1945 Ford GPW - Mad Flatty

A Home-Built Ford GPW Done Right

Christian LeePhotographer, WriterBrian SmithPhotographer

Brian Smith of La Verne, California, came across his 1945 Ford GPW flat fender more than 10 years ago, and after encouragement from his buddy Chris Saunders and support from his wife, Sue, he decided it could be his next trail-ready 4x4. The build wasn't to be an easy proposition, however, as the GPW was sitting on worked over factory drivetrain and the stock four-cylinder engine was beyond its years of running well, if at all. With large tasks at hand Brian set in to the build without abandon. After 10 years of toiling away at it in his two-car garage during nights and weekends, his labor of love has finally reached completion.

Brian built every bit of his Mad Flatty in his garage with the exception of the transfer case, axles, and driveshafts, which were built at Tri County Gear in Pomona, California. Yet still, Brian couldn't have completed the build without assistance. He sends big thanks to all of his late night and weekend helpers, including Chris Saunders and Chris Wannamaker, as well as Jason Bunch and Steve Hastings of Tri County Gear. Mike Trowe at Baker Paint in El Monte, California, applied the fresh paint and Quicksilver in San Dimas, California, completed the "Mad Flatty" lettering and other graphics. The crew at Autozone in La Verne also helped out a lot in tracking down many parts. Brian also sends thanks to Beard for the great seats and Fox Racing Shox for the accurate shock tuning.

It may have taken a decade to complete but it was worth the wait. Brian reports that his Mad Flatty has worked very well through every trail he's tackled and that only minor issues have surfaced. We think you'll like what you see. We certainly do.


Vehicle: 1945 Ford GPW
Owner: Brian and Sue Smith
Hometown: La Verne, California
Engine: 1995 Ford 302 V-8
Induction: Holley Pro-Jection TBI
Transmission: NP435
Transfer Case: Dana 300
Low Range Ratio: 4:1
Front End: Chevy Dana 60
Rear End: Full-float Dana 70
Ring And Pinion: 5.13:1
Front Differential: ARB Air Locker
Rear Differential: Eaton Detroit Locker
Suspension: Four-link front with 14-inch-travel Fox coilovers; four link rear with quarter-eliptical springs and 14-inch-travel Fox double bypass shocks
Tires: 40x13.50R17 Goodyear MTR with Kevlar
Wheels: 17x9.75 Walker Evans beadlocks
Backspacing: 3.5 inches
Estimated Value: $40,000

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