Next Generation ’76 GMC
My mom met my pops when I was about 15. He had this ’76 custom built GMC that was as tall as it was sexy. It sounded so good rolling down the road and I immediately fell in love with that truck.
It was built by Rocky Hudson out of LaGrande, OR. It has a 1/2 ton cab, sitting on top of a 3/4 ton chassis, and supported up by a 1 ton suspension. 350 4 bolt in front of a 4-speed manual transmission. This truck would climb a tree if the bark wouldn’t slip and if it did slip, it has a 10,000 lb winch that would pull it up the tree.
Pops and I had a rough go of making friends from the beginning. One time he stood up for me at school against my principal because I had transferred and my transcripts had not yet been received so the principal said I was not allowed to play football. Pops came home, looked at me and said, “You’re playing Friday.” At that point, I knew he was gonna be a great pops.
I began begging him to sell me the truck (Old Red) when I was 16 and he never did. Finally, 13 years later, he sold the old girl to me. My wife and I rented a car and drove to Oregon to drive the truck back to Montana, when fuel prices were around $4.00 per gallon. Old Red only gets about 10 mpg. I loved that truck and at times, was the envy of some of my friends.
After about 6 years, a stranger knocked on my door and asked if I would sell it. I told him if he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, I would sell it. I kind of needed the money at the time as we had two young children and Christmas was coming soon. Bills were paid but not much extra money to do anything with.
I sold the beast and almost cried as she drove away.
Years went by, and I would drive by her every now and then, kicking myself for selling her. Mom and Pops came to visit and he realized I sold that old truck, and Pops was devastated. My heart hurt even more to find that it hurt him that much.
Then one day, about 6 years after selling her, my buddy came to my house (who lives near the guy I sold the truck to) and told me that the guy sold Old Red. A few days later, my wife and I went for a drive and we drove to the house where Old Red was. I knocked on the door, nobody home, so I peeked around the back yard, and there she sat, looking like she hadn’t been ran in awhile. I checked her out and at that point, I decided I had to get her back. As I walked back up to the front of the house, the owner pulled in. Needless to say, after about an hour conversation and a sob story I had to give him, he gave me 48 hours to come up with the money to purchase her back. As you can see by the photo, I got her back. She fired right up and I drove her home. My youngest son calls it a monster truck.
I am now a member of LMC Truck and look forward to restoring her with my 15 year-old and my 4 year-old sons. This will be the next generation of the ’76 “Old Red.”