We're building our 1946 Ford pickup around the clock, during the Antique Automobile Club of America's annual Hershey Fall Meet.
Day 1 of the Hagerty Swap to Street Challenge is in the books, and our team of mechanics – Matt, Davin, Tara and Brad – has made some good progress.
The team spent a good deal of time on the show field, tracking down some big parts wins: Correct 1946 Ford pickup bench seat, a bed and rear bumper from a 1952 Ford, rear fenders, leaf springs (from our friends at POSIES Rods and Customs), battery box, engine mounts, transmission mounts, rearview door mirror, inside door handles, and taillights.
First up was installation of the leaf springs. Brad and Matt took on this task with gusto – maybe a little too much gusto, as evidenced by the cut on Brad's forehead.
Meanwhile, Davin worked to fabricate floor pans and weld them to the frame. After noticing a leak in the brake line, he took care of that, too.
Tara made some progress in the cab, tearing out the headliner and cleaning from the glovebox a rat nest fit for a rat king.
There were frustrations, too. First of all, we really wanted to find an engine as soon as possible, preferably a flathead V-8, and preferably a running example. We spotted multiple examples on the field; most of them looking like they didn’t run. Vendors and attendees stopping by the booth gave us tips, which we spent some time chasing down. One of these was a decent option: a flathead from our era of pickup that turned. However, it was missing some components that we knew would add to the complexity of the build. We decided to keep looking.
In the meantime, Brad, Matt and Tara spent longer than you’d guess trying to affix the rear bumper to the frame. It didn’t help that the bumper, brackets and frame were all bent in different directions. The successful completion of that project was cause for celebration.
Our best tip on the engine so far was from an attendee who stopped by the booth to let us know he had a V-8 for sale – at his home in Virginia. The team is going to make a late-night run out there to check it out.
First thing in the morning, we’ll pick up a 6-volt battery.