The Stockers’ truck
Steve Marshall is a man on a mission. His mission is to live life
in a bygone age when men were men and rode proper bikes with no
niceties like rear suspension. His garage houses a bobbed ’66
Triumph Daytona and a Pre Unit ’58 that’s slowly coming
together as another hardtail to join the other bikes owned by the
collective of friends known as The Stockers.
The thing is, while he’s building this he needs something
as a parts chaser, but what? Obviously it needs to fit in with
his chosen lifestyle so a Transit van is out of the question. Luckily
Steve is the sort of guy that knows people. One of the people he
knows is Skratch. Now Skratch is a US-based hot rod builder and
pinstripe artist who just happened to have a ’59 Ford F100
step-side pick up for sale. A couple of phone calls later and by
August ’08 the truck was on a boat and heading to the UK
from Sun Valley, California.
Now this is no ordinary
old pick up, it has a bit of history. First registered in ’59 by the US Navy it did sterling service
until being pensioned off to United Grove College in ‘71.
Unfortunately, not long after that it got driven into a barn and
left, making it a nice barn find for Skratch in 2005. One benefit
of life in the barn was that it acquired its wonderful patina,
a point which never fails to amaze Steve. “The thing that
makes me chuckle is the people that don't get it and say what colour
are you going to paint it? Feck ‘em... she took 50 years
to get like this, why spoil her now?” The only paint it’s
seen since Steve’s owned it is The Stockers logo on the doors.
That’s not to say that Skratch left it alone though, come
on he’s a rod builder after all. The first thing he did was
knock up a set of lake pipes running under the sides of the cab
with capped ends and a second exit that runs up the end of the
pick up bed through a pair of Cherry Bombs and along the top sides
of the bed. Strictly between you and me, the only time it’s
not run on the open lake pipes is when it goes for an MOT.
Now one thing guaranteed to make any vehicle, and I do mean any,
look better is to lower it. Fortunately Skratch feels the same
way as I do and dropped the truck 4in all round, finishing the
look off with Firestone Deluxe Champion whitewall crossplies.
Being the tinkerer he is, Steve started to play with the truck
once he got it home. The first thing to be changed was the carb
on the 223ci straight six motor. The Carter two barrel it had fitted
with an adaptor plate was in Steve’s words “totally
shagged”. No problem, he managed to source a Holley 1904
single barrel, which the truck was meant to wear anyway, and rebuilt
it and bolted on.
Next up on the shit list were the wipers. Being an old truck
it had vacuum wipers - if you’ve ever had the experience of
going up a hill in heavy rain you’ll know what a royal pain
in the… these can be. If you haven’t, don’t try
it. His answer was to fit a two-speed electric 12-volt wiper motor,
which in turn led to rewiring the whole truck for 12 volts and
while he had the wires and pliers out, on went UK spec lights too,
useful for small legal niceties like an MOT.
While the truck was off the road having all this done he got
busy and fitted new king pins on the front suspension, stainless
brake pipes, new brake cylinders, a new alternator and a new battery
to run it all.
So now as he says the only future plans are to, “carry on
driving the hell out of it...”
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