Class of ’46- Cycle Canada- July 2010

Class of ’46

Long Ago by Sam Longo


Often the biggest challenge of restoring and collecting vintage motorcycles is having a means to transport them. Besides hauling potentially fragile and expensive machinery to shows and swap meets, the reality of picking up parts and often-whole motorcycles to complete a restoration is a common phenomenon. In addition to the practical necessities of hauling all this stuff around it would be nice if that conveyance had a small modicum of class. Trailers are an inexpensive and viable solution but lack soul. Nothing quite makes a statement like pulling up to the swap meet at Paris Ontario, with a nice old bike nestled in the back of an equally cool old truck.


Enter Mr. Craig Godfrey, who is just eccentric enough to believe that the only correct way to haul around your 1946 BSA B31 350 single is in a 1946 Ford F1 pickup. Godfrey is no stranger to restoring old machinery. As a Precision Metal Fabrication instructor at Durham College he has, over the years, turned his hand at restoring a very diverse array of vehicles ranging from Suzuki RE5 Rotary motorcycles to Brazilian built Puma sports cars, not to mention countless old Honda’s, Norton’s and even a few vintage Jeeps.


This particular Ford pickup however spawned a rather eclectic evolution. The truck was originally brought up from Montana complete with its original seized flathead V8 motor, but Godfrey wanted to build it up as a reliable cost efficient regular driver. After doing some basic measurements and calculations it was realized that the entire body could be dropped on to a long wheelbase 1985 Chevy S10 pickup, complete with its 2.8 liter V6 and automatic transmission.


Purists may balk at the travesty of grafting an old Ford to a newer Chevy, but Godfrey had his vision and the project soldiered on. The dissection and merging of the two trucks was done in his West Hill driveway, over two years, subsequently achieving the final goal of a classic looking truck that is easy to drive and very economical to maintain. Being the ever-vigilant scrounger, Godfrey couldn’t resist a few whimsical touches such as the stainless Lexus tailpipes and custom front grill. The basic interior sports a leather bench seat spirited from the third row of a modern Chevy Suburban, along with a spartan dash consisting of a simple speedometer and a vintage Pioneer tape deck hidden in the glove box.

 The trucks slammed stance, thanks to its low profile Nascar tires and rims, adds to the curb appeal and is also beneficial to the loading and unloading of motorcycles. Despite all the good-natured “red neck” ribbing from his motorcycle buddies, Godfrey is happy with the outcome and thoroughly enjoys the attention generated by his latest project. The only thing left to do he quips is to install a rack in the back window. “This Class of ’46 hillbilly package just isn’t quite complete without having my vintage banjo along for the ride!”      

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