Honest Charley Speed Shop was a landmark in Chatanooga, Tennessee, for years. When they went out of business, Corky Coker, of Coker Tire, bought the name and the old building so that Chattanooga wouldn't lose a legend. When he was looking for a vehicle to be the mascot for the shop, he found the perfect one in a 1941 Ford pickup. This wasn't just any truck though; Jason Grimes, of Grimes Garage in Lebanon Junction, Kentucky, had made it into a badass street cruiser. Keep reading to see how Jason turned an ordinary pickup into something totally off the wall.
To achieve the proper stance, the cab and bed were removed from the frame and the frame scrapped. In its place, a custom frame was fabricated with a Z up front to accommodate the front drop-axle. To bring the rear down to match, a triangulated four-link was built around a GM 10-bolt rearend. Coil springs out back and a Posies leaf spring up front offer bump relief. To finish off the chassis, the original 16-inch Ford wheels were wrapped in Firestone bias-ply 600-16 tires up front and 750-16 tires in the rear supplied by Coker Tire.
Moving to the cab, Jason needed to figure out the right amount of vintage mixed with custom. Since he was going for the rat rod look, Jason left the patina and rust. He ended up just chopping several inches out of the cab and channeling it to bring it closer to the ground. The bed was then shortened and bolted onto the bare frame. After attaching the cab and having some Coker Tire and Honest Charley badges painted on it, Jason could turn his attention towards the powerplant.
The original engine was beyond repair, so a 400ci donor was used for the build. After swapping out the heads for 283 "Power Pack" versions, a hydraulic flat tappet cam was installed. A Weiand tunnel ram intake and dual Edelbrock carbs get the air into the engine, while custom zoomie headers help it exhale.
Roaring down the street in this truck really turns some heads. Which is exactly what they wanted out of the beast. It's pretty cool to see what an old Ford pickup can be turned into with some skill and a healthy dose of inspiration.
Inside the Build
Year Make Model:
1941 Ford Pickup
Owner and City/State:
Corky Coker • Chattanooga, Tennessee
Type: 1972 400 ci
Heads: 283 “Power Pack”
Cam: Hydraulic flat tappet
Induction: Custom scoop, Weiand tunnel ram intake
Exhaust: Custom zoomie headers
Fuel System: Dual Edelbrock 600-cfm four-barrel carbs
Rearend: GM 10-bolt
Front suspension: Custom drop-axle, Posies leaf spring
Rear suspension: Triangulated four-link with coilovers
Brakes: Ford “juice” brakes up front, GM drum brakes out back
Wheels & tires
Wheels: Original Ford 16-inch wire wheels
Tires: Firestone bias-ply 600-16 3¼-inch whitewall and 7.50-16 4½-inch whitewall from Coker Tire
The interior is anything but luxurious, but that plays into the rat rod feeling; especiall
One of Coker Tires’ signature phrases has been emblazoned on the cab, letting onlookers kn