I purchased a 1988 Chevrolet S10 Tahoe 2.8L single cab short bed just over 3 years ago. It started off as a seemingly harmless purchase. Maybe a winter truck or a daily driver. Not sure how or why I decided to make a 45 minute trip to look at this particular one. I called my father out of the blue and asked if he wanted to go look at a cheap s10. He just laughed and agreed. Unfortunately when we arrived I quickly realized just how bad this little truck was. We were there and optimistic. Combing over this truck like a pack of wolves starving. After a short time we realised it was almost too the point of no fixing. My father looked at me and I at him and realized the memories we could build while doing something we both loved. We stepped aside and agreed on a max price. Now the hard part negotiation……. or was it. I spit out an extremely low offer after being countered the seller and I agreed $500 was fair. I loaded up and headed home not knowing the plan for this little truck. Fast forward 3 months. I’m standing in his back yard wrenches in hand, Nuts, bolts and parts slung all over the yard. I quickly noticed him just grinning ear to ear. At that moment he and I both realised I had the sickness. That same sickness my father had at my age back in the ’70’s. Now 6 months in cab in the side yard, bed next to it, fenders here, core support there. I’m down to the frame. 32 years of filth, grime and rust. This truck had its fair share of oil leaks, broken bolts, scuffs, scratches and hillbilly fixes. I’m now staring at a yard of pieces asking myself what I’m doing. The old man’s looking at me standing over a frame and simply smiles, what’s next son. I looked around to see what I can salvage. Cabs good, doors rotted, fenders good, bed…….. let’s not go there. I figured I’m in deep with this one. Best place to start the frame. It all starts there. I call up a mobile sand blasting company and they show up to comb over every inch of her frame. Revealing a solid starting point. No major issues so I send that off to be painted. While that’s gone we head south for a bed. North for some doors. One day I’m online and I come across a website LMC Truck. I don’t know if that was a good day or bad. I make my list and I break down things I really need. I spend the next year and a half teaching myself how to weld in patch panels, cab mount, and a few other odd and ends. 1 year ago I had a rolling frame sitting in my father’s garage. Cabs hanging from the rafters from a chain hoist. My dad’s on one side me on the other and we’re doing our best to not drop the cab or smash something else. We manage it but not without a little blood. Every project requires payment to the hot rodders of the past. Bed goes on about 6 months ago with the help of a friend. I’ve managed to rebuild this truck from the ground up with the help of my father and my best friend. Overhauled the 2.8L gm V6, fixed rust, rebuilt the gm 10 bolt, put on a half way decent garage paint job and even managed a custom leather interior. Every build comes with its hardships and for me it was simply the lack of available quality parts, deliverer mishaps, lost or damaged parts. But here I am 3 years later.
I recently got to take my 59 year old father for a cruise and that’s simply what it’s about. That memory lasts forever. That sickness never goes. Once a hot rodder always a hot rodder. I have future plans and it comes in the form of 2 extra cylinders and four hundred and fifty four cubic inches of Chevrolet performance. I’ve begun the collection process and I can only hope it goes smother than the rebuild.
Cheers to many cruises with fathers.