Loren and Jody Hulber’s 1931 “Fieldstone Farm” pickup is a staple at their town’s Memorial Day parade. Every year, the town mayor chooses it to ride in for the parade. It’s also a mainstay at the local farmer’s markets that the Hulbers sell their farm’s produce at.
However, the townspeople of Macungie, Pennsylvania, may be surprised to learn that the pristine pickup they’re used to seeing around their town actually has quite an interesting history: it was once owned by actor Lorne Greene of TV’s “Bonanza” and was used at his California estate. After Greene and his wife passed away, the truck was sold to Bandana restaurant chain owner and farmer David Seitz, who used it at his estate in St. Louis.
Later, the truck was sold to the Hulbers, who wanted a spectacular, over-the-top and one-of-a-kind show truck to promote their farm at local markets and community events. The Hulbers decided to modify the truck so that it would have a stake bed and look more like a farm truck. Otherwise, they wanted the truck restored to its original configuration. To achieve this, they took it to Precision Restorations, a large restoration shop in St. Louis.
It took about 2 1⁄2 years to restore the truck, said the shop’s Jon Hantsbarger. He added that while many parts of the truck were kept original, such as the stock Henry Ford body that the shop meticulously restored in metal and wood, some parts were upgraded to make the truck run smoother and go faster.
A 350-cui 4BBL Fast Burn GM crate V-8 that features a Hot Cam Upgrade to 425 horsepower was installed under the hood. Also added were rack-and-pinion steering, power disc brakes, a drop spindle straight axle front end and a 700R4 transmission.
The truck’s interior features many vintage-looking but modern-convenience-adding accessories, including a VDO gauge cluster and a Billet Specialties steering wheel. An air conditioning/heater unit from Vintage Air was also installed to provide modern creature comforts. The upholstery was done in period gray and has a truly authentic look, right down to the embroidered Ford oval in the seat back. The dash and all of the interior chrome trim was completely redone by Blast From the Past Street Rods in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
To really make the truck stand out, the build crew added a unique, swing-out reflector bar, a toolbox, two red kerosene lamps and an original-style bed winch.
“I think what is very unique about this build is its combination of very authentic and hard-to-find parts like the tool kit, being combined with modern components such as the crate engine and [custom-built] Morfab frame,” said Hantsbarger.
For Loren Hulber, the truck’s appeal stems from how it looks and feels.
“It [runs] very fast and draws a crowd wherever it goes,” said Hulber, who added that his favorite parts of the truck are the reflector bar, toolbox and bed winch. “People are in awe and have never seen these features before.”
One thing’s for sure: this 1931 pickup certainly doesn’t look or run like the average fruit-hauling truck.
Car: “Fieldstone Farm” 1931 Ford Model “A” stake-bed pickup truck
Owners: Loren and Jody Hulber
Location: Macungie, Pennsylvania
Builder: Precision Restorations in St. Louis
Interior: The period-gray interior was done by Little Sid’s Upholstery of Rolla, Missouri. All of the interior chrome trim was completely redone by Blast From the Past in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
Powertrain: The truck features a 350-cui 4BBL Fast Burn GM crate V-8 engine with a Hot Cam upgrade to 425 horsepower. It also has a 700R4 transmission, 9-inch Ford rear axle, rack-and-pinion steering, power disc brakes, and a drop-spindle straight axle front end.
Body & Frame: The truck’s stock original Henry Ford body was restored in metal and wood at Precision Restorations. The Morfab frame was custom-built.
Tires: (Front) Signet SB-802 165 R15 87S, (Rear) Remington’s All-Terrain Emerald P245/70 R16
Wheels: (Front) 15 x 4 Billet Specialties wheels, (Rear) “Legacy” wheels and knock-offs
Paint: A single-stage black paint by Spies Hecker was used on the truck.
Other Features: “Fieldstone Farm” also features an original-style bed winch and two red kerosene lamps, as well as pinstriping by Alan Johnson of Alan Johnson Grafix in Blairstown, New Jersey.