Eric Aurentz’s

’40 Ford pickup

Street Rodder - - Early Iron -

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:

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