My dream came true when I found my Grandfather, Ralph Jennings Whitley’s 1950 F-1 Ford truck and restored it to its former glory. I learned to drive it at 14 years old. I found it many years later in my Uncle Freddie and Aunt Carrol Key’s field. It had been there so long that a tree and weeds were growing up through it. I asked them if I could buy and restore it. We pulled it out of the field and started the long process of restoring it to be as close to original as possible.

First, we pulled out the original motor and had it rebuilt. Ken Anderson, my cousin-in-law, did all the body work to prepare it for being painted. I had it painted dark green like the original was in 1950. All the brake and fuel lines have been replaced. I had a custom walnut floor made by a local craftsmen. Next, the seat was reupholstered.

During the restoration, I ordered my items from LMC Truck Parts. They have been very helpful and their products are superior to all others.

Since being restored, I have attended several car shows, cruises, and parades and have won several awards.

Driving my truck reminds me of my childhood and so many great memories. I learned to drive in this 3 – speed on the floor truck next to my grandfather’s popcorn fields. He established Whitley Popcorn in Trenton, MO and they sold popcorn all over the world. I helped in our family business and earned the KC Chiefs and Royals along with Hy-Vee’s business. My grandfather drove this truck as a daily driver and my Uncle Freddie previously used it to haul feed to his cattle.

My friends and family love to go for drives in my beautifully restored truck and listen to all my stories about it as I reminisce about making my dreams come true.

(Photo taken by my good friend, Gary Schuett. Several photos are taken in front of the former Whitley Popcorn bins and popcorn fields.)