We are always happy to meet locals in the Los Angeles area that are as passionate about cars and the automotive scene as much as we are. With that said we’d love to introduce you to Jared Kaplan and his 1941 Ford truck – nicknamed “LEGACY!”
MYSICKRIDE: So Jared, can you tell us a little bit about the history on “Legacy” and how the whole project got started?
JARED: Bought this truck in 2000 when I turned 15 years old with some money that my grandfather left me when he passed away 2 years, earlier on my 13th bday. I bought it for $6,900 and it had a 350/350, no power steering, 4 wheel drum brakes, no seat belts, and if I turned to fast to the left the passenger door would open and my girlfriends would almost fly out. So you could say that this beast wasn’t the safest ride to let a new driver drive in. I still can’t believe that my parents let me have this for my first truck. Haha, but I am grateful for it.
MYSICKRIDE: You told us earlier that you had been in a bad accident with this truck within the first two years right here in the San Fernando Valley near our office. That must have been a major blow both financially and emotionally.
JARED: Yes it was, absolutely devastating! I drove it throughout high school and early in 2002 I was making a right onto Rinaldi facing north from Balboa in Granada Hills. Well, a lady in a expedition decided to come out of the sunshine gas station driveway as I was making the right and crossed 4 double yellow lines to make a right onto balboa. Of course with no power steering and drum breaks, I hit her going about 30 mph.
My driver door flew open and I fell onto my running boards and half into the street – into on coming traffic. Thank God the huge cement truck that was barreling towards me saw the accident and stopped before it was to late. My head hit the windshield and my collar bone hit the huge original ‘41 steering wheel hard. I was ok, composed myself and asked if the women driving the expedition was ok. She was of course, but my truck was not as you can see in the pics.
Both front fenders, hood, and grille were destroyed. As we’re my headlights, wishbone, door, and cowl. I was beyond upset. This was a truck that my dad and I bought for us to tinker with and work on together throughout the years. I was heartbroken. I finally towed it home surveying the damage. It was totaled of course – the insurance company came out and totaled it out.
MYSICKRIDE: Even with the emotional attachment a lot of people would have just called it a day and started over. How did you go about keeping the project going?
JARED: Dad and I heard through a friend about a guy out in Sylmar who built hot rods. We went to his shop and he had a full on hot rod machine shop with every toy you could imagine. His name was Dennis Duprey at D and S automotive off Maclay street. We got working on it right away and before I knew it I was working there and helping with all the shop duties, sweeping floors, minor service things like oil changes and spark plug changes. I would always ask what everyone was doing because I really wanted to learn how to do all the metal and body work.
So I worked there for several months waiting on the insurance money so we could buy a bunch of cool stuff and make this truck one bad ass ride. Well after working there for a while, while going through paramedic school, it was apparent that the shop was having issues. So after 2 years we had the chop done and some body work here and there but that was about it. What I didn’t know was that Dennis had promised his own friend that he would get his roadster done before he passed from his cancer. Dennis kept this from us for 10 years after the fact – I understand now that he needed to do that for him.
MYSICKRIDE: Wow Jared, that sounds like another big set back and a lot of time spent with little to show for it. It’s admirable that Dennis promised his friend to finish his roadster before he passed away from cancer but since you didn’t know about this it must have been frustrating for you just waiting without much progress.
JARED: Yes it was and because of this we took the truck out of there and took it to another guy. Dennis sold his shop a few months later. The new shop our truck was at turned out to be a BAD deal – I can not give out the name but believe me on this. They took us for close to $17 grand! One day I was at my internship for my paramedic school out in Stockton, CA when my mother called me all panicked! She said that the shop owner called my dad and told him that the DEA was over at the shop and had 2 hours to get everything before they seized everything in the shop. Dad called a tow truck and he got over there and got the truck and all the parts out of there. After that we just brought the truck home and so it sat for the next 10 years.
In that time I met the love of my life. Things were fantastic. Until the day she was seriously injured at work. She is a police officer and was in a major altercation. This is where our lives changed forever. Surgery after surgery, doctor appointments three times a week. Just pure hell to be honest. Doctors told us we would never be able to get pregnant, but we got married in 2012, bought our home 3 days before our wedding, no honey moon – just moved in. And we had our first child, a baby boy named Hunter Jeffrey – after my dad.
MYSICKRIDE: Except for the setbacks with the truck – that is actually an awesome and inspiring story. Congratulations on coming out on top with your personal lives. Now tell us, how did you end up getting Legacy to be the sick ride she is today?
JARED: This last August, in 2013, dad and I decided to pay Dennis a visit. He had bought a home in Granada Hills and built a huge 3500 sqaure foot shop in his backyard. Full machine shop. We talked for hours and both decided on finishing what we had all started by finishing the 41′. Over the next 11 months my dad and I were at that shop every single day after work and before work weekends – we were at the Pomona Swap Meet. It was so much fun!
Dennis’ neighbor Don Dorman was also at the shop pretty much every day helping us out. It was definitely a family affair. Super long nights, we didn’t have a time frame and just wanted to get it done and did we ever! Turned out to be one of the most beautiful trucks ever.
MYSICKRIDE: Absolutely agree with you on that, we were immediately struck by how beautiful and unique it was when we first saw the pictures on our FaceBook Fan Page!
JARED: She is a real head Turner for sure! With the Scotts front end to the 4 wheel air bags, corvette rear end, 4 wheel discuss breaks, suicide doors, floating gauges, 3 1/2″ chop back window stock size, and the 406 power plant that puts out well over 550 HP. I know it’s it’s a Chevy in in a Ford and I catch some shit here and there but for the most part people dig it.
This truck is named “LEGACY” for the simple reason that it will never be sold. Only worked on with love. It will never be the truck I get in when I am angry because as soon as I look at it she will remind me of all the good that came with building her. All the nights I got to share with my pops, all the crap we went through to get her where she is now. This truck is so very special to my parents, my wife, me, and now my son. Now comes the 3rd generation of hot rod builders with Hunter. I get to teach him what my dad has taught me.
Dennis’ wife Tami had been struggling with an extreme form of cancer that kept coming back and we have recently lost her. Please pray for her family as they are going through this difficult time. We all became family throughout those 11 months and she was always a ray of sunshine. She was always in the garage talking to us and telling us how great this was going to be. It was her last build she saw Dennis complete and we are dedicating this truck and build to her.
I also want to say a special thanks to Jimmy, Don, Don’s dad, Mike and Brandon who were there helping out whenever they were at the shop.
MYSICKRIDE: Jared, thank you so much for taking the time to share you amazing story and the pictures of Legacy – we are sure the fans will be as excited about her as we are and we look forward to getting to know you and the rest of your friends and family as well! That is the amazing thing about the automotive scene in Los Angeles – we are all one big, car loving family!