I have been a “Bolter” since 2009 with the handle “46 Texaco” and which helped people identify me as the guy with the 1946 ½ ton all decked out as a Texaco service truck. There was a good reason in that my truck had a presence at my 1928 built service station from 1977 to 1990 until the time when most small, local dealers were forced out of business in favor of large company operated self-serve pumpers.
I had purchased my ’46 in 1973 for $250.00, I am the third owner, the original being a South Dakota farmer. The previous owner used the truck as a leaning post when painting Harley parts so I gave it a much-needed paint job in 1974 at a cost of $20.00, that was $12.00 for paint and $8.00 for a case of beer for the painter. The logo and lettering were added when I started in the Texaco business and the truck still wears it proudly to local shows as a survivor because a $20.00 paint job does not constitute restoration class.
I have moved five times, and Ol’ Blue has stayed with me over the past 48 years. Back in the 1970s and '80s I collected many NOS and good used parts with the intention of doing a total frame-off restoration. In fact, I felt that I even had enough parts to make a good daily driver out of another truck. However, I have since decided that I would enjoy Ol’ Blue as a true survivor, and if she were totally restored, I would not want to drive her for fear of scratches, stone chips, etc. So instead, I have decided to pull out parts from storage and dress her up a little with new a seat and whitewalls. The bed is original pine without metal strip since there was a shortage of steel.
It is a rare day with Ol’ Blue that someone doesn’t compliment the truck and then comment on their own past employment at their neighborhood full-service gas station back in the day. That served as the impetus for me to write a book about service stations from the perspective of someone who was actually in the business. While I wrote the book specific to my old hometown area, there has been great feedback by readers that the history is universally applicable to their own neighborhood.
My former gas station is now the St. Charles History Museum in Illinois. With John & Peggy Millman’s endorsement, you can learn more about my 478-page book in the Greasy Spoon Forum here on Stovebolt and enjoy some of my 584 photographs and illustrations.