Friday, June 30, 2006

The truck

I took this photo in Clear Lake, Iowa to send to my nephew Doug. I started to think about why and realized I needed to write this story.

My favorite brother Bob(everyone in the family felt the same way) and Doug's father had a 1955 Ford pickup.

Very nice old truck, custom cab with heater ( that used to be an option on trucks )and the even more rare electric windshield wipers and turn signals.

I ended up with the truck in the late 70's and added a 400ci Pontiac V-8 with the 400 tranny. I traded a car I had paid $45 for it and a friend that had a salvage yard said I could have all the parts off a Pontiac for $30. Built tranny crossmember and motor mounts, dropped in the engine-tranny combo with the Pontaic radiator, added twin glasspacks and I was on my way. When I had the truck running I had a total of $113 (no that is not a typo)in it. I used this truck as my daily driver for a couple years.

I later painted it black primer and ran 1963 Galaxie hubcaps on it. The hubcaps had a pretty blue center that matched the seat in the truck. It had the stance of the one in the picture due to the heavy engine-tranny combo and slightly larger tires on the back. I was very proud of it. Always wanted "white spoke wheels" (remember those), but never came up with any.

Used to drive it 50 miles to the dragstrip, take off the hubcaps, lower the tailgate, flog the crap out of it all day long, and then drive it home. At the drag strip it ran in the low 17's simply because it would not "hook-up" and would smoke the right rear tire over half the 1/4 mile. It would not stop spinning until the tranny shifted into high gear. On the street it was a very nice performer and would out run my buddy's 455 ci TransAm that he thought was so fast. The TransAm ran in the 15's at the track because it was not spinning the tires. Oh, to young and reckless again.

This truck was very dependable and never failed me. Even without power steering, it drove and handled great. I drove it to work everyday on a 45 mile roundtrip commute. I never received a ticket driving it and as I look back I can't imagine getting away with the tire smoking stunts I was pulling. I was working at a tire shop at the time and used tires were plentiful and I used up my share.

Doug finally talked me out of the truck and it went back home. He later rebuilt the engine while attending vo-tech school. He drove it for awhile and when I had a bright red Camero for sale he just had to let me have it back. He always regretted getting rid of it and had just recently acquired another to fix up.

This truck played a part in our family history for about 8 years and I still think they are one of the nicest body styles ever built. So Doug this is for you.


Anonymous said...

That's a nice truck you found to take a picture of. I would have liked to have seen your truck at the track. It sounds like you are pretty handy with a wrench!

Pear tree cottage! said...

Hello squire, thank you for dropping in on my blog very nice to see you. Now my hubby was born in 1947 and we have a very old and collectable Fargo truck out back of our country house that he WILL! do up some day.

I see you are also a fan like my husban of "THE DUKE!" did you know he was a freemason - as my husband is.
see you again and say hello to your wife for us from here in Australia.

mreddie said...

Sounds like quite a truck and brought back memories of my '56 - of course mine was pretty much stock, but would still scoot fairly well. The friend I acquired it from had installed an air horn attached to a button under the dash. It took so much current to blow it that the lights would dim when I hit the button. :) ec

Carole Burant said...

Hi squire:-) Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment!! I hope it won't be your last visit! Of coure, I just had to come and check out your blog and I've read quite a few of your posts..very interesting indeed! I always loved John Wayne so it was so neat to see pictures of his birthplace!!! Love this story of the truck...what wonderful memories it brought you!! Take care and hope to see you again:-)

Sandy Hatcher-Wallace said...

These old trucks really have some style.


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