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