The roots of hot rodding are deeply entwined with the Model A Ford's heritage. So when the folks at Boyd Coddington's Garage turned their considerable building energy and attention to Boyd's latest project, naturally the focus on the Model A was understandable. However, what looks like a traditional closed-cab Model A highboy pickup is in reality a high-tech custom truck fabricated almost entirely from aluminum and dubbed Alumatruck.
With a little help from Marcel DeLay & Sons, Boyd's team of craftsmen constructed an all-aluminum cab and bed, and whittled much of the suspension and running gear out of billet stock. While there's an old-school flavor to the pickup, the construction details reflect Boyd's evolution from his hot rodding roots -- not to mention his current level of craftsmanship.
But before getting into the Model A's details, we must first mention that the Boyd Coddington family is working together to bring back the thriving business that was once the cutting edge of our hobby when it was located in Stanton -- where the crowded shop was always full of high-tech toys. Boyd Sr. and Jr. are back in the billet wheel business that they doubt will ever be publicly owned. Boyd's youngest son Greg is in charge of the consignment-car department and middle son Chris is also working in the hot rod shop.
Construction details are readily apparent. They include special dropped spindles of 20-24 Aluminum that have an all-aluminum brake system employing Wilwood calipers and cross-drilled aluminum rotors. The rectangular frame began as a length of 1-1/2-inch by 5-inch 6061 aluminum. Much of the suspension hardware is also formed from 6061 aluminum. Tubular crossmembers were created from 1-3/8-inch round tubing.
As neat as all the details are, it is the hammered-out truck cab, three-piece hood, grille, and bed by Marcel DeLay & Sons that has grabbed every shop visitor's attention.
The panels are 0.070-inch 30-series half-hard aluminum sheetmetal formed to capture the essence of the Model A, but do not replicate any single body to precision. The Hot Rod Shop's Mike Curtis is credited with the assembly of the body panels and machine work.
As the Coddington sons take on more responsibility with the consignment showroom, the high-tech hot rod construction shop, and custom wheel business, no doubt many more unpredictable projects will soon be whittled from billet aluminum.