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ACool Old Truck

Pat Davis'

1972 3/4-Ton Pickup

From Pat:

      I have had the truck four years now. Spent from Sept to June almost all spare time redoing the truck. I owned a 1972 back in 77 -- a 3/4 ton camper special. It had been used in a construction business. I always loved that truck. As a matter of fact, I think many of my friends did too. She was such a work beast that just everybody wanted to use it. I moved from Portland 17 years ago and had 5 cars and a truck, but only 2 drivers in the family. So I sold 'Ole Blue to a friend. She just rusted away and Mark put her in the salvage yard.

      On the last weekend in July, 1994 I went to a truck show with Jane's ( my wife) father in Owls Head, ME. He is a older gent who drove trucks in his youth. We had a great day kicking tires and looking at all the trucks. I saw some 68-72 Chevrolet trucks and reminded me of how much I enjoyed that 'Ole Blue truck that I had. I made up my mind that day that I wanted to purchase another truck in that year range.

      I started the search the very next day I am sure. I checked with Jane first. I looked at many that were rusty and just beyond my ability to bring back to life. Then one weekend an ad appeared in one of the local penny savers for a truck over in Starks, Maine. 100 miles from Bangor. I had a couple of others to look at that day.

      I called and called this Steve Rackliff in Starks. No response from the calls on Saturday or Saturday afternoon. I told Jane, "We were driving to Starks to find this truck. She asked, "How will you find it?" I told her Starks has a population of about 500 I don't know how we could miss a truck for sale in a town like of that size. Well you guessed it 100 miles 2-1/2 hours later. Pulled of the main road into Starks up to the first intersection made decision to turn right onto dirt road drove half mile 3 houses on the right. I saw the most beautiful Red (Jane says Orange) faded truck I had seen since my OLE Blue from 15 years before. I was the same model except OLE Blue was camper special. This truck was a Custom 20 heavy duty 3/4 ton.

      I looked it over about 5 minutes and wanted the owner (Steve) to come home now. I was ready to buy. He only wanted $800.00. The truck had very little surface rust and was in great shape except for the rocker panels and cab corners. It was a Texas truck and had been in Maine only 7 years. The other thing was Steve had pulled out the 350 and replaced with a 250 6 cylinder. I over looked that and found later that was much more difficult than I expected to put the 350 back. He had disposed with all of the parts.

      Back to my find. I left a note now very late Saturday afternoon. Turns out they went off camping for the weekend and got back Sunday afternoon. They called and I loaded poor Jane back in the car for another trip back to Starks. Met with Steve about 5 minutes when I told him I wanted the truck and wrote him the check. I remember he asked why didn't you ask if I would sell cheaper. I Told Steve from all the trucks I looked this one was worth it. Why would I want to talk you down? At that point I announced I was driving the Old Truck back to Brewer. He said wait a minute I don't think you should drive it. It has some loose parts in the front end and shakes like mad some times above 40. I took it for a drive and he was right. I climbed under it and found a couple of very worn tie rod ends. I decided to take it anyway with the thought if I made it 50 miles I would be closer to home. Of course it wasn't registered and I made the choice to go the back roads to Brewer. Only two events all the way home. I had told Jane stay well back because the next time the front started to shake I was going to slam on the brakes to see if I could set the tie rods in the bottom of the sockets. It started to shake so I slammed on the brakes and not one more shake in the next 90 miles. Also the exhaust was a straight pipe turned out by the cab and loud as hell. The back way took us through Skowhegan at the time the annual fair was going on -- a policeman on every corner, and every one looked at this old truck, but not one stopped me. That's how I came by the truck.

      Into my garage that night. Overtime stripped down to the frame all suspension and parts replaced new. Cab fixed with new rocker panels and cab corners. Removed the 6 cylinder sold for $300.00 the next week end also sold a cap that was on the truck for $75.00. Now my base cost was down to $475.00. That would be the last of plus dollars. Then I got into Jane's check book many times. Factory fresh 350 engine, all new exhaust, rebuilt transmission, all new power train parts including bearing in the rear end. About Christmas Jane got in the groove and bought me a new radio and a bunch of other goodies from Truck Stop in California. By April Or May I had finished the cab and put it on the rolling frame. Finished up the pickup body and got the painting done and out of the garage in June.

      Long story, but not many care about the OLE truck!!!! I will get the pictures scanned and off to you as soon as I can. I will send you way more than you need chose the one or ones you want. I will send you enough so you can see the progress from September to June !!!!

Thanks for your interest,

Pat Davis

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