Note: This feature is in the Oct. TT&C 2014 issue.
The team of Denny May on the left and Bob Anderson on the right are shown with one of their 1/4 scale scratch-built 1955 Ford trucks. It was finished as a general purpose truck for Elmer’s Orchard. The bed has a high-detailed wood floor.
This AAA-approved 1/4 scale scratch-built 1955 Ford wrecker has many unique features. The boom supports a brake-locking winch used when towing disabled vehicles. Note: the pedal car being towed is a Ford Woody built by Bob Anderson.
Dennis May is one who loves to dream, design, restore and build unique things; from Cretors horse-drawn popcorn wagons to scale model trucks. When asked how all this unfolded, Denny responded, “My grandfather’s lifelong avocation was farming. He was also an inventor of sorts. I always enjoyed his work. My father followed along and could fix about anything on the farm. Apparently I had a latent ability inherited from them as I restored a 1949 Ford F1 panel truck that turned out quite nice.
“I got acquainted with my neighbor, Bob Anderson, who can build most anything. Doug Erickson, a machinist friend of Bob’s provides input with many of Bob’s undertakings. Together, they are a masterful pair. I shared my interest in tinkering with Bob one day. Bob needed assistance with a project and asked if I could provide a helping hand. I wasn’t sure of my capabilities, but I was a willing participant. Bob liked the way that project turned out so he asked if I could provide still more help. I was excited for the opportunity and accepted. After several years working with Bob and Doug, I’ve learned a great deal and have become a complement in their varied endeavors. Scratch building scale model trucks is only one of many things we build.”
Denny grew up on the family’s Angus farm in Mineral Point, Wis. He was active in rural youth organizations, including 4-H and FFA. Through these activities, his projects were beef related where he became an accomplished showman. He also had early experience driving and operating farm tractors and trucks. “I drove the farm tractor for the first time at age 10. We had trucks on the farm that I drove at the ripe old age of 15. As soon as I got my driver’s license at 16, I was running errands with the farm truck. My dad sold silo unloaders and related equipment. My first assignment was picking up a shipment of this equipment in town. The family showed cattle around the Midwest and still does today. I drove my father’s two-ton truck with show cattle to the International Stock Show in Chicago when I was 16 years old. Hauling those cattle at that young age was quite an experience,” Denny remarked.
Denny does not recall many toys as a youngster. “I remember playing in the sandbox, but we didn’t have many toys. At an early age I was busy using the real stuff so toys didn’t mean a lot. During my youth, I was just being a worker on the farm. Every one of my family had work tasks. We just didn’t have much time to play with toys,” he commented.