It sounds like every ZZ Top song you ever heard: Tush, La Grange, Tube Snake Boogie... and yes, the MTV ones too. That voice, that drawl, it's the sound of Billy F. Gibbons. "The little '36 was parked in Louisville, Kentucky," says Billy as he throws his mind back to when he first spotted his Ford. "It was alongside some of Kirby Stafford's pals' rides, all ratted out and raunchy."
Kirby Stafford has a long history of hot-rod building that goes back to the late '50s. "It's funny, when I think back to building Billy's truck," laughs Kirby. "At the time, eight other guys who owned property, or worked on Dillehay Street, had ol' style hot rods or were building them. People started calling us Dillehay Rats, just like they did back in the '50s." Kirby's just fine with this nod to the past, just so long as you don't call his ride a rat. "We really don't call our rods rats," he confirms. "We've developed a reputation for building dependable cars and trucks that have just the right look. In fact, I probably put 3,000 miles on Billy's truck the summer I finished it. It's real reliable and starts up first time, every time."
Rat or not, whatever it is they put in the water on Dillehay Street, the lil '36 certainly caught the interest of Billy F. Gibbons. Billy was visiting the Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, when he first saw the Ford. But what is it that gets a man, who owns one of the greatest dream garages on the planet, to slam down his checkbook and fire up his ballpoint? "Well," says Billy, "It's the entire package of the rig; ice cooler in the bed, surfboard on the roof-cool piece. It stands for a driving experience where you don't have to care about where you park or locking the doors. Find some asphalt and go."
Stripped back to its basics, the Ford runs a '53 Ford flathead engine with an S-10 transmission, 6-inch drop tube front axle, and an 8-inch Ford rearend with buggy springs and air shocks. The body was channeled six inches over the frame, which itself has been Z'd four inches at the front and 14 inches in the rear. The cab features all-original steel, a five-inch chop, the chassis and bed were shortened 18 inches, headlights from a '33 Ford were bolted into place, and a custom-painted '68 Hanson long board was mounted on a wishbone frame. Stickers on the rear window are from World War II fuel rationing.
If it looked good and fit the theme, Kirby transplanted it into the interior. You'll notic
That's a '68 Hanson surfboard custom-painted to provide some vivid color to the old truck'