Dick Ceola's 1930 Ford
Built over a two-year period
Built over a two-year period, the body was channeled over the frame before Dick removed the fenders and running boards. It was lowered front and back and dressed up with a 1932 Ford grille. The back of the truck received a rolled pan, and inset plaque, and 1939 Ford taillights. Once completed, Ceola's truck went on to become a trophy winner in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, and according to Nicholas Coe, it was often a featured car at shows around Northwest Arkansas in the early 1960s.
The $3,000 "30"
3,000 dollars supposedly went into the build. Photos from Dick's personal album shows it attending the 1962 4th of July Parade in Springdale. Back then, the car was pulled by Dick's 1959 Ford Convertible. We're not sure exactly when the build was completed, but in December of 1962 he showed the truck at the first annual Ozark Drifters Auto-Rama indoor car show in the National Guard Armory in Springdale. That iteration was painted fie engine-red with a bright white firewall and matching white rolled and pleated interior. It was powered by a full race 1953 Mercury engine that Dick had dressed up with red, chrome, and aluminum details. It ran chromed wheels with whitewall tires up front, while the back of the truck featured deeply reversed and painted wheels, also with whitewalls. Chromed exhaust stacks ran up between the body and bed. The roof was upholstered in white with two red stripes, and a matching cover was made for the bed.
Dick's truck won three top awards at the 1962 Ozark Drifters Auto-Rama. It placed first in the full entry custom class, was judged the entry with the best exterior appearance, and was selected as best of the show in an audience poll.
Sometime between 1963 and 1964, the Ozark Drifters changed their name to the Road Angels of Springdale. Around the same time, Dick replaced the flathead engine in the truck with a small-block Chevrolet engine. Dressed up with ribbed valve covers, the small-block Chevy ran six carburetors and an early alternator. Interior photos taken after the engine swap shows that the dashboard had been dressed up with white pinstriping. The grille on this iteration had also been sectioned.
Where is it now?
Dick's family is currently trying to trace the whereabouts of Dick's lost truck. It was his pride and joy, and any information about it would be highly appreciated. The last picture they have of the car was taken around 1968. That version ran chromed rear wheels and rear tires with dual white stripes. The exhaust had also been replaced with white headers that went along the bottom part of the cab. The truck was sold sometime during the 1970s. Please get in touch with Kustomrama at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any info to share about the long lost Ceola truck.
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