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Custom 1936 Ford Pickup - One Helluva Ride

Dwayne Holder's '36 Ford has one mean kick in the gas

Calin Head
Jun 1, 2007
Photographers: John Jackson
Photo 2/8   |   "When I hammer the gas, this truck hits the lick and takes off like a bat outta hell!" -Dwayne Holder
When Dwayne Holder from Midland, North Carolina, decided to build a classic truck, he took a different approach than most of us would. Instead of finding a rusty pile and rebuilding it, he bought all-new parts and built it from scratch. What you are looking at is a '36 Ford truck, but old mister Henry didn't make this one. The entire Rods and Rails chassis is new, from the framerails to the Mustang II front suspension. Even the body is new. You may be asking how he got new '36 Ford sheetmetal. Simply put, it's not made of metal. Instead, the body is constructed out of fiberglass that Dwayne fitted to the new frame. The newness doesn't stop there; the original flathead V-8 has been replaced with a blown 565ci big-block that grunts out 1,025 hp. All told, this is one bad-ass ride with classic lines and excessive amounts of power.
Dwayne wanted a classic truck, but the idea of fixing all the B.S. that comes with restoring a classic wasn't appealing. He was on a search for a good project, when he spotted this '36 for sale on eBay. Before you make assumptions about Dwayne buying a complete truck, let us state this: The truck was complete alright-a complete basket case-but all the major parts were there. So, Dwayne struck a deal and had the stuff shipped out. While patiently waiting for his truck in a box, he went back to his full time job of shoeing horses. A few days later, a flatbed truck showed up with all of his goodies inside.
Photo 3/8   |   1936 Ford Pickup nos Bottle
Once Dwayne had inventoried what he received, the buildup started. The whole truck was assembled, piece by piece and weld by weld. The chassis came together pretty quickly, and once it was resting on the wheels, Dwayne moved on to installing the fiberglass body, which was already painted the gray you see here. Installing a body that is covered in new paint is a nerve-racking experience, but he did it without a scratch. Many a night was spent on the little details, such as fitting the glass, hanging the lights, and so on. This lucky guy had the support of his wife, Jennifer, during the buildup, so those snide comments we are used to hearing, like "Are you going to work on that all night?" didn't take Dwayne off his game.
Visually, the truck was coming together. The body was on, but Dwayne could only sit in the cab and imagine driving around, so he moved on to putting a powerplant in the engine compartment. These vintage trucks usually came with a flathead, which wasn't going to be enough for this power-hungry builder. So, with the help of Larry and Jason Wallace, a 565ci big-block Chevy mill was put together. A lot of work went into this motor to make it powerful and still look like a show piece. One thing you might notice is how high this motor sticks out of the engine compartment; this was no mistake. Friend Dennis Seeley from Joker Machine spent more than a few hours whittling out an adapter plate so a BDS 871 blower with an intercooler could be stacked atop an Edelbrock tunnel ram manifold.
Photo 4/8   |   1936 Ford Pickup custom Interior Seats
With the fire-breathing powerplant ready to go, it was up to Dwayne to figure out a way to stuff this monster big-block into the tiny engine compartment of the '36. The sheer size of this engine meant cutting and modifying the firewall and a bunch of brackets for the accessories. Dennis Gills helped Dwayne with the firewall issue, spending almost 45 hours getting it just right. Another call to Dennis Seeley was in order to have the brackets re-fashioned to fit the alternator low on the motor but still clear the truck's frame and steering. Again, this was not an easy task, figuring he had to contend with the blower belt, as well. No matter how difficult, the job was completed, and the motor was squeezed into the truck.
Photo 5/8   |   1936 Ford Pickup custom Interior Steering Wheel
Once all of the wires and hoses were hooked up and the Flowmaster mufflers were in place, the key was turned to fire up the beast. After a few cranks, the 565 came to life with an angry growl and a nice whine from the blower. Wasting no time, Dwayne hopped in and fought every urge to put it to the wood. Instead, he showed a little restraint and cruised to Sew Fine Customs to have the interior covered in leather and carpet. When he got the truck back from Sew Fine, it was time to start reaping the benefits of a lot of hard work and money.
We have to say that Dwayne and his group of friends came together to build one gnarly truck that on its worst day is still better than most. The next time we see Dwayne, we want to go for a ride. Think of it like a math problem: 1 crazy cowboy + 2,600 pounds + 1,025 hp = Onehelluvaride.
Photo 6/8   |   1936 Ford Pickup rear Drivers Side View
THE 411
Dwayne "Cowboy" Holder / Midland, North Carolina
'36 Ford pickup
565ci big-block Chevy / Merlin heads / Comp Cams camshaft / Edelbrock tunnel ram / 871 BDS Roots-style supercharger / custom intercooler and adapter plate / Barry Grant carbs / MSD distributor / 525hp NOS / Flowmaster exhaust / TH350 automatic transmission with a shift-improvement kit
BY: Larry Wallace, Jason Wallace, Dennis Seeley, and Dwayne Holder in Midland, North Carolina
Photo 7/8   |   1936 Ford Pickup big Block Chevy
FRONT: 15x3-inch Center Line Warriors
REAR: 15x19-inch Center Line Warriors
FRONT: 185/60R15 Goodyear
REAR: 29x18.50R15 Hoosier
FRONT: Mustang II front clip with adjustable coilover shocks
REAR: Parallel four-link with adjustable coilover shocks
ACCESSORIES: Narrowed Ford 9-inch with 4.11 posi centersection / 33-spline axles
CHASSIS: 2x4-foot boxed frame
BY: Rods and Rails
Custom firewall / fitting a painted fiberglass body to the chassis
BY: Dennis Gills and Dwayne Holder
Dark Shadow Gray
BY: Unknown, the body was painted when purchased
Photo 8/8   |   1936 Ford Pickup custom Interior
Light gray, dark gray, light tan, and tan leather / bucket seats / Hurst Quarter Shifter / custom-polished stainless dash with VDO gauges / Lokar billet pedals / Colorado Customs steering wheel
BY: Sew Fine Customs in Concord, North Carolina
Who needs a stereo when you have a 1,025hp big-block singing the sweet tune of power?
Dennis Gills, Larry Wallace, Jason Wallace, Dennis Seeley, and Dwayne's very understanding wife, Jennifer


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