Back to life: Gene Winfield’s Custom Shop Truck

What’s the best way to show the world your skills when you’re trying to get the good word out about your custom shop?  If you’re Gene Winfield and you live in the land before the internet and “Motor Mondays”, you build an outstanding custom “shop truck”, hit the streets with it and then clean up on the show circuit.  Although Winfield’s shop had been around for a while, there was always room for more business.  So Winfield and friend Rick Lefelt set out to build a rolling advertisement for the shop.  They completed the build in 1960, and with this “shop truck” they showed the world their custom creating chops!

This truck is a terrific example of classic 60’s custom styling.  Gene and company started with a 3 1/2 inch chop, louvers for miles and nerf bumpers in the front and rear.  Winfield expertly executed the side pipe exhaust coming off the race ready Mercury flathead.  The pipes were formed through the front fenders and run along the side body.  The custom wood bed, tailgate and bedside inserts complete the custom culture package.  Originally Winfield sprayed over 20 coats of “cinnamon brozne” lacquer, giving the truck incredible depth and a one of a kind color.

Needless to say, the truck won countless awards and received tons of media coverage.  But, a builder builds and that’s exactly what Gene did.  It was out with the old and in with the new.  In ’65 Gene sold the truck and moved on.  Let’s just say, the truck had a hard go of it after the sale.

Fast forward 43 years to 2008 to an incredibly savvy hot rod enthusiast.  While out for a drive, David Barnes saw the backend of the pickup in a field.  As all good gear heads do, he made note of it, mentally filed that note and kept driving.  It wasn’t until he saw an article about Winfield and his truck that Barnes thought back to what he had seen in the field.  Barnes and his brother, who happens to work for Hatfield Restorations, trekked back to where he saw the truck.  Eventually, the brothers with the help of Hatfield Restorations owner Gary Hatfield, were able to convince the owner to sell.  And in short order, Gene’s ride was on it’s way to it’s former glory.

Hatfield Restorations executed an extraordinarily precise revival of Winfield’s golden gem.  The crew at Hatfield Restorations did such an incredible job that when Winfield saw his “old truck” he said “when he had it, it never looked that good”.  They rigorously adhered to Winfield’s original build and the result like a trip back in time.  The louvers, exhaust and nerf  bumpers are as they were in the 60’s.

A replacement 255 flathead gets the “old shop truck” down the road.  She’s got Offenhauser heads and intake with 2 97 carbs.  And the original 1940 tranny done by Mr. Winfield marries it all.  She rides on Royal wide whites with 1950 Merc wheels.  The wheels were kicked up custom style with custom bullet centers, Mooneyes spun aluminum outer discs and 16 bullets around the rim.  The metal work on the bed sides is outstanding.  A custom color from PPG, coats this rejuvenated beauty.  Hatfield had the color matched exactly to the original shade.  To do so he used paint chips he found on one of the original shock absorbers.

Hatfield took a scrap of the original fabric to Sunbelt Fabrics in Dallas where they found a good match of gold and white material from a ’57 Olds.  Keeping in sync with the precision of the restoration, the bed is back to it’s original 60’s glory.  Hand lettering and pinstriping keeps the custom cred meteoric.  Hatfield’s last custom detail was the addition of the original Winfield Customs plaque, courtesy of Gene himself.  And the final touch to the completed restoration, Mr. Winfield autographed the dash in 2010.  Full circle with a mighty fine finished product.

4,000 man hours, a little over 8 months of tireless work, with the dedication of an entire shop and Gene Winfield’s bronze beauty was back on the road.  Take a gander for yourself and check out Gene Winfield’s work in the hands of Hatfield Restorations.

Hatfield Restoration is part of the KruzinUSA Builders universe.  Check out their Builders Showroom and see what these righteous restorers are up to.  We’ve got their up to the minute posts!

Check out Hatfield Restorations website to see just everything these cats are capable of.

This stunning restoration is now part of the Galpin Collection.  If you are not familiar with this collection, go get yourself acquainted.  Check it out here.

Stay tuned, Custom Car Revival is on the horizon and that show never disappoints!

Till the next time – Keep on Kruzin!