Goodguys 2023 Scotts Hotrods Truck of the Year Early!
Congratulations to Greg Tidwell for winning the Goodguys 2023 Scotts Hotrods Truck of the Year Early title with your 1940 Ford Pickup built by South City Rod and Custom! We’ll see you and your vehicle in Scottsdale, Arizona November 17-19, 2023 at the 26th Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals as part of our 2023 Top 12 display!
There are pros and cons to buying a half-started project, which Greg Tidwell learned when he decided to buy a ’40 Ford pickup from a friend. There were all sorts of new parts including a fresh chassis from Scott’s Hotrods ‘n Customs, the cab had already been chopped, and his friend even had a professional rendering of the modern street rod styling he envisioned.
Once Greg had the truck in the hands of Bill Ganahl and his team at South City Rod and Custom, he started having his own vision of what he wanted, which meant changing a lot of things and sourcing or building many new parts. Regardless of the trade-offs, the Ford developed into this beautiful, classic hot rod pickup.
The new Scott’s chassis featured an independent front suspension, a four-bar rear setup, rack-and-pinion steering, as well as Wilwood disc brakes. It was already set up with a 305c.i. small-block Chevy, but Greg enjoys driving his vehicles and opted for a 450-horsepower stroker 383 from Smeding Performance and had South City dress it in vintage style, including a three-deuce EFI setup from Autotrend EFI, chrome script valve covers, and Tru-Ram exhaust manifolds from Speedway Motors.
With the driveline sorted out, the South City team focused its efforts on sheet metal work from top to bottom and inside out. The 1.5-inch chop provided a nicely proportioned custom touch, then the hood and fabbed bed panels were punched with plenty of louvers. Custom inner fenders, the firewall, and a radiator cover were all formed by hand, and then the fenders were sectioned in the front and received a pair of ’39 headlamps. The original tailgate chains and latches were removed while the bed floor was raised 3-inches before being finished with Claro Walnut wood. The rear fenders were also reshaped and augmented with taillights from a ’37 Ford along with a modified bumper.
The truck was handed off to Compani Color for a beautiful coating of Glasurit Ornament Green that is highlighted nicely with a set of Coker wide whites on Wheelsmith rims topped with Cadillac Sombrero wheel covers. The styling inside continues the vintage vibe with a comfortable leather seat adorned with ’50s era fabric insets which continues onto the door panels stitched by Chris Plante Interior. A complete ’40 Ford Deluxe car dash was smoothed and filled with a gauge set from Classic Instruments along with a hidden ARC Audio system and Vintage Air.
Starting with a good deal on a half-finished truck meant moving forward, only to go backward again. But in the end Greg and the South City crew got it just right!
Photos by Michael Christensen & Steven Bunker