Killer Custom 1951 Ford F1 Pickup “Glass Pearl”

Like many of today’s hot rodders, Jeffrey Jones of Monroe Center, IL, was introduced to the hobby by his father who built cars on the side for the extra money.

Jeff and his brother, John, were mostly tool gofers, but it sparked a passion for old iron at a young age.

Jeff’s first car was a ’64 Chevy II, then he took a left turn during the mini-trucking era, but eventually found his way back to classic cars again with his first full build, a ’63 Chevy II convertible. The stages of building followed with a few more projects, each sold off to fund the next one. Fast forward a few tides and we arrive at this Ford pickup.

Custom 1951 Ford F1 Pickup "Glass Pearl" front right
Another part of building a hot rod is staying within your own budget, and as most involved in the hobby know, selling parts, pieces, and labor all help when it comes to budgets. Jeff enjoys the body and paint side of things and acquired the ’51 in trade for spraying a ’66 Mustang. The truck arrived in pieces; its previous owner took it apart as a project then let it sit dormant for the next decade.

Once the forgotten relic was in Jeff’s garage, he got busy, starting with the suspension. The perfect stance and smooth ride were accomplished by a combination of a Mustang II front end and 4-bar out back. Stance is assisted by a custom airbag setup at each corner.

1951 Ford F1 Pickup "Glass Pearl" rear right
More parts-for-paint took place when Jeff shot a ’62 Falcon in return for a 302c.i. from a ’68 Mustang and an AOD transmission pilfered from a Crown Vic. The small block was kept fairly stock with a nice dress of paint and accessories to keep under the hood tidy and simple.

302 cui engine in 1951 Ford F1 Pickup "Glass Pearl"
With the chassis and driveline dialed in, Jeff went to work on the sheet metal. The cab was straight and solid, but required a little floor and tunnel massaging for the updated driveline. The fenders and running boards were in rough shape, so Jeff opted for fiberglass replacements to save his time on the metal work.

The bed is custom built with a raised floor to accommodate the air ride suspension. If you look closely, you’ll also notice a host of subtle touches, such as hidden hinges in the tailgate, tucking the bumpers tighter to the body, and hiding the air controls where the radio would have been. Custom bullets were also made to accent and create flow throughout the truck from the hubcaps to components under the hood.

Custom 1951 Ford F1 Pickup "Glass Pearl" rear left
When it came to selecting a color for the F1, Jeff wanted to stick with a OEM color, primarily due to the ease of touch up. (Not something everyone takes into consideration until you get your first rock chip and want to touch it up.) Ironically, Jeff found the perfect tone in a factory Toyota Prius color called Sea Glass Pearl.

1951 Ford F1 Pickup "Glass Pearl" front left
Moving inside the cab, we find a classically custom interior stitched by the crazy talented Mike Lawson of Kustom Image Upholstery. Mike crafted a period perfect tuck and roll upholstery job that exactly matches the truck’s exterior. The dash is clean with its factory lines, and a set of white-faced gauges fit the color theme throughout.

1951 Ford F1 Pickup "Glass Pearl" interior
As with many projects with a deadline, things seem to always come down to a mad thrash, and Jeff credits his brother and cousin Dan Hatfield for helping get the Fl road ready for the Vintage Torque Fest weekend. The paint color took the Ford from a really nice truck to a true showstopper.

"Glass Pearl" - custom 1951 Ford F1 Pickup

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