1951 Ford F2 Is One Crazy Ride — Literally
‘Straight Jacket Express’ once served as transportation for patients headed to an insane asylum. Now it’s just a seriously crazy hot rod!
We often refer to certain truck builds as “crazy” or “insane.” But those are merely adjectives that describe something that differs from the norm, or maybe sports a big horsepower motor. On the other hand, when we refer to this 1951 Ford F2 Stewart Safetymaster wagon as one of those two terms, we mean it. Because this crazy conversion once transported mental patients to an insane asylum!
Essentially, Stewart was a coachbuilder that specialized in armored cars. Which is why this particular bodystyle, dubbed the Safetymaster, is essentially an armored wagon with windows. The truck transported all manner of crazy folk for 25-30 years before it hauled luggage for the Grand Canyon Hotel for a while. It went on to, fittingly, serve as a movie car that never made it to the big screen. And that’s when the current owner came across the insane ride on eBay.
Unafraid of the spooky past this truck had lived, the new owner actually embraced it. He kept the mostly original patina on the outside, yet had to swap out a few panels here and there. Underneath you’ll find “the biggest air bags you can buy,” powered by an 18-wheeler style belt driven pump. Powering the scary beast is an equally scary 12v Cummins with some work done to “the heads and the top end.” Output is estimated to be somewhere between 500-600 horsepower.
With the bagged suspension, comfy seats, and dual air-conditioners, the unique Ford F2 conversion now reportedly rides like a dream. And the owner, who’s admittedly “old and gray,” is plenty happy with the ratty exterior. We’re just glad he saved this thing and gave it a new lease on life. No matter how crazy it might seem.