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 steel 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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