I have loved pickup trucks since I was barely more than a toddler. One specific recollection comes to mind: At the age of seven or eight, I walked into a Chevrolet dealership with Dad while he was car shopping. I was immediately drawn to the brand new C-10 sitting there in the showroom, and told Dad we needed it. Thought I had him convinced, but my idea ended up losing out to a more family practical four-door Oldsmobile.
The story of my ’49 begins on a sad note, but the restoration effort (featuring mostly LMC parts) has long since become, and will always be, a loving tribute. I saw the truck for the first time as a 17-year-old in 1981, literally minutes before learning that Mom had died tragically. My older brother had just bought it. He used it as a work truck for about three years, then parked it in the garage when he finished building his house. And there it sat for about 20 years, with me busting his chops every time I was over at the house, saying things like, “If you don’t do something with that truck I will,” and “How’s my truck doing?”
Finally, about 10 years ago, his kids were starting to drive and he needed the garage space for another car, so we made a deal. We had it stored near us for another six years or so, until that guy needed the space, too. Couldn’t afford to store it anywhere else, so it came here to the house, where we have no garage. It kills me that it’s been sitting outside for almost four years, but we had no choice. Gradually, I started working it, replacing the gas tank, fuel pump, flushing the gas line, having the carb rebuilt, tune-up stuff, etc. We finally got it running again in the summer of 2011, for the first time since 1984. Big brother is very happy it’s still in the family and that we’ll eventually have it back on the road. He will be the first to drive it when we do.
We’re agonizingly close to going for a drive, but the project has dragged on much longer than I originally expected because the spare dollars are few and far between. We’ll get there eventually, though, and when I finally drive this thing for the first time it will be a great day!