’40 Ford pickup
The email from Eric Aurentz began, “I would like to introduce you to ‘Frenchenstein,’ my ’40 Ford pickup.” The truck was named after French Aurentz,
Eric’s father. French bought it in 1970 with plans to restore it, but raising three kids took precedence over building his truck. The build finally began in 2012. All work was completed by French and Eric in their backyard shop in Beckley, West Virginia.
French and Eric built a custom chassis with a Mustang II independent front suspension and custom independent rear designed by Eric. Sheetmetal work includes a rear roll pan, dash, center console, and seat surrounds. In January 2016 French died of a heart attack at the age of 67. Building the ’40 had been a father-son effort and Eric knew that the project they started together ought to be continued to completion. The work took another year and a half, with the truck completed in September 2017.
Power comes from a Ford 32-valve 4.6L engine. Air is drawn through a
180-degree air intake tube formed by Butch Riffe who machined various trim pieces as well. The engine is backed by a five-speed transmission and Ford 8.8-inch rearend. Eric shot the Tangerine Scream paint, a modern Ford color that looks great on the all-steel exterior. The Zebrawood bed floor is matched by the steering wheel and console lid. Low-profile tires rolling on modern five-spokes are a contemporary version of classic rolling stock. Eric stitched the seats and door panels using contrasting materials.
French’s signature was used to create the Frenchenstein logo on the coil covers and glovebox door. Those details, as well as the entire truck, exist as a tribute to man who made the project possible.
For more photos of Eric Aurentz’s ’40 Ford pickup, visit: https://bit.ly/2JSos68.