June 30, 2012

Father & Son

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Written by: Cinda Welch
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Respect and Workmanship Passed From Generation 2 Generation

Photography by : Johnathan Demuth

There are many attributes that can be passed from generation to generation and John Dixon Sr, a retired John Deere Tractor dealer, has certainly passed more than just his name to his son.

John Jrs love for classic Fords, craftsmanship talent and respectful demeanor are a few of the things that were chipped off of the ole’ block.

This 1951 Ford F-1Pickup, stands as a testament for John Dixon Jr and his determination and abilities. He dedicated seven years to this ground up restoration. Once a broken down, used up and forgotten about truck,  this icon has been brought back to life and given a chance to shine once again.

Originally, the Ford F-1 marked a turning point in history for the pickup truck, as the world then knew it.  During a time in which the focus was put mainly on strength and engine performance, Ford made several changes to the pickup that resulted in better functionality and ergonomics, as well as making the truck more stylish.  Previous models had been much more bulky and much less flexible in the ways it could be used day to day. Ford achieved this change by incorporating more complex and aerodynamic lines, one of which was an all new grille design with a large horizontal bar spread across the front of the truck. This was supported by three bullet shaped teeth, which was a big styling change for 1951, as well as the 6 1/2 foot cargo bed being floored in hardwood, verses steel like the previous models.  The redesigned dashboard and the widened rear windows added elegance, style and functionality. Other new options included dual windshield wipers, dual flip down sun visors and a foot-operated liquid spraying windshield washer.

Undoubtedly, John recognized these remarkable traits when he chose this truck as the one for him. Continuing along the thoughts of improving t

his classic, John Jr. decided to incorporate some of his father’s skills and upgraded the drive

 train to a 5.0L/ 302 Ford Racing

crate engine. In addition to this, he then added GT-40 Aluminum heads with Ford Racing valve covers. These upgrades certainly gave this machine more power than the original flathead 6, with 3 gears and only generati
ng about 90 hp with a maximum torque of 244ft. lbs. back in the day. To complement and complete
the engine upgrade, John then installed a Ford C6 transmission to  transfer the  tripled horsepower capabilities to the wheels, and added an exhaust system by Flowmaster to give the old girl a nice deep growl. Although he kept the frame, leaf springs and gas tank stock, John opted for a 9″ Ford rear end and a Fat Man Fabrications Mustang II front suspension to better soak up the bumps. With the rolling chassis ready, an aftermarket rack & pinion steering box and steering column from Ididit were then installed.

Keeping the body, fenders, hood, grille and lights all stock, required a great deal of time and effort to restore the F1 to its former state of beauty. For a menacing look to match the stance, John chose PPG 9700 Black, completing the body work and paint with the help of Earl Roberts, at John’s shop near Rabun Gap, Georgia. To take the truck to the next level, John then exchanged the original DC wheel type to a set of modern American Racing wheels. Last details for the exterior were the addition of stainless steel bumpers and a reconstruction of the bed floor with new hardwood slats and rails.

The interior upholstery work was completed by John Sr. and his lovely wife, Martha; truly making this restoration a family affair. Black and Red colors were chosen in recognition of John Jr’s favorite sports team, the Atlanta Falcons. A standard carpet kit was installed with the original bench seat being recovered. VDO gauges were installed along with a Vintage Air system, finished off with a nice Kicker Car Audio sound system.

But that’s not all; this black beauty of a pickup has a counterpart, so to speak. A 1964 Ford Fairlane owned by John Sr. Adorned in black paint and accented in red, not in relevance to the Falcons though, as in the case of junior. Senior is partial to the Georgia Bulldogs, evident by the tag and other UGA embellishments. A work in progress, as John Sr. refers to it. The Fairlane is a beauty in its own, and we look forward to seeing it again as John Sr. continues to restore it.
To view more photos visit :

About the Author

Cinda Welch
Cinda is also a founder of Driven Lifestyle Magazine. Formerly known as a part of “Team Welch”, Cinda along with her late husband Greg Welch and daughter Natasha Welch Thompson were long time audio SPL competitors and Kicker Car Audio team captains. Together, they held numerous World Records and Championships, also toured with car audio Legends like Alma Gates, and engaged in marketing campaigns for their sponsors. Cinda has been involved in retail, marketing, management and ownership in the automotive industry as well. Most importantly, she has been an enthusiast of the custom automotive culture for over twenty years, including antiques to the extreme latest automotive trends of today. Appreciating the workmanship, talent and vision of all forms of customs, Cinda views the most important aspect is not necessarily the make or model driven, but rather the lifestyle and enjoying the culture. Cinda will be handling accounting, print copy layout, graphic design and some writing at Driven Lifestyle Magazine.

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One Comment

  1. avatar

    cool site

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