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Spider Wrecker: Mike Boyer’s 1947 Ford Pickup


Mike Boyer has a thing for work trucks.  He owns a company that designs and builds strong sliding racks for fire trucks and has even built a fire engine hot rod for trade shows.  Naturally building a custom bagged 1947 Ford tow truck was right up his alley.  Photos by Chad Truss Photography, modeling by Cassie Sue.Mike’s focus on quality stems from years of hard work.  Wanting to get it right the first time, he started the Spider Wrecker build by hand fabricating the frame out of 2×3″ square tubing.When building a custom ride parts hardly ever drop off the shelf and bolt on easy.  The cab of the Wrecker comes out of a 1947 Ford Pickup truck but it was chopped 4″, has wrenches tacked on as door handles and uses 1941 Ford headlight housings as the instrument cluster case in the dash.His passion for creativity extended to the tow boom and truck box that was all custom hand fabricated by Mike himself.  Grabbing tail lights out of a 1959 Cadillac and a license plate light from a 1937 Buick only served as an extension of his drive to be different.  The spider web grille and radiator shell up front are both also completely hand fabricated by Mike.When going custom a standard crate motor would definitely be the simpler solution to beefing up power output but where’s the fun in that?  The Spider Wrecker is powered by a flathead V8 out of a 1950 Ford that has a C4 transmission mounted to it.  The exhaust is hand fabricated and the flappers were added for the old work truck feel.By now we know that Mike is no mere do it yourselfer, his devotion to perfection needed a way to show itself off in style.  A Speedway Motors traditional leaf spring suspension was mounted up front paired up to rear 1964 Ford axles.  The ass of this car is where all the fun happens anyway.To supply the air for the rear suspension, Mike boxed in the rear portion of the frame so it could serve as a makeshift air tight air tank.  This trick design allows the truck to store air without having an obvious tank to hide.  Mike figures his frame will hold about 1/2 to 3/4 gallon of air on one fill up from a ViAir 1.66 CFM compressor that is hidden in the tool box on the side of the rear portion of the wrecker.  Air is pumped into a pair of 6″ Firestone bags whenever he needs to lift the back end of the truck up for ground clearance.  1/2″ nylon air lines are used throughout the system with large valves for a quicker response time.Driving this truck thousands of miles across the country from show to show proves that Mike Boyer is not only a man with an appreciation of form, but function as well. The next time you happen to be stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, remember to keep an eye out for a tow truck straight out of Hell to come barreling along to save the day.

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