bed wood and strips on '47 Hudson Pickup

I acquired a '47 pickup within the past year.  I'd like to take the bed wood out to refinish it.  The current metal strips are painted black and are a tad weathered.  I debated going with some new stainless strips but I'm having a hard time finding a set that has strips long enough.  The strips are nearly 91 inches long and the universal kit I found has strips that are just 82 inches.  
Anyone have any ideas on where to go looking?  

Comments

  • Ol racerOl racer Posts: 2,574Senior Contributor
     I bought Stainless for two Hudson Pickup's and they sent me a Drawing to indicate where I wanted the holes drilled. I cant think of their name right now but I will then Post later. Any Classic truck long Bed Supplier should do the same,
  • charles4dcharles4d Posts: 625Expert Adviser
    The company  i used for my truck the name is Mack's  I cant remember  the rest of the name of the company but trust me its the company  you want to use cant bring up any pictures 
  • charles4dcharles4d Posts: 625Expert Adviser

  • LanceBLanceB Posts: 676Senior Contributor
    I believe I bought mine from Perry Spring, will need to check, but turned out nice.
  • charles4dcharles4d Posts: 625Expert Adviser
    Looks great Lance I have the kind that hides the bolts in my stainless steel strips
  • Ol racerOl racer Posts: 2,574Senior Contributor
    edited May 26
    FYI
    Here is the Company that did my Hudson Truck Bed Stainless Strips. Mar K.com ;They sell regular metal. painted, and polished stainless plus all the stainless carriage bolts. Right now they are having a Holiday Sale too. They  send a Diagram to measure where you want your crossmember holes drilled in the Strips.(They actually Punch the holes so carriage bolt does not turn while tightening). I bought my Hardwood locally cut to fit.
  • matchbox_gregmatchbox_greg Posts: 12Member
    Wow Gentlemen, great results and great guidance.  Thanks so much!  Wish me luck!
  • charles4dcharles4d Posts: 625Expert Adviser
     You don't need luck just take your time you will do fine
    I used white oak it last longer I used a marine  varnish  on 3 sister of the boards left the bottom  unfinished  any water that would get threw  the finish would net get trapped  and cause rot in the wood just my 2 cents
  • TomlewisTomlewis Posts: 43Member
    Matchbox_greg —- If you have original bed strips, and they are restorable, and you are going for authenticity, please do what you can to save them.  NONE of the currently commercially available bed strips are as Hudson produced them in 1947.

    The strips that Hudson used accommodated the use of step bolts rather than carriage bolts as all the currently available strips use.  Step bolts have a wider head than carriage bolts. Note the bolt heads up against the box wall in this photo and compare them to the bolt heads in the bed strips. The strips Hudson used had a wider flat in the middle and step bolts (still widely available on the internet) would fit in that channel

    Several years ago, Erwin Sanchez-Flores and I tried to set up a couple of bead rolling machines to try to reproduce the original strips. We figured that there might be a market because Model A Ford pickups used the same style bed strip.  

    50 years ago, when I restored a Model A pickup, those original style bed strips weren’t available then, either. Apparently no one cared because in the years since, I have never seen a restored Model A with correct bed strips and step bolts. The market for original strips should have been there because Ford sure made a lot more pickups than Hudson

     Erwin and I were not successful.

    The strips shown in this photo were purchased from Macpro in Moberly, Missouri.  They have specialized in antique pickup parts for a long time, but I think they were buying them from somewhere else.

    Macpro is the place that I worked with to reproduce Hudson tailgates. We made 60 tailgates before I sold the dies to stamp the “Hudson” to Glen Johnson.

    The wood in the bed of my truck is Eastern Cedar.  When I was living in Missouri, I cut trees on my property and took the logs to an Amish sawmill and they slabbed it out and then I planed it and grooved it and put it in my bed. It looks different, but it’s not (obviously) original.  If I ever re-do it, I’ll go with white oak.

    So, matchbox_greg, if you have original, wide flat bed strips, and decide to replace them, think about me. If I still have my pickup, I’d be interested in having more originals for patterns

    Tom

  • matchbox_gregmatchbox_greg Posts: 12Member
    That looks great Tom.  And now you have me thinking.  This truck of mine has been "restored" before.  So I don't know if the metal strips are original to the truck or not.  My guess is they are not based on your description.  All of the bolts are what I am assuming are carriage bolts.  The flat in the center of the strips is roughly three-quarters of an inch wide.  Sounds from your description as if the originals would have had a wider central flat zone.  Still though, your post has me rethinking this.  Even if they are not original strips, perhaps I should just have these strips sandblasted and powder coated.  I could count on my holes lining up.   
  • TomlewisTomlewis Posts: 43Member
    Hi Greg

    Yes, the head of 5/16-18 step bolts are a full inch wide as shown next to a conventional carriage bolt head.  So your bed strips, like mine, have been replaced sometime in the last 74 years.

    If any forum member reading this knows of a source for original style wide-flat bed strips, I’d sure like to hear about it.

    On the originals, the ridges are not as tall or as wide as the reproductions either.

    Tom

  • matchbox_gregmatchbox_greg Posts: 12Member
    I would agree with you Tom that it would make a noticable positive difference to have strips and bolts closer to the originals.  
    But as of today, what I've done is take the existing strips in to be sand-blasted and powder coated.  I took the wood to a friend's house.  He's going to plane the surface down to fresh wood and I'll refinish it all before working the puzzle in reverse to reassemble things.  
    I'm debating whether to stain the wood before coating it.  

  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 2,232Expert Adviser
    edited June 2
    None of my biz on decisions!  The wood was stained “painted?” Black at factory.  
  • charles4dcharles4d Posts: 625Expert Adviser
    Mack products 660 236 7444 for bed parts
  • TomlewisTomlewis Posts: 43Member
    Glowplug is correct.  

    The AACA changed its judging  standard for pickups with wood board beds several years ago to reflect the factory coating of the wood as pretty utilitarian.  Points in AACA judging are now deducted for wood finished in other than rough black.  

    Like most “restorers” of pickups I’m guilty of pretty-ing it up, but it’s what I like, and I had already decided to change the body color from the black, dark blue or dark gray that were the only colors available from the Hudson factory.  I didn’t volunteer that information to AACA judges either.

    Tom


  • matchbox_gregmatchbox_greg Posts: 12Member
    The only judge I'm concerned about pleasing is my wife.  It is with her blessing that I can happily devote financial and time resources to my Hudsons.  The truck came to me with a Hudson 308 beneath the hood and an overdrive transmission.  I want to stay within that vintage Hudson family with how the truck is equipped but I'm certainly not going to start trying to return it to "original" equipment.  
    That said, I'm not going to paint or stain the boards black.  I'm leaning right now toward treating the wood with boiled linseed oil.
  • bent metalbent metal Posts: 1,615Senior Contributor
    Worth mentioning too is the mounting bolts for the gas tank.  They are carriage bolts and longer than the other bolts in the bed.  So when you look in the bed of the truck all of the bolts are the larger head diameter, except those four bolts.
  • charles4dcharles4d Posts: 625Expert Adviser
    Mack products 660 236 7444 for bed parts
Sign In or Register to comment.