For those of us with never-ending restoration projects stacked up in the garage, Hagerty’s “Swap Meet to Street” challenge of building a drivable vintage truck in 95 hours from a pile of parts and auto-shop supplies is doubly impressive.
Hagerty’s team of classic car experts started out with a bare rolling chassis and the beat-up cab of a 1946 Ford pickup truck and, using only parts they sourced from last weekend’s Hershey Swap Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania, brought it back to life. When they finished, they drove the truck from Hershey to Hagerty’s Traverse City, Michigan, headquarters – a journey of 700 miles.
Yes, they made it.
Total cost for the demonstration project: less than $10,000. But lots of hands-on labor by the four Hagerty Insurance and Valuation employees, each of whom brought a different area of expertise to the build.
The team was comprised of Tara Hurlin, a content writer who builds vintage hot rods; Matt Lewis, an analyst with a background in automotive electronics; parts-supply specialist Devin Rekow, who builds race cars; and Brad Philips, a Hagerty client-relations manager who is also a vintage rally-car driver.
“I’m typically at home tinkering on my cars by myself,” Phillips said in a news release. “So it was really great to work together with the team to finish this project.”
The team did have a slight leg up to start off, with the rolling chassis already prepared with refurbished brakes and suspension, and they were able to buy basic supplies – fluids, filters and bulk electric wire – from an auto-parts store. But every other part was sourced on site from the Hershey Swap Meet, using either stock or modified parts for the truck, depending on what was available.
“The camaraderie and level of engagement – both onsite and from those watching the live stream across the globe – were truly inspiring,” Hurlin said in a news release. “It was great to see automotive enthusiasts uniting together to help us with the build by spending their time sorting parts and providing tips. We even had people drop-off donated parts because they really wanted to see us finish the truck.”
You can watch the build taking place in a series of time-lapse videos that can be viewed on YouTube.