CHERRY COLA

1942 FORD PICKUP

Rodger and Jadon Govender

Photos and article by Jared Govender

Patience. A quality that increasingly fewer people seem to possess these days. We need weapons-grade microwave ovens to nuke our dinner in under a minute, and long-gone are the days when your average movie fan was willing to queue up outside your local Ster-Kinekor to catch that new eagerly-awaited premier of their favourite flick. These days people have downloaded leaked torrent files before they’ve even reached the cinemas. And the same characteristics can be found in many car owners…

All too often we hear about somebody buying a car and ‘turning it around in a few weeks for a certain car show’, sometimes resulting in a shoddy build for the sake of completing it within a given timeframe. So when we heard that Rodger Govender took 5 years to build this ’42 Ford Pickup, we knew we had to have a closer look. Having rewired a countless number of clients’ cars over the years, he developed a love for classics. He attended shows like Cars in the Park with his two sons, Jadon and Juriah, and bided his time in finding the right project for the three of them to embark upon. In 2012, he took a leap of faith and made a 1500km roundtrip to Pretoria to collect the pickup and immediately started brainstorming a plan of action with Jadon on his way back to KZN.

Being a skilled mechanic by trade, he knew that labour costs would never be an issue. This also allowed him to be a bit more adventurous in acquiring a suitable engine and transmission, knowing that whatever needed to be fabricated and fettled he could take on himself in order to make it work. Instead of sourcing just a new heart for the pickup he purchased an entire Chevy C10 donor car and transplanted the 5.7L V8 powerplant as well as tranny into the Ford, but not before he stripped the shell down to bare metal by bead blasting the entire body. He then enlisted the expertise of Clifford Christian over at Palace Panel & Paint to sort the body while he rebuilt the engine using parts brought in from the states. The team at Palace took a while to get the bodywork completed, but their great workmanship shines through when you look at the gleaming paintwork. The Spies Hecker cherry-red and black colours also contain some flake giving the Ford an iridescent quality that makes it pop in the sunlight.

With the Ford pretty much sorted in the looks department, Rodger turned his attention to that aforementioned Chevy lump. There’s nothing more anticlimactic than building something that’s ‘all show and no go’. The motor now sports a 4-barrel Holley 650 CFM carb that’s fed through 10mm fuel lines from a newly instated aluminium fuel cell. Air going in is taken care of by an Edelbrock intake and air going out is dispensed by a custom exhaust system fabricated by SES auto centre, also providing a raspy soundtrack to proceedings.

Rodger and Jadon wanted to retain an understated look for the exterior, deciding on a set of steelies finished off in the same cherry red paint and wrapped in 15-inch white-wall Dunlop rubber. The deal he made with his son was that the pickup would look classic on the outside but the interior would be more modern and easier to live with. Besides a whole host of new electronic gauges used to monitor every aspect of the engine, the entire sound system is also bang up to date. The seats were expertly reupholstered by Seelan of Custom Auto Care and the dashboard and doors were finished off in handcrafted solid wood by Vees Wood Designs. 

The Ford was unveiled at Cars in the Park 2017, which is where it first caught our eye. We also got to witness first hand the stir that it caused at the show, and for good reason too. This 42 Ford pickup is definitely as sweet as a sip of Cherry Cola…