1959 Chevy Viking 40
From Denney :
I first spotted my truck on an eBay auction starting at 1200 bux. I'd only been searching for a 1958 / 1959 Viking for about a month at that point, but I found myself coming back to the web page wanting the truck more each time. So I began a week-long quest of 'begging' my wife. I told her I wanted to "buy this dump truck that looks like my Dad's truck but is bigger"! She heard 'dump truck' and immediately disapproved.
So, I showed her pictures and the ad and told her that I'd make it look cosmetically decent (deck stain the stake-sides, etc.) and that we could use it for our upcoming landscaping projects. I also explained that while it's not terribly practical, (any old pickup could do 98% of the work I do), this was a vintage work truck that is becoming more and more rare. It's just as cool and unique as the 3000-series but typically these big guys don't see any love! They are usually run to the ground and then sent for junkyard decor. Bri could tell how much I wanted it and couldn't deny the fact that we have a great place to store it, even living in a neighborhood.
So I get him a $250 Paypal deposit and tell him the rest ($750) is coming via certified bank check. He removes the auction and I'm preparing for the 600 mile trek out to Kansas to retrieve the big guy. My Aunt down in Pueblo (about 2.75 hours South of me) let me borrow her diesel GMC 2500HD. I rented a trailer here in Fort Collins that was good to 6k lbs. I was told the truck weighed around 5700 lbs with a driver (when he would weigh to pickup soil) so I was hoping we'd be ok.
We set out at 1:30pm on Friday, Feb 5th from central Fort Collins. While not fun, I made it through Denver traffic pulling that trailer. It's time for more fuel, so we stop in eastern CO (Burlington). I go back to check on the trailer (which had been pulling just fine) to find the electrical cable on the ground, completely rubbed raw. Sweet. Turns out, my Aunt's connection on the hitch had a busted retaining clip and the connector jiggled out on me.
So it was now near dusk and I have no trailer lights. We decide to make a run for it to Goodland, Kansas to hit up a Walmart, which is about 30 miles away. The Kansas State Patrol would have none of that. We got about five miles from Goodland when I get pulled over.
Fortunately, the guy didn't have it in for me and gave me a warning (whew!!). I got to the Goodland Walmart and spent the next 1-ish hours field-dressing the thing. Naturally, the WAY overpriced trailer connector was too small for the OD of the trailer cable, so this was a real hack. We also had no idea of the trailer wiring color coding.
Fortunately, I brought a car battery with me (the Viking didn't come with one) so we were able to figure out what was what. Unfortunately, there's no standard for e-brake vs accessory....so we guessed. And happened to guess correctly, as the trailer brakes functioned properly. This was something I wanted to be certain of with 8k + lbs going to be following behind me tomorrow.
We continued on, making it to Salina, KS around 2:30 am, Mountain time. I was going to put us up in a 'roach motel' but Dad was kind enough to splurge on the Holiday Inn Express. I'm quite glad he did. The wi-fi and breakfast were much appreciated.
So we pull into the Holiday Inn to drop Dad off to register. I'm tired (my excuse) so I pull through the valet lane to drop him off. Whoops. Blind corner at the exit of that bad boy and I can't make it out! It took me 10 minutes of reversing that trailer and repositioning before I could make the turn, each time coming within inches of concrete barriers and other landscaping.
Dad and the night clerk could see all of this well through the big bay windows. It lead to one of the trip's tag lines, courtesy of the night clerk to my Dad: "My Lord! What is your friend doing out there?!"
We rested for a few hours, getting up at 6 am KS time (5 am CO time) to get breakfast and double check the maps. We set out by 7:30 for our destination, Emporia KS. We arrived around 10:30 am and I got my first look at the truck.
We opened the hood and found wires straggled everywhere. Not only was there no battery, there weren't any battery terminals either. At first, I turned a blind eye to all of this.
My goal was to break the lugs loose on the outer real wheels as these HAD to come off in order to trailer the truck. Dad takes me aside and says "Denney, I think this thing is a bit more rough than you expected."
I knew it was ... but his statement rang cold and clear. This was not the truck that was described to me over the phone and in the eBay ad. So I began to panic. I had already paid this guy, in full, 12 hours earlier. I approached him and said "Man, I don't know ... we need to talk about this".
You can imagine how he changed from his 'nice guy' feel. He handed me the title and said for all he's concerned he's been paid and the truck is mine. He proceeded to argue that he'd had five other people pounding down his door, etc. (Yeah, probably, if they were going off the same description I was!!!) I had no bargaining chips. Indeed, the truck was mine. This was the last of my dealings with the seller.
The owner of the shop comes out (really nice guy) and tells them to bring the (bigass!) impact gun inside to warm up. While the gun was warming, I sprayed some PB blaster and other penetrant. I'm not sure how much of an effect this had, but the warm gun was then able to tear through most the lugs. They had a helluva time with the lug that ended up snapping ... but they did the job.
I was so relieved to have help with all of this and not me trying to do it with my 2 foot breakerbar and socket. (No way in hell I would've been successful ... no way)
My middle sister also likes the truck! I'll admit that it has certainly grown on me and I'm glad that I have it. It'll be fun to give it a caring home and bring back some dignity. Almost like adopting a dog or something -- hahaha.