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Chuckles Garage: 1949 Ford F1 – The House Of Muscle Ep. 10 – Duration: 16:01.

– The year is 1947.

America was just coming out of World War II

and was becoming the economic superpower it is today.

It needed a workhorse to move itself forward

and in that time, Ford released this.

The F1 half-ton pickup truck.

This model is a 1949,

however this is a little bit different

than what was released all those years ago.

You see, this one has a 5.9 liter Cummins diesel

running a compound turbo charger set up

and it makes over 2,000 pound feet of torque

at the rear wheels.

Which is why we decided to come to a place

up in Northern California that let’s us sample all this

in the brown grass, on a skid pad, in the sunshine.

I’ve been looking forward to driving this thing

for a very long time.

So stay tuned for a very fun, slippery and slidery

House of Muscle episode.

(engine growls loudly)

The man who created this madness?

That’s Scott Birdsall, the owner of Chuckles Garage

in Santa Rosa, California.

– I bought it for 225 bucks off Craigslist


I wanted to just flip it ’cause I had no intent for it.

I’m like 225 bucks,

I’ll throw it on the side yard,

I’ll clean it up and I’ll flip it on Craigslist

for a couple grand and I’ll make a little money.

The truck grew on me and I said,

“You know what, I like this truck.

“I’m going to make a shop truck out of it,

“we’ll put like a Cummins diesel in it

“and make it super reliable.”


along the way,

one little mod added to another one,

and bigger brakes meant bigger wheels and tires

and I wanted more power so then I put a bigger turbo on it

and then I decided I wanted even more power

so then it had twin turbos.

I couldn’t stop and I saw things I could improve.

It went from a $225 Craigslist truck

to a $300,000 plus


I still don’t know what to call it.

(engine growls) (upbeat rock music)

(lifter whirs loudly)

– [Mike] It’s just mean.

I don’t really get speechless.

This thing is just a masterpiece!

– You got to see the engine.

– Yeah, dude, the first time I saw this,

I was kind of blown away because

you can’t not stare at it.

Give everybody an idea of how this thing gets motivated.

– [Scott] Compound turbo charging.

This turbo charger here is an 80-millimeter turbo.

It’s the small turbo. – Right.

– And this one works off exhaust gases from the engine,

just like a regular turbo does.

But the difference here

is this turbo also drives

this bigger turbo here which is a 94-millimeter Garrett GTX.

And so this turbo

returns the favor by the driving the 80-millimeter

from the front side as well.

So instead of breathing atmosphere

like a regular turbo system,

this turbo breathes

40 psi boost from this big turbo.

And so 40 psi here and 60 psi here,

ends up being a hundred

at the plenum. – Oh my God.

(engine growls)

When you were developing this, when you were building it,

and you kind of had this idea in your head to do this system,

were people like, “Yeah, that’s not going to work.”

– I’ve had tons of naysayers tell me

that this big of compounds would not work.

They say it would be lagging and it would never spool.

And this thing actually spools pretty quick.

(engine growls loudly)

– [Mike] So what type of numbers did it make

on the dyno?

– This thing makes 1,463 flywheel and 1,233 at the wheels.

– Jesus! (whispers)

Oh my God! – And double in–

– Double in torque. – Yup.

– [Mike] That’s very cool, man.

– Let’s take a look at the rear.

– Yeah, dude, let me see.

So now, the nitros, have you ever decided

to hit that button?

– We have on the dyno a little bit.

It’s good for another 350, 375 horsepower.

– The way that the cage is designed,

as an engineer, is this something you actually sat

and designed in CAD and then incorporated into the truck?

Was it more free-form?

I mean, how do you come up with this?

– The strongest part right here is all design

for all the torque and twisting

that the rear axle’s going to apply to it.

(upbeat rock music)

You know, there’s really no concessions

for anything streetcar on this truck.

It’s a pure race vehicle

and it just happens

to be licensed– – I was going to say

you have plates on it.

– [Scott] Yeah, it’s got plates.

– So you fabricated all of this.

– Yes.

– The big Cummins engine is really hard to fit

in this truck so two thirds of the engine

is behind the firewall.

Had to make a custom oil pan with custom baffles in it.

Just the clearance ’cause the factory one hung down

another eight inches.

– Just about zero suspension droop, huh, that’s nice.

– Yeah.

It’s a road racer, it’s an inch and a half of droop,

and an inch and a half of travel.

Also, this is a Kevlar blanket

to keep the transmission bits from coming inside and–

– [Mike] Taking you out.

– [Scott] Horribly maiming you in case of

a transmission failure.

– I mean, just to look at, this is beautiful.

– Yeah, this is where it gets complicated back here.

– Yeah, but man, is it nice.

– Winters custom made this read end for the truck.

A 10 and a half inch ring gear,

it’s called their super heavy duty quick change.

It’s nice ’cause we can throw any gear we want in it

because sometimes we’ll road race it,

sometimes we’ll take it out and drift it,

and then we’ll land speed race it.

– You designed all this, fabricated all the–

– Everything. – Everything?

– [Scott] Everything that the chassis–

We built it on our chassis table here.

– [Mike] How many hours did you have

into fabricating the chassis?

– I’ve got about 3,000 hours

on the whole truck. – Oh my God!

Oh my goodness!

It’s kind of mind blowing.

It really is to look at.

I mean, you know because you built it

but for somebody like me– – I built it

and it’s still overwhelming.

– (sighs) Alright, this is amazing.

I can’t wait to see this thing run.

I can’t wait–

I’m blown away. – I can’t wait

to see you drive it! – I can’t wait to drive it!


(upbeat rock music) We still have to make

one more stop before the skid pad.

But before we do, I have to ask.

What motivates someone to come up with this crazy, mad

and brilliant monstrosity of a machine?

