17 October 2007

The One That Got Away

A while back we were reminiscing about THE old truck or car that we wish we had never parted with.
This is the year and model of old Ford truck that I had once.
When I bought it, it was on the side of the road with an eleven foot cab over camper on it.
Both were trashed. The guy wanted $125 for the truck and $200 for the camper. The camper had a hole in the side of it looked like an RPG went through it.
I said no thanks but I'll take the truck.
The engine was a 223 CID straight six that also had a big hole in the side of it.
I got my brothers, cousins and a couple of friends and it took six guy's that all weighed over two hundred each just to pick the camper up enough to drag the truck out from under it, no jacks of course.
I was happy and we towed it home with very little brakes and no lights.
Upon further inspection I found it had; 16 leaf springs on each side in the rear, bent axle tubes from the weight of the camper,the roof caved in from the camper,completely worn out kingpins and a whole chop list of other to do jobs.
I got a wrecking yard engine and over the course of five years ended up putting a 351 Windsor and a C6 transmission in it, along with several hundred man hours, a new roof ( a story in itself) and lots of money.
When I was just about ready to paint it, it looked just like the bottom photo,lowered straight and fairly quick due to the 4 speed rear end gears I left under it.

Notice the bed and the cab are all one piece, they only built these for 3 years.
Anyway, right before I was going to paint it, I was tooling around in the rain at night on this twisty river road, this is shortly after the engine swap.
I turned onto a bridge and romped on it.
The carb linkage jammed and stuck wide open. I went screaming across the bridge with both feet on the brakes, holding onto the wheel for more leverage with the back tires spinning the whole way.
Before I could reach down to turn it off I was across the bridge and hit a telephone pole head on at 50+ MPH.
It ripped the engine and trans out of the mounts and through the radiator, ripped the battery posts out of the battery and crushed the nose, It hit on the frame horn dead on.
All I got was a badly cut finger from the custom steering wheel.
It took several months but I rebuilt that son of a bitch.Made sure the carb linkage worked right too.I kept it for a couple more years but it kept costing so much money I didn't have, I finally sold it to a kid I worked with for $500. I think I actually got two and never saw him or the truck again.
I had way too much money and time in it, but was raising the girlfriends kids and had to say goodbye.
Due to length this is only a very small part of the story with that truck, there is LOTS more.
I sure do miss that fuckin' thing.

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