Ford and Chevy lovers have always enjoyed friendly competition. But what happens when twin brothers choose sides? In all honesty, Larry and Gary’s love for trucks (and each other) is greater than any brand loyalties they have.
My love for classic vehicles goes back to my high school days. My first vehicle was a 1949 Ford Coupe, which I co-owned with my twin brother, Gary. After that, being influenced by older brothers who also loved classics, I purchased many vehicles, including Chevys, Dodges and Fords. At one point, I was buying and selling so many vehicles, the state sent me a letter strongly suggesting that I needed to apply for a dealer’s license.
It was probably within the last 20 years that I started to notice the Ford trucks, starting with my late uncle’s 1976 Ford F-150 California truck. I drove it home to Kansas, and with help, had the motor rebuilt and painted it. It was really a cherry truck. As with most of the vehicles I’ve owned, I got bored with it and someone made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. But I sure regretted it later.
After that, I bought a ’67 Ford F-250 with a 4-speed, 352 V-8. I painted it and gave it new life. I really loved that truck and drove it for 13 years. And as usual, I sold it and wished I hadn’t.
Thankfully, at an auction near Lawrence, KS, I was able to buy a 1972 Ford F-250 with 47,000 actual miles, with automatic, PS and PB. It was a very sound truck body-wise. After two months in the body shop, the truck looked much like it does today, nine years later and with 64,000 miles. I added one luxury – vintage air. This truck is my fair weather chore truck.
I really wasn’t looking for another truck after the ’72 was restored, but by word of mouth, I found out about a 1971 F-150 Ford Ranger XLT with 138,000 actual miles. It was one of those “garage finds,” where the truck had sat for 11 years. What a find! It had all the goodies — 390 V-8, PS, AC and Auto. Since I had one truck, could I get by with having two (wife permitting)?! A hug can do wonders if you want something and you have an understanding wife. I decided the truck was an excellent restore project. I contacted Jared Starcher of S&S Body Shop in Tonganoxie. Four months later, the body work and paint was completed. It was really sharp!
Even though I now had two trucks, I still wanted one like the ’67 with a 4-speed that I could use for a wood truck or to go to farm sales. One day, browsing on eBay, lo and behold, there was a 1970 F-250 Ford Camper Special with a Mitchell overhead camper that had been on the truck since new. It had been a Denver, CO, truck all its life. Now, with two trucks, could I really convince my wife that I needed three? I prefer not to sleep in the guest bedroom! Well, with a few hugs here and there, we flew to Denver and drove it home. I restored the camper with exterior paint and detailing, and any interior work needed. Meanwhile the truck was at Jared’s at S&S Body Shop getting body work and paint. Originally, I wasn’t going to put the camper back on the truck, but after everything was done, we decided to take it on a three-week vacation through 10 states. We received so many compliments, I decided to keep them together.
So there I have it – a truck for recreation, a truck for show, and last, but not least, a chore truck. The question is, do I dare ask my wife about a new Ford truck? Well, maybe this story should come to a happy ending, and I’ll just be satisfied with what I have. I’m honored to own these three trucks, and they are fun to drive. This is “American Graffiti” at its best!
Gary’s 1965 Chevy
As I was growing up back in the ‘60s, classic cars and trucks were part of the good old days. Fixing up a truck with wheels, wide tires and dual exhaust was one of the many things to do to enjoy our classic rides. The ‘65 Chevy Truck was a favorite ride in my younger days.
I purchased this truck from my brother. It came from a farm sale in southern Missouri. I had a plan to make this truck an eye-catcher. In the 30 years that I have owned this truck, many changes have been made. The 283 engine was pulled to make room for a 383, 405HP engine, 4-bolt main block; I added a cast iron Vortec head, 750 CFM Edelbrock carburetor, MSD distributor and a nice set of Hooker headers to make it sound sweet. Power steering and front disc brakes were also added.
Going through the gears a Richmond 5-speed with overdrive makes it fun to drive on any given day. Drop spindles and lower coil springs in the back give this truck a mean look. Oak and walnut boards were installed to give the bed a different look from the other trucks.
The interior was changed from a bench seat to bucket seats out of a 1985 Blazer. New Auto Meter gauges, an Ididit steering column with a billet steering wheel and custom interior was installed to vive it a show quality look. PPG Red Point and Ventura wheels were added to give it the finishing touch that any classic truck owner would appreciate.
With all the hard work that I have put into this truck, my plan is to enjoy it, cruise to many car shows and think back to when I was cruising in the ‘60s.