Short Cuts

Chop­ping a bed and adding a re­tractable cover for the 2018 United Pa­cific/ STREETRODDER Road Tour pickup

Street Rodder - - Contents - By Ron Ceri­dono Photography by Brian Bren­nan

Our 2018 United Pa­cific/ STREET ROD­DER Road Tour Ford pickup Pre­sented by Ford Per­for­mance Parts is a right-on replica of what Ford built in 1932 from grille shell to tail­gate.

In 1932, Ford ev­i­dently be­came se­ri­ous about build­ing pickup trucks that could haul a load. Although they were built on pas­sen­ger car chas­sis, just as the Model T and A were, Ford in­creased the size of the pickup bed con­sid­er­ably in 1932 to haul larger loads (pos­si­bly be­cause of the stronger chas­sis and the avail­abil­ity of the more-pow­er­ful V-8, even though many trucks were still be­ing equipped with four cylin­ders). Although pub­lished fig­ures vary de­pend­ing on how the mea­sure­ments were taken (in­side or out­side),

1928 through the first half of 1931 Model A beds were

56-1/2 inches long and 40-3/4 inches wide; in May of 1931 a larger, 61-inch-long, 46-inch-wide bed was in­tro­duced; in 1932 those di­men­sions grew to 65-1/2 inches long by 46 inches wide.

While the larger '32 pickup bed was util­i­tar­ian, aes­thet­i­cally it missed the mark. But hot rod­ders fig­ured out how to cure that, whack the last foot or so off the bed, move the tail­gate for­ward, and you had a much bet­ter pro­por­tioned truck. Of course in the hot rod­ding uni­verse if a lit­tle is good a bunch is bet­ter, and some took chop­ping beds to ridicu­lous ex­tremes. For­tu­nately for us Eric Black’s taste­ful art­work and re­straint on the part of Dean Liver­more and the Hot Rods By Dean (HRBD) crew re­sulted in a mildly chopped bed that looks great. HRBD re­moved 12 inches from our truck’s bed so skill­fully that many ob­servers don’t re­al­ize what was done; all they know is this is one good-look­ing Deuce pickup.

To give the chopped bed a fin­ished look and add the se­cu­rity that Jerry

Dixey needs to trans­port ev­ery­thing that is re­quired to be hauled on the Road Tour, we con­tacted Re­trax, man­u­fac­turer of in­no­va­tive bed cov­ers. Think of them as hor­i­zon­tal roll-up garage doors.

Re­trax of­fers four ba­sic style of bed cov­ers: poly­car­bon­ate con­struc­tion with a sin­gle rail lock point and 200-pound load limit on the closed cover that may be op­er­ated man­u­ally or elec­tri­cally. An­other op­tion comes with heavy-duty alu­minum slats, dual rail lock points, and a 500-pound load limit on the closed cover. It is also avail­able in power and man­ual ver­sions, which is the style we chose.

With the bed short­ened for looks, the Re­trax cover in place for se­cu­rity, we’re al­most ready to hit the road tour.

■ Hot Rods By Dean be­gan bob­bing the bed by cut­ting off the rear por­tion just ahead of the stamped body line in the bed sides. Cuts were made with a com­bi­na­tion of cut­off wheels and a re­cip­ro­cat­ing saw. Note the tape mark­ing the cut with ar­rows to en­sure the cut was made in the proper place.

■ The chopped bed on the United Pa­cific/ STREET ROD­DER Road Tour pickup looks cool and the Re­trax bed cover keeps its con­tents se­cure.

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