Why Old-School Is Very Cool
Blast with us into the semi-distant past -- 1970, to be exact. It had been mere months since American astronauts had landed on the moon, with Neil Armstrong uttering the unforgettable words, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." On the heels of the resounding success of the first lunar landing, astronauts Fred Haise, Jack Swigert, and Jim Lovell climbed on board the ill-fated Apollo 13 space vehicle, returning to Earth after eight harrowing days in space. Remember those unforgettable words? "Houston, we have a problem."
During this period of multi-million-dollar moon shots, Danny Guernsey's Ford F-100 came to life in Dearborn, Michigan, and made its way to high-desert Hesperia, California. Danny, the "D" in C&D Fabworks, chanced upon the then-lowly Ford sitting in a Hesperia front yard. The shortbed two-wheel-drive had been upgraded with two-hairs-larger-than-stock tires and red-booted performance shocks. The rig was certainly a worthy ride for basic backroad bashing at low-to-moderate velocities, yet a far cry from the wolf in vintage clothing that it is today. Inspecting the old iron, Danny saw a Class 8 race truck in embryo. A deal was struck: Danny parted with a dirt bike, and the owner gave up the F-100. Big plans were made. Then, life got in the way.
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Danny took a leap for independence and left his parents' nest. Then a budding fabricator, Guernsey was long on talent, but had yet to grow the reputation that C&D Fabworks enjoys today. He needed cash and sold the truck to his dad. The truck did some more sitting, and Danny's dad finally decided that he, too, would sell the truck. At this point, Danny was in a better financial position, so he bought the truck back. The big plans that were made nearly a decade earlier were finally transformed into metallic reality with the help of business partner Chris Wrublevski, assorted premium off-road components, and several hundred hours' worth of fabrication.
When the transformation was complete, Danny was the proud owner of the retro rocket seen orbiting the pages of Off-Road. "Sure, there's conversion fiberglass available to update the appearance of the truck," Danny mused. "But I decided from the beginning that I was going to keep the vintage look." It was a good move. We thoroughly dig the looks of Danny's truck, but can attest that the old-iron looks are only fiberglass-skin deep. Blue-anodized King coilover and bypass shocks blend with custom C&D front and rear suspensions. The C&D/King combo yields 18 inches of front I-beam travel and 24 inches of rear three-link bump-swallowing action. Of course, that's the rocket part. What's the retro part? Besides the obvious looks, '70 trucks are exempt from thorn-in-the-side smog inspections required by the state of California. Danny was forever free from the burden of ensuring that each and every component under the hood was either factory original or smog-legal. This freedom meant that Guernsey was at liberty to design and build his engine cage and choose his engine components with only one thing in mind: performance.
After completing the metallic masterpiece, Danny ruefully decided to sell the now-stellar Ford. It seems that yet another giant leap is about to be taken. "We want to build and race a Trophy Truck," he revealed. "We want to keep it hard-core and get to where Danny Porter (of Porter Race Cars) is now." Given the trajectory that C&D is already on, we'd say it's only a matter of time before we see a C&D-built Trophy Truck on a SCORE starting line, complete with thoroughly modern racing weaponry. In the meantime, we're glad we got to discover just how cool old-school can be.