Story Of "The Flatbed"
I first saw this truck in a field at a guy's house that I worked for in 2001. It was a 1984 Ford F350 with a 4-barrel 460, backed by a C6 automatic transmission, and a Borg Warner 1345 transfer case. One day I asked him what he was planning on doing with it, if he wanted to sell it and, if so, how much. Months went by and I never got an answer. I asked him again and he told me that he would get back with me soon. A couple of weeks later he came up to me with a proposition. He had a 2-story tin shed full of junk that he wanted torn down because he wanted to put a 3-car garage in its place. He told me that I could have the truck as payment for tearing down the shed and hauling it and its contents away. So I did, and I had the truck towed to my house. After getting to look at it, I saw that it needed a wing-vent window, a carburetor, battery, a brake booster and master cylinder. I replaced those items with new ones and got it running. The truck came with a utility bed that had broken welds where it was welded to the frame and held down by 2 bolts and a bumper. After getting the bed more secure, I put a $20 rattle-can paint job on it and the bumper that made it look better until I could do what I really wanted to do with it, which was to put a flatbed on it. I drove it like that for a couple of years. One day I ran across a flatbed for $50, but it needed a new deck and crossmembers. I bought it and my cousin and I cut it apart and welded on new crossmembers and 1/8" treadplate. I painted it black and put it on the truck. Later on that year, I pulled out the motor and tranny, tore the motor down and rebuilt the lower end with a new stock crank, rods, and Keith Black forged pistons. I bored the block 0.30 over. On top, I reconditioned the heads, added to the already new Edelbrock carburetor, a new RPM intake, RV cam, gear to gear timing, MSD ignition, 6" K&N air filter, and headers. Then the motor was done. I got rid of the automatic transmission and put in a New Process 435 4-speed manual transmission. True dual exhaust finished the upgrade. I once again drove the truck until February 2006. Then I had a friend talk me into tearing it back apart to do body work to it, which in his book consisted of Bondo and long-haired fiberglass. While it was torn apart I noticed the rusty holes in the frame around the spring hangers, so we cut off all the brackets and welded 1/4" steel plates onto the inside of the frame. I ordered new springs, hangers, shackles, U-bolts, shock brackets, helper springs and brackets, all from LMC Truck. I redid all the brakes, bearings, and seals in the rear end. The drive shaft and U-joints were replaced also. Then my supposed friend bailed on me and left me with a half-finished project. I lost interest in it for a while. I met my now wife, and moved 90 miles away from home to be with her. I drove the truck up here with no windows, no exhaust, no radio, no bed, no lights of any kind, no front bumper, no grill, a gas tank ratchet-strapped to the frame rails, and a license plate from my grandma's truck zip-tied to the radiator support. Crazy huh? So I got married, inherited 2 step-sons, had a daughter who suffered brain damage at birth and is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, then moved again but this time was to our first-bought house. Needless to say, I haven't had much time or money to continue working on the project, especially since my wife had to quit her job to stay home and take care of our daughter. Then the first time of filing taxes married with children came along, and I had a refund to spend!! I bought a snow plow for the truck and reconditioned it. Then I searched around the area and found a guy who owned a body shop. He welded in new cab corners and rockers, replaced both doors and one fender, and coated the whole truck in my favorite color paint called Blue Met. He also has recently repainted the flatbed black with a silver headache rack, and is going to put the same silver on the bottom 6" of the truck. I have since FINALLY put the flatbed back on the truck as it sits in my most recently added photos. I have a few more things to do to it and buy for it, but it's finally starting to come around!