Derrick & Katie Pesko’s 1940 Ford Nails the Look
By Chuck Vranas – Photography by the Author
There’s nothing better than building a classic truck that will see endless miles once completed. Getting there takes focus to incorporate a formula that fuses just the right amount of style with performance, stance and dependability to ensure plenty of trouble-free enjoyment once you hit the streets. Derrick and Katie Pesko of Waterford, Connecticut, have spent plenty of time sharing the driver’s seat as they crisscrossed the country in a number of their hop-ups. As the owners of Allstar Hot Rods it’s the perfect way to showcase their builds. Let’s take a look what makes this 1940 Ford hauler packed with a classic ‘60s vibe just so cool.
Starting with a truck that was a runner in need of a full rebuild; Derrick blasted the frame clean, boxed it for added strength and added custom crossmembers. Out back a 1967 Camaro 10-bolt rear spins 3.23:1 gears, suspended in place by parallel leaf springs and tube shocks from Pete & Jakes. To nail the stance, a Speedway Motors Mustang II IFS features tubular control arms, 2-inch dropped spindles and coil springs combined with Pete & Jake shocks and rack-and-pinion steering. For plenty of stopping power, a Corvette-style dual master moves juice through steel lines to GM 11-inch vented discs in front and GM drums in back. A wicked set of Halibrand Sprint wheels wearing Firestone / Coker blackwalls add plenty of attitude.
For power and dependability on the long haul, A&M Machine of Meriden assembled a rock-solid 1969 Chevy 327ci mill packed with all the right goods starting with a steel crank linked to forged rods wearing TRW forged aluminum pistons getting bumped by a Crane cam. Warmed-over iron heads are matched to an Offenhauser 6-deuce intake wearing Stromberg 97-series carbs crowned with frog-mouth scoops from Speedway Motors. An MSD ignition brings it to life with gasses dumping through original GM ram-horns to a 2-inch straight steel exhaust. The goods fly through a massaged GM TH350 linked to a custom driveshaft, both by Allstar.
Once the original steel was stripped, Derrick was able to correct any of the ugly scars the truck suffered over decades of abuse. To add plenty of personality he followed by fabricating a number of louvered filler panels as well as new floors, tailgate and roll pan. To complete the look he crafted custom nerf bars and dumped the hood. The Allstar team then metal finished the panels and set the gaps followed by laying down a rich coating of Axalta Satin Black complimented by traditional flames. Bob Mariani then added his brush strokes for the final icing. Inside the ‘60s feel continues with a filled stock dash packed with Stewart Warner dials to monitor the vitals. A 1960 Corvette wheel mounted to a modified original column carves a course with shifts pulling though a custom unit by Allstar who also added plenty of louvers to the interior panels. Dennis Dagliere then installed a Rebel Wire kit to bring it all together. For comfort, ‘70s-era Mustang seats were modified then treated to custom diamond-stitched black vinyl by CZ’s Upholstery of Southington along with black rubber matting on the floors. Since completed the truck has put down over 45,000 miles including a round trip to California and to us that’s as real as it gets!