(upbeat rock music)

– When I was a little kid,

I was obsessed with semi trucks.

So I’d make ’em honk and I thought they were just cool

’cause they’re these big,

strong diesel monsters

and I loved monster trucks and the sounds they made

and it was just so raw and angry.

Everything was extreme

and powerful.

Everybody asked me, “Why do you call your shop

“Chuckles Garage?”

It’s unconventional.

Chuckles was my dad’s nickname.

My dad was a police officer for years,

and his name is Charles.

Everybody called him Chuck and his CD handle was Chuckles.

And so, he passed in 2005 and I named my shop after him.

My dad would always supply me with tools

and give me things to mess around with

but I would never want to take apart the things he gave me.

I would wait till they weren’t paying attention

or else would left me to my own devices.

I just never stopped taking apart.

I first decided I want to be a fabricator

when my dad taught me how to use my hands.

By six, eight years old, my dad gave me a screwdriver

and I’d

I had this epiphany that I could take these things


change ’em and

do whatever I wanted.

You just have to have the tools to do it.

But when I really decided I wanted to be a fabricator,

it’s just when I got sick of

doing stuff I hated for a paycheck

and I wanted to be stoked to go to work,

like I never get up and say, “I don’t want to go to work.”

I’m always super pumped to go into the shop

and like

build rad stuff.

Guys work 80-hour work weeks to save up

just so they can play with their car on the weekend.

I get to do it everyday.

– [Mike] There is no better motivator

than working a death trap corporate check.

Scott knew this, left it behind

and created Chuckles Garage to satisfy his quest for speed.

(upbeat rock music) (engine revs)

(engine growls loudly)

– My road racing background goes back 20 years.

I learned race car set up from driving

and building my own race cars.

Trial and error.

I just apply the knowledge I’ve learned

throughout the years of building my own race cars

and then the last 10 years of owning my shop here,

building tons of customer race cars

and just applying my dyno knowledge

and my practical engineering knowledge

into something that really shouldn’t exist.

I tried, with this truck, to be everything that I want

any vehicle to be.

I want to be able to do whatever I want

and I don’t want it to fit in at any kind of genre

or anything like that.

It’s its ow entity.

It’s not a rat rod, it’s not a hot rod,

it’s not a dedicated land speed car,

it’s not a dedicated drift car,

it’s not a daily driver

but you can do

anything you want in it.

You can take it out and


party, I mean, have fun.

But the real goal for this truck,

I want to be the first diesel powered truck

to go 200 miles an hour in a measured mile.

(engine growls)

– Scott said that he wanted to go 200 miles an hour

in the mile.

Personally, I just wanted a chance to slide this thing

all over the place.

(engine growls)


– Mm-hm.

– [Mike] But you don’t just get into this thing

and turn the key.

There’s a system, a procedure if you will

that makes sure that when you put the sequential in gear,

all systems point to go.

(engine growls)

We have been waiting all day for this thing

to rip up the skid pad.

Now it was finally go time.

(engine growls loudly)

– It goes from 200 horsepower to 1200 horsepower

like within 800 RPM and it’s a light switch.

It’s nothing and then it’s everything

and all you have is mechanical grip.

It’s basically an amalgam of everything

that I thought was awesome throughout life.

(engine growls loudly)

This point in time, you steer with the rear

and you drive it like an old turbo Pan Am car.

You just hope for grip

and you squirt it when you think you can squirt it

and you go.

– [Mike] Watching Scott trying to wrestle Old Smoky

was akin to seeing a cheetah

trying to take down an elephant.

The man was working behind the wheel.

(engine growls loudly)

(men shouting over rumbling engine)

– In every corner it’s coming off.

– Huh. – Yeah.

– [Scott] That’s not good.

– Alright, so we just watched you go out there, it was–

I don’t know if you’ve shown you comin’ around

but I was like, “Yes, this is the best thing in the world!”

– It was pretty fun. – So how gnarly is it

to like, with that much torque and that much power,

to try to hold a drift with this thing?

– It’s rough. – You’re workin’.

– [Scott] Yeah, especially ’cause we have

the wrong spring rate in the back today

and it’s lifting the wheel

but it’s fun! (laughs)

– Three eighths worth of track time off those tires.

I’ve never seen anything destroy tires like this thing

in my life.

After a few minor adjustments,

Scott and Old Smoky headed back out onto the skid pad

for another run.

(engine growls) (upbeat rock music)

Over 2,000 pound feet of torque at the rear wheels

means one thing.

You are vaporizing tires,

plain and simple.

– I can’t tell you how hard that is!

– Oh, I know how hard it is.

I can see you struggling, I can see you working, dude!

Getting ready to go out on the skid pad,

extremely terrified.

Now I don’t really care if you guys out there,

internet world be like, “Oh, just man up!”

Over 2,000 pound feet of torque at the rear wheels

pedal travel is that much and a price tag

of around 300k–


I am nervous, shut up! (Scott laughs)

(engine revs) ‘Kay?

– [Scott] There you go.

What’s your plan for driving?

– Stay alive.

– [Mike] It was now my turn behind the wheel.

And once my initial fear faded,

I found that this ’49 Ford was quite possibly

the most mental thing I’ve ever driven.

(upbeat rock music)

(car screeches)


Keep in mind that when you consider what Scott did

to Old Smoky to make it do what it does,

the fact that this truck even exists at all,

is pretty damn remarkable.


(dramatic orchestral music)


America was built by hard work and big dreams.

This truck?

This is


We got to go out and flog it on the skid pad,

drive it on the street,

and hang out with Scott all day

and it has been an amazing experience

that we hope you guys have enjoyed.

So with that being said,

I’d like to thank you for watching,

and stay tuned for the next episode of The House of Muscle.

(dramatic urban music)