17 July 2016
# 3141

 
  Owned by
Doug Hamilton
"Hambone"
Bolter # 14624
Maryland
  Formerly Owned by
George Van Orden
"NAPCO Man"
Bolter # 14272
Virginia

 

1966 Chevrolet
K-10

"Rocinante"

"Flappy Fenders"

More pictures of my old truck
These are Doug's. Unfortunately, George's pix were on Webshots and we all know what happened to all those unfortunately folks who lost so many pix

Join the discussion about this truck
The story in the forum began January 2012 and George gave us this background in October 2014. Yet,
the Saga continues

 

The story from George :

The members of the ODSS know this truck from before I even owned it -- it was located along the road we use to get to one of our favorite junk yards just over the West Virginia line.

I first saw it about 2003 or 2004, in a shed next to a fairly run-down house typical up in the hollows around home. I was just driving by and looking into yards, as we all do. I'd drive by it a lot and I figured they had a lot of people asking about it, as visible as it was from the road. If you were interested in this old junk, you couldn't miss it. From what I could see, it looked like a factory 4x4 Stepside. And typically tired...

Doug's Addition to the story:

Spring of 2014, George called and suggested he was ready to thin his herd of equipment and the '66 was to be released, reluctantly. I did not hesitate and said it was sold ... if it was for sale.

Having been with the truck on a number of occasions during ODSS gatherings, I knew enough about the truck's pedigree.

It wasn't until August 2014 that I was able to make way to western Virginia to pick up the truck. George was surprised when I arrived without trailer and intended to drive over the mountains on the 150 mile return trip to Southern Maryland.

I got to know the truck better over the mountains and through the countryside on the way home!

Fast forward to 2016 -- minor repair projects (e-brake cables, windshield and glass rubber, shocks, wheels all around) and a major upgrade (sturdier bed retrieved from the ODSS 2016 Junkyard Tour) took place over the last two years without taking the truck off the road for extended periods.

Currently, truck is an almost-everyday-driver and makes frequent trips throughout southern MD -- all seasons, sometimes loaded with mulch, firewood, or lumber, as it was meant to be. The 4X4 confidently engaged when needed. All is in order.

Much like George's experience with this truck, I get more positive looks, and appreciation then I would expect for the raw, basket case that it is.

Color? There is no color. It was red. Now it is a combination of 50 years worth to VA and MD rust, earth, and biomatter. Restoration is not planned, but repair projects are in order. Always.

One day, I finally decided to stop by and ask about it. You just never know ...

I pulled in and walked up to the house. An elderly man met me at the door. He turned out to be a World War II Navy Veteran. I asked him about the truck. He said, "C'mon in." I guess I was probably wearing something that showed him I was a Marine.

He didn't want to talk about the truck. He showed me a newspaper article about his ship in the war -- an LST that suffered a kamikaze attack. While I read the article, he went back to his bedroom and returned with a bracelet he had made out of a piece of the kamikaze's fuselage. I ended up sitting there awhile, holding the bracelet and listening to him. He just wanted to talk to someone, another Veteran, about his experiences.

After awhile, we finally got back around to the truck.

He admitted that lots of people did stop to ask about the truck. The problem, though, was that it wasn't his truck. The truck actually belonged to his wife.

"I don't think she wants to sell it," he said.

He went back to ask her and she came back into the room. (Editor's note: Apparently, George's fellow Veteran status had gotten him through the first layer of defense! ~ Editor)

"I can't sell it unless I ask my brothers," she stated. She looked to be in her mid to late '80's. "It was our Father's truck and I have to check with them."

After a little more visiting, and making them an offer if they did decide to sell, I was shown out. I eyeballed the truck on my way to the car and could see the truck was straight but rusty -- typical for these parts. I figured it hadn't run much since the old man left it there. So I went home, thinking that was that.

About a month later, I had a voice message about the truck. I called back.

"My brothers say I can sell the truck for what you offered," the woman said. When I said I would get my winch trailer and be right over, she said not to bother. "It runs ... You can drive it."

Come to find out, they had used the truck every year to get firewood and other home chores. (Editor's Note: Explains why they are all still around!). So the truck came to live with me.

Every time I drove it to town, people would come up and ask if that was the truck from Mathias.

"I tried to buy that truck and they wouldn't sell it," was the usual reply.

It was, and still is a great truck. Fenders flapping in the breeze ... you could throw a cat through the holes in the floorboard. Paint? There's no paint. it's a mix of surface rust, dirt, barn dust, tree drippings, bird droppings and ... something. But the paint's long gone.

It handles the Interstate just fine, though. Motorcycle gangs love this thing.

When I started to fix it up (it's beyond restoration so we just decided it had a coolness factor all its own just as it was), I called the tire place. I told them the size and asked for mud and snow radials. The guy on the phone laughed.

"We won't have anything that old in the computer, but let me walk out and check in the old building."

He called back to say he was as surprised as I was, but he had four new ones left in stock!

So a tune-up, new tires and the usual fluid changes have been pretty much all I have done to this barn find.

For a finishing touch, I put a '60's Zebco 202 fish pole in the gun rack.

Eventually, though, I got to the point I wasn't driving it anymore. And from when I had first gotten it, Hambone (who had seen it along with the others on our junk yarding trips), would ask me about the truck. Endlessly. So it was time I sent him him a private message through the forums..

"You won't believe this," he replied, "but I had a note to call you tonight."

I DID believe it. We made a deal and now the truck is his. I'm just glad he's tickled with it. I even let him keep the fish pole.

It's still my favorite truck of all time.

~ George

 

George had another truck in the Gallery back then: a 1955 Second Series Napco 4 x 4 Suburban Carryall -- a beautiful truck, now gone to a new owner. For the Big Bolt gang, he had a 1954 Chevy 6400 2-Ton.

I know this is an odd way to present this truck but George had the big history on it. Now if we can get some information on Doug's 1963 Chevy 1/2-ton -- that will make for a great story. It was his first restoration and a fine job he did at that. ~ Editor

 

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