The Last Dance
I’m not a hot rodder. Big V8s, 4 on the floor – not my style. I’m an OEM guy, as in original equipment man.
I looked for several years for a 6 cylinder, three-on-the-tree truck from the 60s. It had to be a short bed, with a side mounted spare tire. This criteria presented a problem, mostly because when I found a truck that might fit my criteria, someone had put a big V-8 in and took the three off the tree which was not my style.
I’m more into enhanced beauty, using OEM and some after-market stuff. As you can see in the pictures, I like chrome and I like the Chevrolet logo which are everywhere on my truck. Thank you LMC!
Here’s the story behind my “last dance”.
One morning, I’m driving to play tennis, going by Dealership Row here in Scottsdale. There, in the prime spot at a Ford Dealership, on display – a 1964, yellow, Chevy step-side, short bed pickup. I went back as soon as tennis was over and it was still there; the price $7,491.
I opened the hood and found a 6 cylinder, 230 engine. I opened the cab door, 3 on the tree. The overall condition considering its age was a 7 out of 10. The previous owner had traded it in on another vehicle, but had plans for a V-8, and installed a heavy duty aluminum radiator and power steering, a blessing I would come to find out.
The salesman was telling me about all the young men coming in and wanting the truck, but they all needed financing and that wasn’t going to happen. The teenagers wanted it, but mom and dad knew better. Owning that truck would cost far more than the purchase price. Lucky for me, this translated into the dealership wanting to get rid of this truck. It garnered lots of attention but no money, i.e. a waste of time and a waste of space on the lot.
I told the salesman it was going to take a car guy like me who would have the desire – and money – to afford this truck and do it justice. But it wasn’t going to be at their price. I made an offer a few thousand dollars less than the $7,492 asking and left telling them I would call them. I waited a few hours, called back and they accepted my price. At last, my desired truck was in hand.
I knew this was going to be my last dance. There were going to be no more restorations then selling it, only to move on to another restoration project. This was going to be my last project and as it has turned out, it has been the one I am enjoying the most.
The step side, the side mounted spare tire, the bumps and grooves, the curves of the body, the bright Chevy yellow color, continue to make me smile as no other vehicle I’ve owned. A recent count of the cars I’ve owned over the years put me at 54 since my first car, a ’47 Ford coupe I bought when I was 16.
Then there is the people I’ve met since I bought “Yellow Mellow” as I’ve taken to calling her. Wherever I am, at the gas station, convenience store, on the highway, wherever I stop – I get horn honks, waves, thumbs up, nodding heads, and just big grins of appreciation. Older guys like myself, men and women of all ages, and plenty of teenagers, want to come up, take a closer look, ask questions or share a memory. For example, one of the most frequent comments I get is, “My dad had one just like that when I was a kid.”
One time, I was at a traffic light, when a firetruck stopped next to me. The driver rolls down his window and shouts a question over the roar of the firetruck engine, “64 or 65?” It seemed the four firemen in the cab were debating the year of the truck. When I held up 4 fingers – the fireman in the back seat gave the driver a friendly shoulder punch as it became apparent they were debating the year of the truck. Then with a big thumbs up, the firetruck moved on when the light changed, with the fireman giving Yellow Mellow one last look.
A short trip to the store or out for the evening, can take a little extra time when I’m driving Yellow Mellow because of the conversations it draws. I like to take her to car shows, walk away and watch from a distance all the people drawn to it like I was. I drove the Historic Route 66 Fun Run event last year in Arizona and enjoyed how my truck was admired by car people of all ages.
I’ll let the pictures of the truck when I bought it, and the pictures of her now, speak for what I have done over the last few years. Two of the best things I’ve done was put on a brake booster and a Chevrolet OEM gauge cluster. That cluster was very hard to find. The above, plus all the other OEM enhancements, has made this truck stand out on the road. This couldn’t have happened without LMC’s great products and service.
This truly is my last dance when it comes to vehicles…at least that’s what I keep telling myself….and my wife!