Article and photography by Richard Butschi
(Part 1, and past articles, can be viewed at www.cityrevealed.com. Click on “past issues”.)
Continuing with the story of Archie Faulkner and Diana Schumacher, of Center Point, they now have their first “toy” in the garage – a ‘32 Ford Roadster. After taking it to some area shows and most always riding “shotgun,” Diana got to thinking that maybe she needed a “toy” of her very own. Arch agreed. Perusing the internet, Diana ran across a ‘59 Ford Galaxie, complete with plastic seat covers. Diana dubbed the Ford, “Esther,” as it brought back memories of her Aunt Esther’s plastic-covered sofa. However, the deal fell through due to an oversized price tag.
Giving it more thought, Schumacher began picturing herself in a pickup, like the one her dad had. She located one in Paxton, IL, and passed the info onto Arch. On the sly, Arch spent some time on-line, trying to buy it for Diana’s 60th birthday in October. It was an Arizona car that the owner bought through an auction, so it was somewhat rust-free. A month or so later, they were headed to Illinois, bought it, drove it home and started work on it the same day in April 2015.
It’s a 3100 model with Deluxe cab with a “stepside” box, featuring wrap-around windows, front and rear – something unique with the new Task Force series of ½, ¾, and full-ton Chevy trucks that year. Archie called upon his long-time friend, Jeff Kleinmeyer of Premier Auto in North Liberty, to re-apply the Corvette Red paint to all the body panels. Faulkner knows his way around engines and went through the Chevy’s 350 adding an Edelbrock intake, 650 cfm Demon carburetor, new exhaust headers, oil pan, water pump and a slew of replaced chrome parts from the ‘32 roadster. The trans is a TH350 with Lokar kickdown. A newly balanced driveshaft transfers power to the 10-bolt rearend.
The interior also needed work. The 40/60 bench seat didn’t line up well with the steering wheel and was replaced with a regular bench - but not without issue. Diana had completed the door and kick panels and measured from door-to-door for the “donor” seat, making sure it would fit, then hustled it uptown to Bob’s Auto Interiors for completion in gray vinyl and cloth. The install was done in their garage, with Arch backing across the cab interior and lining up his side, while Diana was wondering why she had a couple inches of the seat’s back hanging out, yet. It’s then that they realized that they hadn’t taken into consideration the inward taper of the upper part of the cab. Arch stripped down the seat back to metal framing, removed part of the middle of the frame and welded it together. It then went back to Bob’s Auto Interiors where he reworked the upholstery, giving it unique, slanted sides which will serve as constant reminder of a lesson well-learned. The ‘55 also received new carpeting, along with a chrome tilt steering column from Ididit and a new Dakota Digital dash (which looks analog) and lights up in red, of course! All three “toys” have a GPS-driven speedometer. Hugh Hoffman lettered the tailgate and the 15” Cragar SS rims were replaced with “Ramblers” from US Mags.
Possible plans for the ‘55 include another upgrade for the interior to all-vinyl or faux leather, along with a possible promotion for Diana to “Red Truck Beer Ambassador”. They spotted this beer at the “Back To The 50’s” car show in St. Paul, MN, but couldn’t find any to buy to use as a display prop. On-line, they found that it was a Canadian beer and couldn’t be shipped to the U.S. They contacted friends in Canada, who arranged to have a carton and 6 empty bottles shipped to Iowa. When Diana contacted the brewery, they asked why she wanted some. After her explanation, they asked for a photo of the truck and offered her an “ambassadorship.” Red Truck now has a plant in Ft. Collins, CO, and Diana is awaiting her new position. (Next month – Part 3 of 3 – their ‘66 Chevy Nova “gasser”! Stayed tuned.)