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Owned by Ben Keith
Bolter # 6553
Keith Wichita, Kansas
01 January 2009
# 2497

More pictures of my old truck

From Ben :

I first purchased my 1961 Chevy in 1986. All of the spring and early summer of '87, my brother and I worked on the body. Late summer I purchased some tires and wheels. Boy they sure looked sharp.

My Aunt needed to be at a wedding in Odessa, Texas January 1, 1988. There were cars and trucks just flying by. The old six cylinder could not keep up -- and neither could the heater. I didnít think there were that many holes in the fire wall. I was pulling stuffing out of the seat trying to stop the drafts. I even drove with my feet on the dash (one at a time, of course) trying to get some heat from the defroster. The windows would fog up if I had it on the heater.

The pics of the truck in the snow are when we got home after 1400 miles. I really bonded with her then.

Not even two months later (February 25, 1988), I slid on some sand, going to work. Then I rolled it of off the Interstate. Luckily, I was not hurt (physically) -- but it hurt more than you can imagine. Here's a shot afterwards (there are more on my Webshots account). I went to the machine shop to tell them I wasnít in a big hurry for the V-8. They had already heard about the incident as well.

Some guy at the salvage a couple years later asked me if I was the one that rolled the truck. Everybody around here knew me for this.

I was bound and determined to get it back on the road. So the frame-off started the following weekend leading to where you see it now.

It has GM front fenders and rockers. We also bought new panels when we could find them. Remember, this was 20 years ago -- parts were not as easy to get as they are now.

We painted it in my Mother's garage. It is 1976 Ford Bright Red Enamel. We put in a Ron Francis wire works wiring setup, an '82 tilt wheel, and a 1988 F-100 seat.

It now has an ECE 2 Ĺ drop power disc brakes, Genie shifter, Oak wood in bed with stainless steel strips. We just installed a '96 Vortech 5.7, with a 350 tranny that got a B&M shift kit installed.

You know you never really get finished with it. There is always something else you can do to make it a little bit better. I think my next big project will be power steering

Enjoy the pictures (well most of them). Plus I have more on my Webshots account. Every time I see these pics, they bring a tear to my eye! You’ll see.

Thanks again,

Ben Keith


           Ben, we are glad you were not hurt. From the looks of the pictures, and all those in your Webshots account, looks like everyone made a fine recovery. The truck looks great! ~ Editor


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