Commissioned to shoot a Pontiac for SA Hotrods, I arrived at the builder's workshop on the East Rand with news that the car wasn't ready, but that there was a replacement car. Luckily the crew at Kobus & Sons Classic Cars know what a quality feature car is and so they had Jaco Smit's ground-up rebuilt '55 Ford truck ready for me. Featuring some tasty bodywork and rolling on Foose wheels, it was hard to believe that just six months before it was a lump of rusty metal. The guys knew of a cool venue to use a few kilometers from the workshop, so we drove through to check it out, after seeing what was there I didn't see a need to look for more possible places to shoot. It worked out pretty well I reckon, I even managed to get onto one of the tankers for a few shots, although not as many as I would have liked. I had limited time because the metal was so hot that the soles of my shoes were getting sticky.
Here's an extract from the article to get you up to speed on the specs...
A much newer, but still old, 80s model F100 was bought as a donor car (to the 1955 shell). The body was chucked but the better chassis was kept along with the standard disc brakes and a coveted Ford 9-inch diff. The cabin was painstakingly repaired, the rust was removed and some spots were sorted out old-school style with sheet metal formed to suit. Some body parts weren’t available and so they had to be imported for the project, but that’s normal for most big builds like this, especially on a car from 1955. While things were kept stock looking, the rear fenders were widened by 2-inches, a mod that’s not immediately noticeable but was necessary when you realize that 10-inch wide, black Foose wheels needed to sit snugly under them. With all the right chrome in all the right places and a wooden decked load bin - not to mention the nice and low ride height - the looks of the '55 are pretty much perfect.
Keeping the Ford as a Ford, Kobus & Sons fitted a nicely worked 351 Cleveland V8 into the large engine bay. The sub-assembly was fully built with all new parts that may have raised the compression just a wee bit. Up top it’s been fitted with 4V heads with roller rockers, a stage 2 camshaft and a large, new 4-barrel Edelbrock Performer 750 carburetor. All in all we’re looking at a thumping V8 that kicks out around 400hp with 400Nm that sounds pretty damn wicked and revs almost too easily. This truck hauls! For the interior it was decided to use seats and a centre console from a Jeep Cherokee, but some genuine cowhide was first used to cover them. They’re modern but they suit the theme of the ’55 – badass! There’s also a B&M shifter and a wooden 3-piece imported steering wheel finishing things off. There’s no sound system, Jaco much prefers the soundtrack of the V8 to anything the airwaves can offer up.
I know it doesn't look hot in these pics, but it was a scorcher.
Author: Chris Wall
A slightly tattooed motoring fanatic, photography nut and avid collector of knowledge. Use the search bar to navigate through the archives.