This truck, along with another truck, came to the Kansas City Kansas Public School Area Technical School Auto Collision Repair Program as a donation from Gordon Energy and Drainage in Olathe, Kansas. My students were especially aggravating one day, so I pulled this truck in and told them we were going to fix and paint it, not really thinking it would turn out to be much. I split the truck into left side for the morning and right side for the afternoon high school groups. Everyone knew which side they were responsible for, and it became a challenge to complete the repair while they were comparing each other’s work. This is an instructor’s dream project.
After I saw the progress, I knew that we needed parts to complete the project, so after robbing the other truck of what we could, and knowing that KCK USD 500 Public Schools did not have the money to finish the truck, I reached out to local companies to assist with the parts and materials needed to complete the project. I reached out to LMC truck and supplied them with a shopping list and, lo and behold, they donated about $2500-$3000 worth of parts. Along with other business donations, the high school students completed the project in the spring of 2008.
Since the truck was completed I placed it in car shows around the Kansas City area, including World of Wheels. I used to go to meetings all over the state of Kansas and attend training in Chicago even attended a conference in Fort Worth with over 357,000 miles on the odometer. I have a huge sense of pride in this truck and so do the students that worked on it. This truck was somewhat of a landmark in Kansas City, Kansas.
One morning when I drove up to the school, I immediately saw the truck was gone, stolen through a gate left open. It was found later that morning and was recovered and brought back to the school. I was overwhelmed with emotion when I saw it. The engine, transmission, wheels and tires were gone and replaced with junk wheels and worn-out tires so they could roll it away from the crime scene. The cowl hood was gone and the right door destroyed along with the steering column. The core support was pulled on and severely bent so they could remove the engine more easily. There was lots of other damage. My dean knew what the truck meant to me and he told me to go ahead and fix it. So we did. We refer to it as the 6-Million Dollar Truck. “We can rebuild it, we can make it better, we can make it faster.” And we did.