1966 Chevrolet 3/4-ton Fleetside
From Mike :
Here is my latest submission. I recently acquired my Dad's 1966 Chevrolet 3/4-ton Fleetside. This truck has been in the family for 28 years. It was the first vehicle we purchased after moving to New Mexico.
When we moved here, we lived on the Pecos River in a 1972 Dodge Polara, an ex-Texas state patrol car. We literally lived in the car. We bathed in the river, caught fish and hunted cottontail rabbits to survive.
My Dad was a driller in the oilfield and we moved to the area because of the boom of the day. It took some time for him to find work so in the mean time, we did what was necessary to survive.
After around two months, Dad found a job and we were able to move into an old motel. We lived there for a few more months. My parents found some friends through his job and we were able to buy an eight wide trailer house from one of his co-workers. It seemed like Taj Mahal to an 11 year old kid.
Shortly after moving into the trailer, my Dad purchased the '66. I remember the day he brought it home. He was so proud of it.
The truck originally had a 327 with a TH trans, factory A/C, power steering. and power brakes. The previous owner had changed out the 327 for a 396. The contraption on the back of the truck is a towing / gin pole that my Dad built. He made it so he could haul cars, or install a stinger and pull motors. He had an electric winch bolted up in the front of the bed and attached the cable to the tripod. Believe it or not, it works great! I'll probably keep it in there. However, I may modify it slightly -- where it pins in so I can remove it for hauling lumber, etc.
Pictures: passenger rear ~ dash ~ Dad and me. More photos on Webshots.
Within a short time, we installed a cab over camper and started camping in the truck. It's amazing how much more enjoyable a camp fire and camping is as a whole when you're doing it by choice!
We spent many wonderful times on the Rio Grande River in Big Bend National Park in the old truck. It's the one connection I have to Mom and Dad. I'll keep it always and some day I'll pass it on to my daughter.
Around ten years ago, I rebuilt a 235 and gave it to Dad as the 396 burned up. Dad drove it and used it to haul junk cars for extra money until about 2000 when the transmission gave out. It has been parked since.
The 235 still runs fine and I'll be changing the transmission soon. My Mom passed away in 1993 and my Dad in July of 2008. My brothers voted for me to take the truck. We love and miss you Mom and Dad.
So sorry to hear about your Dad, Mike. What a legacy he has left you -- in life and in the memories with this old truck.
Mike also has a 1942 GMC 3/4-Ton Stakebed in the Gallery. ~ Editor