Willis Smith’s ’40 Truck


A while back, I had posted a picture of the ’40 stake truck on the interwebs and had gotten an e-mail from Joe Gaddy, with a link to a site that had some pictures of Willis Smith’s ’40 stake truck. Several e-mails back and forth and then also over to Dudley Parker, and I got several cool pictures, with some neat tips and tricks. I sent Dudley an e-mail about a week ago, asking for permission to put the pictures on the site. He said that he didn’t mind if I posted them, but Willis may have other opinions. 😉

Hard to believe that when Willis got the truck, it had a regular pickup bed on it! Here’s some of Dudley’s comments on the work on the truck.

When the owner of the 40 truck bought it, it came with all four fenders(glass) and a new pickup bed. He wanted a stake bed and had a friend in Kansas City that had one. The only trouble the bed was off of a ’30 something ford 1 ton and was in very bad shape. To get it home it had to be cut in half. When he got it home he and a friend proceeded to shorten it around 9″ and narrow it 19″ to make it fit the 40. The rear panel that said ‘Ford Truck’ had aprox 9″ between the words Ford and Truck. Once it was narrowed the two words came close together and look like Ford made it that way. However, the rear panel was beat all to hell. I had a new one laser cut and welded the section that said ford truck into the middle. Turned out pretty cool. Now with the wood in it and the side boards the truck looks real good!!! I’ll try to send a picture of the old rear panel that I replaced(if I can find it)..

Rear fenders-now that you asked. Enclosed a few pics of the rear fenders I made for the 40 truck. Think wide trailer fenders with the curved side to the outside. I used 1/2 of a fender with about 3″ added to the inside for each side. You can get the fenders at Atwoods(sometimes) or a trailer supply co.

The tallights are just standard, probably 40-53 stainless lights, more than likely from Macs. The brackets are stainless brackets #81Y-13471ss and #81Y-13470ss (right and left). I then fabbed a couple of 90 degree bends in some 16ga stainless (with some shape) that fastened to the wood bed supports. I used some Swedish(?) thread inserts (Lowes) in the wood so the brackets bolted to threads instead of screwed into the wood. I used stainless fasteners so no rust stains on the wood. I have included a few pictures you may not have seen. I believe there is one of the (French) flathead and T-5. If you like I can send more.

Thanks, to Joe and Dudley, for sharing pictures of Willis’ truck, and the stories about various parts of the build. It would be cool to get his truck and my truck together for pictures one day!

The FUN is in the RUN!!!