When it comes to hot rod pickups, Ike Crook’s 1940 Ford is in a class of its own. Built over a 10 year-span, the Federal Way, Washington-based truck combines time-honored hot rod aesthetics with modern day performance. And, best of all, it was a family project.
Although the truck has been in progress for a decade, its story starts more than half a century ago. “Growing up, my grandpa had a 1940 Ford pickup in the family for a while,” Ike says, “and my dad remembered growing up in it.” The truck you see here was originally purchased by Ike’s great uncle. After his passing, Ike joined forces with his dad and grandpa to bring the ’40 back better than ever.
Like so many hot rod projects, the old Ford came home as a pile of parts. “It was really just the cab and the fenders,” Ike says. “It didn’t really have the back end—it took a lot of time at swap meets and looking around. We had it at Thunfield Rod & Custom in Tacoma, which was awesome. They built a beautiful truck.”
To give the fat-fendered ’40 a slammed stance and modern handling, the Crooks opted for a new TCI chassis. “The original frame was not in good shape,” Ike says. “It was basically like it’s been in a yard since 1940. When we brought it to the shop, we learned about the TCI frames and how everything hooks up. It’s just brand new…a fresh start. We had kind of a piece of junk, and it made sense starting fresh.”
Despite its traditional exterior, the truck is all new underneath. Highlights include independent front suspension, a four-link rear and Ridetech shockwaves on all four corners. Power comes from a stroked 383 cubic inch smallblock Chevy.
The truck’s sheetmetal was less than perfect, but the Crooks didn’t let that stop them. They sourced a new bed, had the top chopped three inches, and looked to Jon Byers of Byers Custom in Auburn, Washington, to prep it for the mile-deep black paint. “I like that chopped look and, with the Ridetech being able to point that nose down, it gives it that meaner, more aggressive style.”
The Ring of Chrome
Ike put a great deal of thought into the rolling stock, but he ultimately went with Astro Supremes on big and little whitewalls. “I almost wanted that lowrider look, but a truck at the same time,” he says. Once the front and rear bumpers were chromed, the Crooks chose to take things to the next level. “We decided to go with the chrome running boards,” Ike says. “We were like ‘Let’s do a ring of chrome.’ I didn’t know how it was going to play out, but we really like it.”
To finish things off, they picked an interior color that simply can’t be ignored. “When you see that Fire Engine Red, it shines,” Ike says. “It just catches your eye.”
The build hasn’t been quick or easy, but all their hard work is finally paying off. “The goal was to have a truck with dad and grandpa,” Ike says, looking back. “Grandpa passed, so I finished it with just dad. Cars have always been in the family. We’ve built so many relationships through it and met so many good people.”
For a closer look, check out the video below:
To get your hot rod, street rod or custom sitting right, make sure to browse our full lineup here.