Macomb Township resident Jerry Drenzek owns three  classic pickup trucks: a green 1948 Ford F1, a two-toned  1952 Chevrolet and a red 1955 Chevrolet. Part of his passion for cars, he said, comes from being part of a  family that’s “deeply rooted in the car business.”

Macomb Township resident Jerry Drenzek owns three classic pickup trucks: a green 1948 Ford F1, a two-toned 1952 Chevrolet and a red 1955 Chevrolet. Part of his passion for cars, he said, comes from being part of a family that’s “deeply rooted in the car business.”

Photos by Donna Agusti


‘Nothing says Americana like an old pickup’

By: Jennifer Sigouin | C&G Newspapers | Published June 13, 2018

 Drenzek is behind the wheel of his 1955 Chevrolet pickup truck.

Drenzek is behind the wheel of his 1955 Chevrolet pickup truck.

Photo by Donna Agusti

 Drenzek's 1952 Chevrolet pickup has been completely restored from the frame up.

Drenzek's 1952 Chevrolet pickup has been completely restored from the frame up.

Photos by Donna Agusti

 Drenzek's 1948 Ford pickup appeared next to a modern Ford F-150 in footage for the National Geographic Channel’s “Driving America” documentary.

Drenzek's 1948 Ford pickup appeared next to a modern Ford F-150 in footage for the National Geographic Channel’s “Driving America” documentary.

Photo by Donna Agusti

What’s better than owning a classic pickup truck? If you ask Macomb Township resident Jerry Drenzek, he’d probably say it’s owning three of them. 

“Being a car guy is kind of an addiction,” said Drenzek. “You see one, you gotta have it. You see another one, you gotta have it.”

As a lifelong car enthusiast and collector, Drenzek said his childhood was filled with Matchbox cars, Hot Wheels and slot cars, but now his toys are bigger, with a collection that includes a green 1948 Ford F1 pickup, a two-toned 1952 Chevrolet pickup and a red 1955 Chevrolet pickup. 

“I just love the simplicity of them,” he said. “Nothing says Americana like an old pickup.”

Drenzek explained that classic pickups have become more popular over the past several years, and as a result, their values have skyrocketed. Luckily, Drenzek was ahead of the curve and purchased his before they were in such high demand. But asking him to choose his favorite, he said, would be like asking a parent to choose their favorite child.

“I like them all for different reasons,” he explained. 

First, there’s the ’48 Ford, which Drenzek likened to an old, comfortable pair of shoes. It’s a truck that’s perfect for when you want to “let your hair down and enjoy the ride,” he said. 

Then there’s the ’55 Chevy. It has a later-model engine and an automatic transmission, so it’s good for everyday traffic and it gets Drenzek where he wants to go. It’s also the one he’s owned the longest — 26 years. 

“It’s almost like a member of the family,” he said. 

And finally, there’s his ’52 Chevy — the “show pony” that he takes to car shows and competitions. Drenzek noted that he and a few friends did a complete restoration on the truck. 

“We took it down to the frame and started over again,” he said, explaining that every piece of the pickup is brand-new, remanufactured, redone or repainted. 

During the summer, Drenzek tries to get the pickups out on the road two or three times per week. He’s also gotten them some screen time over the years. The ’55 and ’48 pickups were background vehicles in a 2012 film titled “Margarine Wars,” which was shot in Richmond, Michigan; the ’48 Ford appeared next to a modern Ford F-150 in footage for the National Geographic Channel’s “Driving America” documentary; and the ’52 Chevy was featured in a Relay for Life calendar that helped raise money for the American Cancer Society. 

Now that he’s retired, Drenzek also contributes writing and photography to classic car publications and websites; serves as a docent at Stahl’s Automotive Museum in Chesterfield Township; and is a member of local car clubs, including the Fun Time Cruzers and the Eastside Corvette Club. 

In addition to the pickups, Drenzek owns a ’90s Corvette, which he takes to the annual Corvettes on Woodward charity event that’s part of the Woodward Dream Cruise. He has also owned other classics, including a 1958 Austin-Healey 100-6 British sports car and a 1964 Cadillac DeVille. 

Part of his passion for cars, he said, comes from being part of a family that’s “deeply rooted in the car business.”  

“During my career, I worked for every major automotive advertising agency in Detroit on the Ford, Chrysler and Chevrolet accounts, spending 25 years at Chevrolet’s ad agency working on campaigns including the ‘Heartbeat of America,’ ‘American Revolution’ and ‘Like a Rock’ for Chevy trucks,” he said. 

Drenzek’s grandfather worked for the Packard Motor Car Co., his father worked as a tool and die tradesman for Chrysler, and his uncle was part of Chrysler’s design staff. 

“Gasoline runs in the whole family’s veins,” he said. 

Click here for more photos. 


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Do you own a vehicle that has an interesting history? Contact Staff Writer Jennifer Sigouin at jsigouin@candgnews.com, and you could be featured in an upcoming edition of Behind the Wheel.