1965 Dodge D-200
"The Dodge - a Father & Son Project"
From Frank :This all actually started a couple years ago, after I obtained "Maters Cousin," (a 1955 Second Series Chevrolet Shortbox NAPCO). My son David had come to visit and was looking at my "new possession" complete with missing parts, bald tires and missing floor in the bed. He had a very confused look on his face!I I believe he he was thinking, "Dad has completely gone off the deep end!" (Try as I might, I could not get him interested in working on vehicles when he was young -- even though he had seen every project I had since he was born.)
Fast forward to Madrid Labor Day Car Show 2011. I invited him and his sister Amanda and her husband Scott to come spend the day. Nice cars, soda 'n burgers, family. It don't get any better!
After the show, we all came home to my place and my Son says, "Dad, I know I should of learned when ya tried to teach me how to fix cars 'n trucks and I want to learn now! Ya think you could find something we could work on together?" (Ever see a grown man 'bout to cry?) A hug / handshake and I said,"You bet we can!"
Well, I got to looking! And looking and looking and nothing seemed right.
Then in late 2012, on a frequent salvage yard run, me and my buddy Stuart were searching for treasures. We ended up at YAWS Salvage Yard in Des Moines, Iowa. We announced we were looking for a "We-will-know-when-we-see-it!" and were granted permission to go "Treasure Hunting."
This being a large operation with probably 25 L O N G rows of all and any type of vehicles, we started walking. Row 1, row 2, row 3 --that's neat. Row 4, and on and on.
About 2 1/2 hours later, last row, around a corner, the clouds parted and a ray of sun settled on a cement slab and on a 1965 Dodge D-200. It looked a little weird and something was not quite right about it.
As we got closer, it finally registered it was painted a faded drab olive green, stepside, the tires looked wrong and on closer inspection showed 8.00 x 19.5 ... hmmm.
Glass was all good, interior complete minus ignition switch and gas filler tube. Opened the hood. A 225 slant six minus spark plug wires and carb. Put pressure on belt and rotated motor three times! Stuart called to me and said, "Hey, look at this!" He was squatting near the driver's side door. I went and looked. On the door was stencilled, "Property of U.S. Army." O.K.! Now it made sense!
I walked around "The Dodge" four or five more times. Wood missing or rotted in the bed, tailgate straight. Box and rear fenders great shape. Rear bumper straight. Dent on driver's front fender. Front bumper a bit bent and twisted. Two flat tires.
All in all, a great "Father / Son project."
He said, "Found what?"
I replied, "Something that will make my son SMILE!"
With that we headed back to the office and I asked the owner about "The Dodge." He said it was for sale, clean title, and he wanted $1000. I thought a bit and countered: "$750?"
He didn't bat an eye and said, "Ya, I'll do that."
I asked if he could deliver it to Madrid. He came back with, "For $50." I shook his hand and said, "DEAL!"
I tossed the shop keys to him and told him to go look! I watched him go unlock, and walk in. Then I went out and walked in to find him slowly walking around "The Dodge" with wide eyes and mouth open.
He finally spotted me and his look of surprise changed to a smile you could not knock off with a sledge hammer! He stammered,
He 'bout knocked me down with a monstrous hug! (He is bout 6'1" and 290lbs.)
A resurrected piece of history and old iron will soon be on the road with a very happy owner! For me ... time with my son ...priceless!
Frank (not really a "Stranger" when we met him at the 2013 Stovebolt Reunion in Kansas City ... one heck of a friendly guy ... a little shy maybe) is a great story-teller! He has " the fever" as you can tell from his stories and his project prictures. He started out on Stovebolt with a 1955 Second Series Chevrolet Shortbox NAPCO known as "Mater's Cousin." It wasn't long after that he was saving a 1959 GMC 370 LCF from the crusher! Frank's son David soon got "the fever" and although not a Stovebolt, he and Dad are restoring a 1965 Dodge D-200 -- another neat story that's only just begun. He also has quite a display of Past Projects in his Photobucket album.
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