By Richard Truesdell
While mostly a celebration for the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang, the recent 2014 Fabulous Fords Forever! show in Buena Park, Calif., also celebrated all things Ford — cars, pickup trucks, vans and even tractors. This particular show is the largest in the western states; it's where Southern California car club enthusiasts show off and admire their restored Ford favorites. Unfortunately, the promoters were not able to procure one of Ford's 2015 aluminum-bodied half-tons, so we had to make due with Super Dutys, Rangers, Lightnings and F-100s.
The biggest truck category at FFF! was the classic Bronco with close to 200 on display. Kiyoshi Uchiyama's 1967 Bronco, a roof- and doorless roadster, took home the Bill Stroppe Award as the event's best truck. His award was presented by Henry Ford III, who is now heading up efforts to rebuild Lincoln's marketing division.
Having an interest in vintage racecar transporters, we instantly gravitated to Gary Underwood's restored 1969 Ford in Marion Lee "Mickey" Thompson livery as our pick as the event's best truck. Underwood, a member of the Shelby American Automobile Club board of directors, explained that he's owned the truck for 12 years and that it was one of three built by the legendary racer (Underwood said he's restoring a second truck and the third remains unaccounted for).
While not a pickup truck, Mike McDaniel's 1969 Econoline pop-top camper was easily our favorite non-truck Ford of the show. McDaniel's Econoline was noteworthy because it sported its own Marti Report that showed that it was originally shipped to Vel's Parnelli Jones Ford in Torrance, Calif., and was first sold on Feb. 28, 1969. How's that for a vehicle pedigree?
Photos by Richard Truesdell