Rudy Rodriguez' 1935 Ford

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Rudy's truck at the 2001 Cruisin' Nationals in Paso Robles. Photo courtesy of Brian Auderer, from The HAMB.
Another photo of Rudy's truck from the 2001 Cruisin' Nationals. Photo courtesy of Brian Auderer, from The HAMB.
Rudy's truck as it appeared when it was featured in Car Kulture DeLuxe 3.
The Rudy Truck repainted by by another owner and listed for sale on eBay
Ralph Whitworth bought the Rudy Truck and had his Flying A Garage logo painted on the doors of the truck.
In 2008 Ralph Whitworth returned the truck to Rudy’s garage, where Rudy personally executed a complete cosmetic restoration to its livery as he originally created it.
Rudy's truck as it sat in 2009 after the cosmetic restoration.

1935 Ford Bobber Truck built by Rudy Rodriguez of Fullerton Fabrication. When the truck was completed in 2002 it was responsible for starting a Bobber Truck trend. The project started 2 years earlier. After buying a house with his wife, Rudy was forced to give up all of his two wheeled possessions. With nothing left in the garage to excite him, he used a 1935 Ford pickup cabin and a bed he had lying around as a base for his next project.[1] After collecting enough parts to mock up an old Ford truck, Rudy advertised the car for sale in the recycler. As it didn't sell, Rudy lowered the price several times. The price was in the end so low that Rudy realized that nobody else wanted the old truck.[2]

The cab was a bargain; he had bought it for $200. Rudy wanted the car to have a low appearance, so he chopped the roof 7 inches and channeled the body another 7 inches. A frame Rudy had gotten for free was shortened by taking 12 inches out of the middle and another 6 from the rear, ending up with a wheelbase of 112". The cut down frame received a custom tubular X member and transmission mount, a 10 inch step in the rear and a custom front cross-member with the rails C'd for spring clearance. The front end was a 1932 Ford front end with reversed eye spring, owner made batwings, and Pete & Jake's shocks on shortened 1956 Ford truck shock mounts. The front brakes were 1947 Mercury.[2] The firewall was modified to fit a 1948 Ford 239 cu. in Flathead V8 engine that Rudy had bought from Robert Lomas. Rudy modified the firewall so that the engine could be raised higher and moved back. In Rodriguez’s view, Flatheads typically sit too low, which makes them look smaller than they really are.

Up front the car was fit with a raked 1934 Ford passenger car grille,[1] and 1937 Chevrolet Commercial headlights. The grille was sectioned 2 inches. The bed was shortened 6 inches in the rear, and 12 inches in the front in order to fit the reduced wheelbase. The bed had been a trailer that Rudy got for $30. The engine featured Navarro polished heads, an Edelbrock three deuce intake fit with Stromberg 97 carburetors. The Edelbrock intake was later replaced by a Harrel twin carb intake. By using a "Flat-o-Matic" adapter kit Rudy mated the engine to a C4 automatic transmission with a nine-inch rear end from a 1964 Ford Galaxie. The rear end was mounted with transverse mounted leaf springs from a Toyota Corolla. Both front and rear wheels were 1940 Ford.[2]

Rudy equipped the truck with a 1940 Ford steering box and column held in the dash by a 1947 Mercury column drop. The stock dash was kept and Stewart Warner gauges were installed. The shifter was made from a genuine 5 shot pistol from 1874. Once completed, the truck was decorated with door graphics and pinstriping. "Hooker Jose" was responsible for the artwork.[2]

After completing the build, the car was sold and changed hands several times with each owner changing the pinstriping and personalizing the artwork on the doors. The car was offered for sale on eBay with the original graphics removed and replaced by the number "5" on each door. The Rudy Truck ended up in the Ralph Whitworth collection being part of the America's Car Collection Museum in Winnemucca, Nevada. When Ralph bought the car he had the Flying A Garage logo painted on the doors of the truck.[3] In 2008 Ralph Whitworth returned the truck to Rudy’s garage, where Rudy personally executed a complete cosmetic restoration to its livery as he originally created it.[1]

September 26th, 2009 the Rudy Rodriguez Truck was sold at the Icons of Speed & Style Auction in Los Angeles, California. The truck was sold for $55,000 USD.[1]


Magazine Features

Car Kulture DeLuxe 3


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