Fred and Jane Struckman’s 1936 Ford Pickup
WE’VE ALL HEARD OF RESTORED VEHICLES, BUT WHAT DO YOU CALL SOMETHING THAT’S BEEN REBUILT BETTER THAN IT WAS ORIGINALLY MADE? The word is “restomod,” and it’s best applied to Fred and Jane Struckman’s ’36 Ford pickup. The Struckman family lives in the small town of Fulton, Arkansas, and it’s easy to see that the couple enjoys the simpler things in life, like small-town living and antique automobiles.
But they don’t like just any old vehicle; they’re specifically drawn to ’30s Ford pickups. Something about the simple lines strikes a chord in the pair, and they finally decided it was time to make one of their very own.
Once they located a suitable ’36 Ford, they agreed to make their truck different from any other. Their goal was to keep it original, but with flare and a few modern-day luxuries hidden throughout the build. Although they hadn’t decided on every change they’d make, there were a few things they were certain that they wanted from day one. Air conditioning, a more comfortable and unique interior, a better overall exterior look and a powertrain that would make the truck more reliable and fun to drive than the original flathead V-8 were scheduled right off the bat.
FANS OF CLEAN AND SIMPLE, FRED AND JANE DECIDED TO COAT THE FORD BODY IN AXALTA DESERT TAN. ALTHOUGH THE TAN MIGHT SEEM TOO MUTED, THERE WERE PLENTY OF PLANS FOR THE INTERIOR AND OUTER ACCENTS TO CONTRAST THE EARTH-TONED EXTERIOR.”
They got started by bringing the truck down to Hot Rods by JSK in Cumby, Texas. The team at JSK isn’t new to restoration or hot-rod-style builds. Having many under their collective belt, it’s easy to see why Fred and Jane knew they were the perfect shop for the job.
Starting with the basics, the JSK crew set out to give the pickup a more aggressive stance for its upcoming engine plans. After a few customs tweaks, the ’36 was fitted with coilover springs as well as a set of 2-inch drop spindles with a set of narrowed Heidt’s control arms with matching Heidt’s shocks to give it a clean front drop. The rear suspension setup was narrowed and fitted with a matching leaf-spring setup to give the truck a tasteful drop all around. When adding power, always add stopping power, and the 11-inch front disc brakes offer an abundance. They didn’t want to waste all of that work making the suspension perfect
just to have it ride on stock wheels, so the JSK crew and the Struckmans found a middle ground between old school and new for the wheels on the ’36. A staggered set of Wheelsmith Artillery wheels was mounted, leaving the frame ready for its new heart, a 5.7L V-8 motor from a 1996 Chevrolet Corvette. While some enthusiasts would have a heart attack over putting a Chevy motor in a Ford, the build crew thinks of themselves as equal opportunity supporters, and they also enjoy the simplicity and capability that the GM motors provide. As one might imagine, the large V-8 wasn’t a drop-in perfect fit, but the veterans at JSK fear no challenge and easily fit the new heart in the chassis.
Fans of clean and simple,
Fred and Jane decided to coat the Ford body in Axalta Desert Tan. Although the tan might seem too muted, there were plenty of plans for the interior and outer accents to contrast the earth-toned exterior. From the bench seat to the headliner to the custom-made door panels and dashboard, JSK Red covered every inch, enveloping the driver and passenger in timeless luxury. A one-of-akind touch was added to the dash: the lower portion of a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr dash bottom was grafted onto the pickup’s
original. A tasteful new stereo setup and air conditioning from Vintage Air were also added to provide a couple of modern conveniences to the ’36’s interior. The JSK Red from the interior was carried over to the wheels and as a tasteful pinstripe across the body. To top it all off, an oak bed floor with stainless steel accents was dropped into the rear of the truck.
Since the build has been finished, the Struckmans have been enjoying driving their one-of-a-kind modern classic. At car shows or around their hometown, you can count on seeing this tan beauty cruising as weather permits.
The Struckmans want to give a tremendous thank you to Hot Rods by JSK for bringing their old farm truck back to life, and they’d also like to thank all of their friends and family who helped or supported them along the way.
THE STRUCKMANS HAVE BEEN ENJOYING DRIVING THEIR ONEOF-A-KIND MODERN CLASSIC. AT CAR SHOWS OR AROUND THEIR HOMETOWN, YOU CAN COUNT ON SEEING THIS TAN BEAUTY ...”
A MODERN TIME CAPSULE, THIS ’36 FORD DEFINITELY TAKES US BACK TO SIMPLER TIMES.
THIS ENGINE BAY HAS THE PERFECT COMBINATION OF RETRO AND MODERN TO SATISFY ANY TRUCK LOVER.
IT DOESN’T GET MUCH CLEANER THAN THE INTERIOR OF THIS ’36 FORD.