Today was the day I picked up the old beast. I used a hay trailer without a winch and thank goodness my friend, Fatty, had sense to remind me to pick up a couple of chains and come-alongs to help us load it. We stopped and bought some heavy duty straps as well.
It was a bit of a challenge getting it on the trailer once we got there. The kind seller of the truck ended up hooking his modern truck to a chain on the bumper of the Dodge D-100 and we dragged it up on the trailer, nearly dumping it off the side. If it hadn’t been for his help I would have had to leave and return with another trailer that had a winch.
The truck was in pretty good condition. No serious rust or corrosion. A few minor dents and dings. Brakes not functioning. No steering wheel. In need of new windows and rubber seals. In need of new tires. Electrical looks shot. Never been started. damaged door (which is why he had 2 extra doors included in the sale). But great patina.
I immediately towed it over to the Auto Clinic of Bend. Julius and his daughter, JulieAnn, are classic rat-rod specialists. Turns out JulieAnn had been after this truck for quite some time, even stopping and knocking on the door of the owner, who was not home when they knocked. So far 3 people I have talked to had been trying to get this truck. Again, the stars seemed to line up on this for me.
Getting it off the trailer took the assistance of the good guys at the Vintage Rollers Car Club. We all got behind it and pushed and shoved and gently let the brakeless monster off the trailer and onto the lot using a lock wrench on the steering wheel column to muscle it into place.
Once we popped the hood and took a look at the motor it was concluded that the motor is not the original, but it is a period V8. Someone cut the frame to stick this larger engine in, but that didn’t seem to phase Julius, as long as it wasn’t seized. The oil looked pretty good so they grabbed the fan and started to crank. It wasn’t seized! It seems we have something to work with. Next step is to fire it up and see if it has compression. The goal here is to get it running and then see what the path is to a restoration over time. A solid running engine, new brakes, new electrical, new tires, new glass, a patina polish from my friend Eric at Hold Fast Customs and a sound foundation will be ready to roll. Here she is on the lot:
I’ll keep you posted on the progress.