Monday, November 28, 2011

Archeology of my teen years in scrap metal!

Back at the home place in "God's Country" (central MN) I found a couple things!

First off, the bed from the first pickup truck this guy ever owned!  Now you ask, what horrific chain of events caused this?? Well, the fact is, I never DROVE this vehicle.... we lived near a lake (hard not to in that part of the Gopher state) and some folk with a mobile home on a lake lot a ways down from us had brought a very very rusty '60 Chevy "Apache" half ton truck up from "da cities" as we called it. Now this thing sat a year or so. It was given to a then 14 year old me to haul off. I recall taking dad's 1941 or so John Deere B and a chain and pulling it home, dad on the tractor, and me steering my latest prize. 

The trucks' brake and clutch had hydraulic master cylinders, they were both dry, and as we said "shot". Or more aptly, I had no money to invest in parts. However, I was able with some gas down the carb of the 235 CID inline six engine and a borrowed battery to get it to start. But with no clutch and no brakes, all I could do was run it in place. The body was so rusted out, the doors dropped an inch when opened, the floor pans were MIA as were the rocker panels. Not a great candiate to make road worthy.

So much for my teen dreams of installing a Hurst floor shifter and some straight pipes on the six banger along with some cool bucket seats.......

Some how, the rig was towed to my good friend Tony's, where he took his Lincoln 225 arc welder to it. The front clip was torn off, the cab removed, and the frame cut just behind the front end components. A trailer was made from the back half.

This is a pic of a '60 Apache 10 I swiped off the 'net.
I put an ad in the local "Peach" which is what ya did before the internet and Craigslist! Sold the engine and three speed manual trans for $40 to a guy that came in a VW but with a HERBIE vanity plate. Don't recall him coming back to pick the stuff up but age 14 was 30 years and a lot of vehicles ago for me. :)

NOW! When turned in to a trailer, it looked like THIS-  'cept it wuz red.  We never used it as an "on highway" rig, it was always pulled via an old farm tractor into the woods to haul firewood as we heated our home with wood to the tune of about 10 cords an average Minnesota winter. Ya know, the ones you walked uphill through the snow barefoot to school in!

Now why is the bed lying upside down in the brush? Well as rusted as the truck was and the fact the bed in those years was wood (that was rotten) the bed began to sag and when you opened the tailgate the sides would flop outward- so it was eventually flipped off where it sits.

The frame is still around! After I flew off for what I thought was a summer job in the south and never returned permanently, dad had a guy take out the springs (a control arm had rusted through) and just weld the axle to the frame, lowering it, and put some stake pockets on the frame, so he could haul 6-10 foot small logs on it.
And here the remains sits today. Air up the tires, and cut some saplings away, she's good to go!
Even back then hauling firewood, we were STYLIN'! Look at the whitewalls and chrome caps. :)

And here is the hood, too bad we used it to drag rocks off the field, it may have been salvageable at one time, oh well, the emblem is still good :)

More to come as I revisit more treasures. :)

1 comment:

  1. Alternate title -- how to repurpose darn near anything. You and your dad are to scrap metal, scrap wood, etc as Native Americans were to deer...