- The Washington Times - Friday, June 7, 2002

Owners of antique automobiles often select the cars of their youth. John Warring took that process a step further he and his vehicle were both created in 1933.

Long after his birth on Nov. 1, 1933, in Washington, Mr. Warring had become president of Warfield and Sanders Elevator Co. It was the mid-1990s when he started toying with the idea of owning a 1933 something.

Mr. Warring has always favored Ford automotive products which simplified selection matters but Ford manufactured a wide variety of vehicles in the 1933 model year which complicated selection matters.

In 1997, Mr. Warring learned of a 1933 Ford half-ton pickup for sale in California. He corresponded with the owner who sent photographs of the truck and described it in glowing terms.

The pictures showed a handsome pickup truck and the owner's description sounded great. Mr. Warring sent a check to California and bought the truck sight unseen. A few weeks later the truck arrived and Mr. Warring learned the validity of the phrase, "buyer beware."

He didn't know when the pictures of the 1933 truck were taken but they weren't recent photos. The black truck arrived literally falling apart.

Anything loose, such as doors and the engine hood were about to fall off. The crowning blow came when the flathead V-8 engine refused to start.

A very disgusted, disappointed and disgruntled Mr. Warring had the dilapidated truck towed to a garage where it sat for a couple of years while its future was being determined.

Mr. Warring hated the thought of throwing good money after bad but the appeal and desire of owning a 1933 Ford pickup was overwhelming. In 1999 he sent his poor excuse for a pickup truck off to Telford, Pa., for a total frame-off restoration by Telford Auto Body.

The little truck was built during the 30th anniversary year of Ford Motor Co. The previous year, to combat Chevrolet's new stovebolt six-cylinder engine, Ford developed the first high-volume low-cost V-8 engine.

The famous flathead V-8 would be the basic Ford engine from 1932 through 1953. It had a 90-degree crankshaft and block as well as a one-piece crankshaft casting.

Keep in mind that this was all high technology since previous successful V-8 engines were all hand-built in high-dollar cars.

Ford's 221-cubic-inch V-8 engine had two water pumps and side-by-side connecting rods. The valve chamber cover and intake manifold were cleverly combined.

The remarkable powerplant, equipped with aluminum cylinder heads, develops 65 horsepower.

When new, in 1933 during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal," the Ford truck sold for less than $500.

The 46-inch-wide cab, 69 inches front to back, was refurbished, reupholstered and repainted before being reinstalled on the restored X-type frame of the truck.

Until 1933 Ford cars and trucks shared sheet metal parts. At that point, along about when the 21-millionth Ford was built, the car and truck lines diverged.

The restoration was complete by last year and on a pleasant autumn day Mr. Warring retrieved his truck, rolling it unto a trailer on its 5.50 x 18-inch tires on 3 1/4-inch wide, 32-spoke wheels.

Henry Ford never built such a nice truck. The now-blue truck has black fenders and running boards with straw colored wheels to match the pinstriping on the cab.

The spare tire nestles in the indentation on the right front fender.

Along each side of the engine hood are 22 vertical louvers to give the heat thrown off by the engine some place to go.

Keeping the heat in the cab under control is adjusted by the tilt out windshield in conjunction with the cowl ventilator.

Inside the cozy cab the controls for the nine-inch-diameter headlamps are levers on the perimeter of the horn button at the hub of the steering wheel.

Simplicity reigns on the flat, painted dashboard. To the left of the ampere meter is the throttle and to the right of the temperature gauge is the choke.

Chrome bumpers exist where none did in 1933 on the truck with its 112-inch wheelbase.

The floor of the bed is composed of a half-dozen oak planks, each separated by a stainless steel strip.

Although the truck originally was equipped with a single taillight (on the left) Mr. Warring, as a concession to safety as well as symmetry, had a mirror image of the original installed on the right side.

At the other end of the cute little truck is a chrome-plated horn mounted below the left headlight.

Since restoration the fenders, along with the metal running boards, are coated with a coat of shiny black paint. To protect the finish on the running boards Mr. Warring has mounted a Ford step plate on each running board.

Mr. Warring's truck occasionally sees low-speed parade duty. "Now," he says with pleasure, "It's a nice truck."


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