For years we had both wanted a fat fender Ford. We even knew right where one sat and who owned it. For 28 years she sat there. Our friend had hoped to restore her himself for years, so he would not part with her. In February 2016, my husband ran into him and ask about her again. His health was not good enough to do anything with her but was unsure about parting with his father’s truck.
Something must have struck his heart because about a month later he called. He knew how much we wanted her, and explained we were the only ones he would consider selling her to. There was one condition… we would have to keep her original. He didn’t want her chopped up and turned into a hot rod. This was no problem for us at all, as we didn’t want to change her either.
Then the adventure began. The following weekend we began our journey. We hooked up our trailer and headed to Manhattan, KS, where she lay waiting in the middle of the field. Believe it or not, after all those years sitting in that field, we aired the tires up and, yes, they held air! We pushed her up on the trailer and headed home to examine our girl. We couldn’t believe she was finally ours.
When we got her home and off the trailer, we started in. First, under the hood. When we opened it the only thing we could see was the very top of the air breather and a very large rat’s nest. Two garbage cans later, we found her original flathead 6. None of the wires were chewed, but they were worn and showing their age. Curiosity had the best of us, we just had to know. Will she turn over or was she locked up?
The next day we put a battery charger on her, dumped some fuel in her then pushed the button. She was trying but just wouldn’t catch. We tried a new starter, but still no go. We just kept trying but were getting nowhere. Finally when my husband was telling another friend about it, he said “You do realize that’s a positive ground, right?” Well of course, doesn’t everyone? Not! That night we hooked the battery up “the right way,” and she popped right off. Now that we knew the motor ran, we started dismantling, and took her down to bare frame.
Now we were at the place for replacement parts. Not everyone carries old Ford parts so we did a Google search. We found our saving grace, LMC Truck. The best part of finding them is that the parts counter is only 20 min from our home. For the next year and a half, every Saturday we made our list and went to visit our friends at the parts counter. They became more than customer service personnel a long time ago. Everyone is so helpful and knowledgeable, they really helped us to get our “Fat Fifty” where she is today.
Just an added note, those four original tube tires that we aired up a year and a half ago to push up on the trailer, all four still hold air and are sitting in our barn.
With a little hard work (actually a lot) our dreams of sharing her with the world came true.