Name: 1935 Custom Built Ford Pickup Truck
Year(s) Produced: 1932-1935
Number Built: 820,253
Class: Full-size Ford
Body Type: 2-door, ½ ton closed cab pickup
Engine: Original engine was 221 cu.in. Flathead V8
Top Speed: (?)
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Wheelbase: 112 in.
Base Price: US$535-US$610
Current Value: US$55,000 (RM Auctions)
Starting a trend may not be what Rudy Rodriguez of Fullerton Fabrication in California has in mind when he started his restoration project for a 1935 Ford Bobber Truck more than a decade ago. Hailed as the trend setter of the Bobber Truck trend, the restoration of the Ford truck was not really that intentional. According to a story ran by hotrod website Kustomrama.com, Rudy initially wanted to get rid of the truck.
“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. 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.”
In the end, the only way to make the truck more appealing is to have it go through the knife. He embarked in a restoration project with the intention of heavily customizing it as well. Chopping several parts and replacing them with new ones from different vehicles, this seemingly Frankenstein of a truck managed to emerge with a new impressive life. Most of the parts are an easy find: shock mounts from a 1956 Ford truck, brakes from a 1947 Mercury, a flathead V8 engine from a 1948 Ford, automatic transmission from a 1964 Ford Galaxie, and headlights from a 1937 Chevrolet Commercial just to name a few. Once completed, the truck was decorated with door graphics and pinstriping. “Hooker Jose” was responsible for the artwork.
Rudy’s truck was an instant hit. After completion, the car was sold and changed hands several times with each owner changing and personalizing the artwork on the doors. Dubbed as the ‘Rudy Truck’, the pickup ended in the Ralph Whitworth collection being part of the America’s Car Collection Museum in Winnemucca, Nevada. In 2008 Ralph Whitworth returned the truck to its original home at Rudy’s garage, where Rudy personally executed a complete aesthetic restoration as he originally intended it. It didn’t take long before RM Auctions took notice of this icon. By September 26, 2009 the Rudy Rodriguez Truck was auctioned by RM through its Icons of Speed & Style Auction in Los Angeles, California where the truck was eventually auctioned for US$55,000.