I've breezed the site many times, looking for tidbits on building a 292 for my '71 Suburban. It's a K20, with a 8100 series, with 600+ HP, and not for nothing. It's just too much for something that cruises well at 80 MPH, and I can get there in a matter of a few seconds. But just seems off. Thought is to build a 292 with standard and a Spicer 5831. A bit much but I don't do straightforward. Expect to reuse the 8100 series in a future project . . .
Not this project though. Life is funny, right?
Sitting in my lady friend's apartment on the LES of Manhattan on a Saturday in late August, she had had a rough go, (delivering babies). I was there for emotional support. In a quite moment, I launched the "new" Craigslist App and, as I do, selected "pre-72 and under 10k."
Low and behold "Frankie" was among the throngs of vehicles within a 250 mile radius.
I have looked admirably at patina vehicles for a while. Just paint patina, didn't float my boat.
The faded lettering though jumped out on this one and in my excitement, I clicked on reply. Then the levity of why I was in Manhattan set in.
Pensively, I clicked the buttons to take a picture of the contact information, figuring if it was meant to be, it would be.
Next day (Sunday) -- morning was a better day. I called and left a message and sent a text, all the while knowing "Frankie" was likely gone, as the Craigslist ad was gone.
To my surprise, the text was returned, saying couldn't see the vehicle today, but I could see it Monday. Joe, one of the brothers, agreed to speak. The conversation wasn't much but we agreed to meet Monday morning.
After we hung up, I knew he was on Long Island, but not sure exactly where. I texted him for the address, saying "no harm if you send it to me in the morning, for security concerns."
Great part of the story: he immediately replied and amazingly the address popped up in maps. Just above it was "Frank Bros. Fuel Oil" ... holy crap. I'm considering a stored vehicle, from the holders of quite a large part of the story.
Pretty much was done at that point. I would make a deal based on it not running.
Joe and Nick, two brothers, of one of the original Frank Bros., have sold the 90 year old family business, and, thankfully, the new owners had no interest in the "Old" delivery.
Ahead I jump.
Arriving on Monday morning, Joe walked me to the warehouse, where I learned the "Dubl-Duti" (from original Chevrolet Sales Brochure) had set since 19" 80". Holy Crap BATman. This is just getting cooler!
These 3942's had twice the available "package volume" as the panels and thus were labeled "double" the size.
Joe explained the last time it ran was 8-10 years. They had the mechanic that works on their modern fleet go through the paces, just to see if it would still run. I took it with a grain of salt because I wasn't there to make a deal based on it running.
We talked a lot about family businesses and time passing. Joe had been in the business for 52 years and "Frankie" had always been around. I've dubbed it Frankie. I have names for all my projects and there couldn't be a more appropriate name for this one given the long family history.
Growing up on the central coast of California, my parents had an auto repair shop for 40+ years. Legacy isn't easy, and I heard in Joe's voice some of the agony in my Dad's voice when he closed up about 15 years ago.
Joe dug through the glove box, finding no registration paperwork but lots of discarded sales receipts. Frankie had been used to deliver coal and ice for years. I asked Joe if his Dad and Uncles had bought Frankie new? Joe wasn't sure. He said that the van had been here as long as he had, which puts the timing back to 1970. I learned later (sleuthing at the old patina) Frank Bros. Fuel Oil had not originally owned Frankie.
I walked around a lot. Joe poked around the 10k square-foot warehouse a bit. I, as calmly as I could, offered $4800 vs the $5500 that the listing was asking. I was thinking, there was not much hope, given that I had gushed way to much about how cool the thing was.
Joe confirmed: that's as high as I would go. He excused himself to go speak with Nick in the office on the front of the site.
In an affirming voice, upon his return, he confirmed a deal was made. Exciting is an under statement, as I firmly shook Joe's hand. I headed to the bank. I returned in about 45 minutes. Joe had written out a bill of sale on "Frank Bros. Fuel Oil" sales receipt. Yeah, just cool! I hadn't thought of it, but what a fitting way to make the transfer. I set out, a very excited person and told Joe I would be in touch when I could arrange a flat deck for pickup.
