Central Alberta Farmer and diesel mechanic turned hotrodder, Rod Bushfield, creates one of a kind custom traditional style hot rods. “Snake Oil” his 1936 Ford Pickup, is no exception. With his spare time in the winter, Rod likes to crank out a build a year and with that quick turn around the quality is still a top priority for him. Rod is into hot-rodding for the build, not necessarily for the Ride, he likes to sell ‘em and move on to the next project each summer and doesn’t typically go to very many shows, although some of his precious builds have also been published in other magazines as well as one of our issues.
Rod also has a YouTube channel called “What’s Happening in the Shop” where he mainly works on restoring and building dirt bikes, but is also looking to give it some of that vintage car flair. Speaking of YouTube, don’t forget to check out our channel, “Cruise Culture Magazine”, and specifically the video feature we did on this 1936 Ford Pickup so you can also see it run and drive.
The previous owner had plans to lay it down on air ride, which would have been cool, but Rod took a more traditional approach with a static drop utilizing a drop front axle and transverse spring up front, and the original trailing arms in the rear.
The motor was pulled from a 1989 Camaro, and is a 350 which came with a Ramjet intake that he swapped for a Summit racing 4 barrel intake with a Vintage Speed adapter so he could run dual Rochester 2G carburetors. The carburetors are linked with a progressive linkage so mainly runs on the back carb, but when he kicks the throttle open the front comes on as well. He paired this up with Borge-Warner T5 transmission. To make room for the engine and cooling system without cutting the firewall, the alternator was relocated up high and the fans were mounted on the front of the radiator instead of their traditional location. An oil filter relocation kit to under the car as well as a clutch master and brake master and booster underfloor kit were used. A gel cell batter was also used and located under the passenger seat.
The purist might notice that the hood sides and the front grill are actually from a ’35 as that is all that was available at the time. From a distance you might also think this truck is in bare metal but it is actually painted patina. You can watch how Rod does this paint over on this YouTube channel and this is how the truck get its name “Snake Oil”. The paint is rough and a little shiny and intentionally cracked up in a way that resembles snake skin. To keep with the patina look, Rod built the bed floor from wood left over from an old fence on the farm.
When Rod picked up the project, it came with the incredible set of classic wire wheels that had already been powder coated dark green. To tie this into the rest of the truck, he hired upholsterer, Steve Ottens of Old Iron Kustoms to create a beautiful, dark green, pleated interior. The column is a custom made tilt column and column drop from the previous owner, who is a machinist.
Out back, the rear is complete with a custom Currie Ford 9” with 3.55 Posi gears. The exhaust, do to space constraints, is a 2.75” pipe with glass pack mufflers and sounds great.
For more check out Rod’s Channel or visit him on instagram @coogan422.
Article by Brian Holzli
Photos by Brian Holzli