Hot Rod 33 Ford Pickup – Haulin’ Style

1933 Ford Hot Rod Pickup

hot rods, 1933 ford Pickup
Author and Photographer: Mike Harrington

No doubt about it, this little hot rod pickup has it in spades, unlike many of the flash in the pan gow jobs running the city streets. Gary Culmer’s ’33 pick-em-up was built with design, purpose, and reason.

1933 ford Pickup, 1933 Ford Truck

Purpose and reason: two themes that echoed through Culmer’s mind as he salvaged what was left of this leprous ’33 Ford cab. What was the purpose or reason of having a pickup truck that could haul nothing? It was his goal to have a functional truck that could haul engine blocks, axles, and other discarded Detroit iron. Starting with a discarded Model AA frame from a 1929 1 ½ ton truck would not be the first choice of most builders, however Culmer was undaunted. The AA frame was shortened 18-inches, and then Z’d 6-inches in the back while the front was given a 3-inch sweep and boxed. A one inch dropped Model A cross member was added to the front and finally a tow hitch was added to the rear bumper.

hot rods, pinstriping, 1933 Ford Truck

The bed of this former hay hauler is actually from a 1940 Ford.  With the help of some good friends like Eric Martinez and Gerry Reynolds, the bed was shortened 17-inches and then narrowed 6-inches. The hood on this truck was all handmade in the family two-car garage as well as the louvers on Culmer’s homemade louver press.

Other features on the truck are the ’34 Ford tail lights and ’36 Ford dash complete with Stewart Warner black face gauges, and NOS gauges from a B-17 Flying Fortress. The floors are made from 14 gauge diamond plate painted black, and in Culmer’s own words, it’s for “getting abused!”

hot rods, hot rod Ford, 1933 Ford Truck

When we asked Culmer what he would do differently if he could go back in time and redo it, his response was “I’d find a cleaner, straighter cab. I replaced the bottom 6-inches of the cab with patch panels. The cab was also hit previously, but I had to have a ’32-’34 Ford cab. I found this beat down old ’33 in San Diego.”

A total construction time of 18 months was spent in the build up of this subtle-looking truck. When we asked about the color and paint on the truck, we were surprised to learn that less than twenty dollars was spent on a couple quarts of Rustoleum black and olive green. After the color was sprayed on, Jimmy C. then threw down some pinstriping work, completing the look of this fine hot rod pickup.

hot rod ford pickup, 1933 Ford, pinstriping

The purpose and reason behind the build was it had to be a daily driver. Gary lives in southern California, but works up near the Yosemite Valley as a firefighter during the summer months. That’s nearly a 400 mile trip, one way! The mill that throttles the truck back and forth on these long distance trips is 4.3L Chevy V-6 that came from an old beat up S-10. The transmission is a T-5 that came out of a Camaro, while the rear end is from a ’59 Thunderbird with 3:50 gears. With this drive train combination, this little pick-em-up will get the better side of 25 miles a gallon during these long trips. Maybe the politicians should look at this truck as their “mileage friendly car of the future”. No doubt about it, this truck has it in spades.

See more of Gary’s cool style hauler or is it a stylish cool hauler? Either way, enjoy a few more sites from Michael’s gifted lens.

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