That drug on a bit so I returned a few days later and pulled the plugs and put marvel mystery oil in all 6.
Almost two weeks later, the flat deck showed up to Bay Shore Long Island to load up Frankie for the 110 mile trip to Lagrangeville, in Dutchess county. Three take aways from that morning.
Nick clearly had a bit of regret, stating, "We should of done something with her." I very earnestly said, "I'm grateful you didn't." He said he understood.
I hope to return sometime in the near future to let Joe and Nick take a drive. They have expressed interest in knowing the future of Frankie.
Secondly, the left rear was seized, and left a long mark on the concrete floor from being drug up on the deck. That's one of the pictures in my second post here.
Thirdly, it sat a long time in the warehouse. As I followed behind Frankie, dust came off literally for miles. Neither did the air I was breathing. It didn't clear up until being up to speed for miles on the Sunrise highway.
As I explained, the family business I grew up was automotive. The trade did not interest me, but I do have the sickness. My days of sweeping floors in kindergarten, doing LOF's in junior high (back when you lubed chassis) and water pumps etc. in early high school did not end there.
I built a 1979 Chevy Stepside from 14 to 18 years old. I sold it for my first house down payment at 25.
That Chevy went missing for decades, but wildly pictures came popping up on my phone on a Saturday afternoon, while I was sitting in the conference room of the site trailers at the Kosciusko Bridge project. I recognized the model but couldn't believe it was my truck until I looked at the license plate. Yes! it was my old truck.
My buddy I had grew up with saw in only a few miles from where I had sold it. He watched the truck for 45 minutes, waiting for the owner to return. Very satisfying to learn, it was the very same guy I had sold it to in 1996. I visited it last year, never named that one, but was defiantly an early love of mine. The new owner has made a few tweaks, but largely the same truck. No, he won't let me buy it back. His son has shown great interest and care for it, and will soon call it his own. I saw it, where it lives, just 1.5 miles from my childhood home on Paradise Rd. Too funny all the years I looked and was driving by it, tucked away in a garage.
From 1996 to 2012, was in a dry patch for vehicles. I drove a company vehicle.
While living in Brooklyn, visiting family at Thanksgiving 2012, I bought a 1981 GMC Doolie (from Sales Brochure) crew cab from a Navy guy at Edwards Air Force Base. I drove 1400 miles that long weekend, looked at 5 trucks and bought the rust free desert truck for $1400. It cost me $1200 to move it back. The rental car guy was blown away by all the miles in a matter of six days. It was a breeze given the result. Interestingly, I literally just switched the title for this thing, named "Bad Cad Daully", 9 years 10 months later, into my name yesterday.
Picked up the 1971 K20 Suburban in 2018. After looking for a K20 truck for two years, all over the US, the Suburban popped up just 50 miles from my childhood home. I didn't see it. My Dad went and inspected for me and made a deal later that day.
Well, I filled most of the bucket, introducing myself and explaining the interest in being here.
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon and HiPo Forum
Welcome to the Stovebolt madness. There is no cure!
Martin '62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress) '47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project) ‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily” ‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”
"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one! Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop! USAF 1965-1969 Weather Observation Tech (I got paid to look at the clouds)
And, I'm sure you've figured out you may spend a lot of time in THE SHOPS - General Truck Talk. The Engine Shop. Driveline. The Electrical Bay. The Radio Bench. The HiPo Shop. Paint and Body Shop. Interiors. The Tool Chest. Making a Stovebolt Bed. Name that Part. "Technical knowledge sharing" when you are ready to break out the tools and get to work. Plenty of space and tools available -- just find your way to the appropriate shop and get to work.
Looking forward to reading more!
Peggy M Bird's eye view is a bit different than the worm's ~~ and it ISN'T about food.