ford F-1 we have here is one of those that went unnoticed. Fret not, as the thing is now back in the spotlight, on account of it becoming available to collectors on the open market.
As most of you already know, the current range of Ford F-Series trucks traces its roots back to the pickups made immediately after the end of the Second World War. Born as the Ford Bonus-Built in 1948, the first half-ton F-Series was also known as the F-1 until 1952, when the second generation came along and changed that to F-100.
The truck you’re now looking at is part of that first-generation F-1. We’re told it originally came with the usual cab and bed assembly, and a 6-cylinder flathead engine under the hood, running a 3-speed manual transmission.
Like all other vehicles of this kind, it was put to use immediately after rolling off the assembly lines, and received an aluminum box at the rear. That was meant to support the transportation of goods performed back in the 1950s by a Denver, Colorado business called Happy Home Delivery Service.
It apparently served the needs of said enterprise for about 16 years, and then it went on to cater to the needs of a plumbing company. It’s unclear how much it was used to carry plumbing equipment, but it eventually disappeared from The Centennial State’s roads. Like it so often happens with vehicles, it was most likely abandoned.
The truck is one of the lucky ones, as someone came across it in a salvage yard and decided it was worth… a salvage. We’re told that, when found, it came with no driveline, plenty of holes in the bodywork, and an overall decrepit state.
The ones who saved it go by the name Pot O’Gold Kustoms. It’s a crew that’s been around since the early 1980s, presently in the business of making LS swaps, diesel conversions, upgrades, and the works.
In the case of the Ford truck, which was shown at SEMA360, these guys went overboard. Few of the truck’s original parts are still around, and the thing now looks so bonkers it kind of makes one feel it’s time to rush over to Glendale, Arizona, and bid whatever it takes during the Mecum auction taking place there at the end of March.
The work performed on the truck was extensive and included everything from fitting a new engine to the reskinning of the body. As usual, we’ll start from the ground up by letting you know the machine now rides on Detroit Steel wheels. They are sized 20 inches at the front and 22 inches at the rear, giving this bread truck, as its makers call it, a menacing, forward-leaning appearance.
The front wheels are supported by an independent suspension system, while the ones at the back are tied to a narrowed Ford 9-inch rear end with a 4-link suspension. It’s the Airlift system, though, that makes the massive truck capable of sitting so close to the ground when stationary.
Under the hood, the original 6-cylinder flathead has been replaced by a much more potent Cummins 4-cylinder engine. It’s unclear how much power it develops, but all of it is harnessed in controlled bursts by a Turbo 400 automatic transmission.
The bulging eyes of the truck, its projector headlights, are of Harley-Davidson make, while the rear ones come as LEDs. Only the front end of the truck is painted black (in something called Sherwin Williams Blackish Green Mica) to match the color of the wheels, while the rest of the bodywork remains bare metal, creating a delicious disconnect.
It’s like looking at a hybrid between the beautiful front end of a custom, show-ready F-1 and the rear of a hauling machine meant for use in a factory somewhere, with visible rivets and the words Pot O’Gold Kustoms written in an apparently careless manner on the sides.