10 October 2015

Swap to Street Challenge: Day Three

It was worth the wait.

We turned over the engine just before 11 p.m. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – quite a bit of work came first.

Brad, Matt, Tara and Davin put in a 16-hour day on Friday at the Hershey Region AACA Swap Meet. And our 1946 Ford pickup build progressed, but not without some bumps. The day dawned cloudy and cool, and the team was nervous about the severe storms forecast at 3 p.m., which motivated everyone to buckle down and focus on their tasks.

They got the wood down in the bed. They got a mess of wiring done. They got some parts they'll need, and they got the flathead in. Then they fired it up for a single, loud, fantastic moment, right around 10:45, with 30 people watching on the ground and about 180 watching from all over the place on the livestream.

It all sounds so simple to say in a few sentences, bing-bang-boom, but this project has not been without its roadblocks. So many of the issues that plague you in your own restoration work over the course of a year (or, let's face it, folks, a decade or two) are the issues they are facing, compressed into four days. They're just replacing two-and-a-half-dozen trips to the junkyard with two-and-a-half-dozen conscripted runners putting in miles at the greatest swap meet in the land. Mostly they've been successful.

After learning Thursday that the oil pan on our flathead — which had come out of a '53 passenger car — didn't quite work in our '46 pickup, we scored what we needed from longtime Hershey Swap Meet supporter Robert “Redneck” Readnack, who donated a truck pan in memory of a friend. It was just another in a long list of kind gestures from fellow car lovers at Hershey. One spectator even gifted us a beautiful diecast model of a 1948 Ford pickup to inspire us to finish the challenge.

Mother Nature was not our friend, as a midafternoon thunderstorm swept through Hershey and had us holding onto side tarps to keep the rain out. But thankfully the rain lasted only a half hour, and moments after it stopped we lowered the engine into place — to cheers from the hearty group of spectators who stuck it out.

Our need for clutch linkage moved to the top of the priority list, and the rain reduced our chances of finding what we needed. Half the vendors on our side of the Swap Meet had already packed up and left. So we went looking for a ’46 Ford pickup that we’d seen in the car corral, slid underneath and took photos of what we needed, and Davin sketched the part, which was quickly fabricated by Worm Inc.. Another victory.

Saturday is all we have left. Our truck must be roadworthy by midnight, which will sneak up quickly. Much to do, much to see. We hope you'll tune in for some of it.

In the meantime, here's the elevator pitch...

Day One in 20 Seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq2002zlQxM

Day Two in 20 Seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDLH5SBGUZY

Day Three in 20 Seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsdywJwHVYY

4 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Tom Smith Spencerport, NY October 11, 2015 at 11:16
    I commend everyone who participated in this event, what a great way to show the younger generation this great hobby.Looking forward to see the finished project. Nice Job!
  • 2
    Edward Clark Belmont, MI 49306 October 12, 2015 at 17:25
    Do you have any photos or video of the ride home? Tell us all about it!
  • 3
    Dave Cavagnaro Blairstown, NJ October 13, 2015 at 10:59
    We watched the 100 hr challenge @ Hershey. However we do not know if they met the challenge, nor how the trip home progressed. Please give me the link to see the final chapter.... Thank you ps: This was a great idea, we hope you do it again.
  • 4
    Larry Hendricks New Port Richey FL October 17, 2015 at 23:19
    I made a similar swap in 1954 (fresh out of the army) A 53 Mercury engine (125hp) into a 1941 Ford. (85hp) As I remember I needed truck water pumps to provide the front engine mounts. Also the spacer from a 50 Mercury to match the engine to the transmission. That engine never did run right. (carburation problems) Should have put in a 59AB (100hp)

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