Bringing Home the Beast
About a year ago, The Faded Farm land got just a little bit louder when my little brother brought home a monster... I'll let him tell you about it.
Finding the Beast
Every great story has a great beginning and I’ll start off by saying it wasn’t easy finding the Beast. I did a lot of searching and I mean a LOT of searching for the right truck. I had my heart set on finding a 1979 Ford or anything in the 70’s because it’s my favorite years for most things and I loved the body model. I searched for a truck with a lot of help from my parents. We wanted to find something somewhat nearby that fit my criteria of 70’s or close to 70’s and it had to have a manual transmission - just a necessity of mine.
We looked for what felt like months, on second thought it was months. My dad and I found a 1978 F150 going for $2,500. We called the owner and went to go take a look at it, we also brought along my grandfather Raymond, or as we like to call him ‘Poppy,’ he’s the one who helped me save up money to buy a truck while working on our family’s farm.
Once I saw it, I was sold! It was a deep red that could use some simple polishing and it would look beautiful, and also what did it was that it had cherry bombs (cherry bombs are an addition to the exhaust system to give a vehicle a performance boost as well as a hot rod sound). Not sure if Poppy or my dad would need a little more convincing…
The owner was in the middle of replacing the fuel pump and didn’t tighten down the hose clamps yet so it was leaking gas still and Poppy noticed that. In his words “This things a piece of junk, let's get outta here.” He doesn’t sugar coat things and gets straight to the point.
Editor's Note: Poppy really has no filter. He will tell you exactly how it is with no regard for your feelings. Kind of like the original Red Foreman, complete with foot-in-ass comments and telling you how much of an idiot you are. He makes for a lot of pretty hilarious stories...
My dad, Derwood is the name most know him by, knew it just didn’t have the clamps on yet, and he asked the owner if he could test drive it. Luckily the owner said that he could drive it in the old parking lot next to the garage where we were at. After swerving left and right to get a feel for how it’s handling was, he parked it. So he told me it drove odd, something was off. I of course then didn’t get it which was kind of a let down because I had confidence in me fixing what wasn’t right. It was probably for the best otherwise I wouldn’t have found the ‘Beast.’
Editor's Note: Derwood - like on Bewitched.
So back to the grind on finding a truck for myself. I spent a good probably 2 MORE months looking and that's when my mom told me she found something. She showed me a Craigslist ad that read, “Ford 1964 F110 $1,500 (Holland, MI),” at first glance I wasn’t sure because I was set on finding a 70’s truck and I thought it was just a little too old for me. But I gave the ad a chance anyway and looked into it.
The next day, my dad contacted the seller about the truck in the ad and asked some questions. Once we got everything planned out, my mom, dad, and I left to go pick up a friend’s trailer, just in case we end up buying the thing. We didn’t want to take two trips to Holland which is about 1 hour and 45 minutes (113 miles) from where we lived. It was a sunday which meant I couldn’t withdraw my money from my savings so I had to pay with a check if so happens I purchase it.
Editor's Note: Wow, no checking? No ATM? What even is a, how you say, 'check?' What kind of horrible stone-age are you living in?!
When we got to Holland, MI we stopped at a very well known BBQ diner to get lunch and enjoy the town for a bit before we checked out the truck.
Once we arrived at our destination, I could see that hurdy gurdy truck and it was a lot cooler than what I expected. We talked to John, the owner, about the 64 and he told us the story of it. It was previously owned in Philadelphia and was bought by John as a project but he never found the time so decided to sell it.
My dad and I looked around the truck, it had a little more rust than I liked but I would find a way to manage. I’ve always liked that bullet design in vehicles back in the 50’s and 60’s so that was a plus. My dad and I talked about what would need to be done to it before anything else like rewiring everything - most of the wires were original so they were cracked and spliced.
We asked John what most men usually ask about trucks, ‘how much is it lifted?’ It turns out that year and model is a Heavy Duty model that was factory made lifted higher. That's what the 10 in F110 stands for. It also stands for four wheel drive (4WD).
We gave it a test drive of course. It was bumpy as hell due to all the shocks needed to be replaced but I was quickly starting to like it more and more. It also had a great sounding rumble to it because of the exhaust pipe. What caught me was the year and sound mixed makes a perfect pair. As we looked around the truck I was again confident in myself to rebuild the beastly thing, but my dad knew how much work would be needed to restore it which made him unsure. My idea of why, was that he would want to help me with it as best as he could but he might not be able to get as much free time as he would want.
Editor's Note: Honestly, our dad is a work horse and never has free time. On his days off, he works by choice because frankly, I don't think he knows what else to do. It's like a way of life for him and he no longer looks at work as "work" necessarily, just things that need to be done.
So my dad thought about it and said that we would come back after giving it a few days to straighten things out. This made me kinda frustrated and upset because I would need to keep looking for a while. I was very understanding in my father’s reasons and I trusted his word. My mom was also pretty sore about it too because she loved the red patina paint.
After about 10 minutes of driving, we were about to pull onto the highway when my dad asks “You sure about that truck?”
“I think we can handle it,” I replied without hesitation. So my dad turned the car around and we headed back.
“Changed your mind?” hollered John.
My dad’s words were “I looked back and they both had guns pointed at me.” Not like we had actual guns pointed at him, but from that I can assume, we were looking at him with faces that took on a look similar to that of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday.
Editor's Note: I'm your Huckleberry...
When I purchased the 64, John let us take the Beast home, but I would have to wait until the check cleared before he could send me the title.
Right at that moment was where my massive project began and I credit my mom with finding the truck that ended up being my pride and joy. Thanks Mom! That marks the start of the great Restoration of the Grueling 49 although it would be a while before I gave it it’s name.
The Hurdy-Gurdy Truck
Click the Gallery below to see the ol' beast
We had just finished strapping it to the trailer and I thanked John for selling me his truck. ended up stopping at the Nearest speedway to put more air in the tires on the trailer because of how heavy the truck is and check the back tires of my mom's 2003 Expedition if they were hot but they weren't even warm. That's the quality you get from load range E BFGoodrich tires.
A man pulled up to us and said “Man, was about to go buy this thing,” Referring to the truck strapped to our trailer. My dad and I started talking to him about it and how I plan to fix a lot of things on it. The guy(wish I could remember his name) tells me he's glad to hear about my plans for the truck and not spend my money on things like drugs or crap like that. Instead i’m using it to revive a historic piece of American steel.
The man seemed pretty cool, he had a hobby with his dad that involved fixing up old vehicles (kind of like what I was about to be doing). I didn’t feel too bad about getting the truck before he could because he was on his way to go take a look at a mustang to buy anyway. While he was heading that way to that car, he found this truck and he said he would have most likely have bought it. The man gave my dad his card (which we have misplaced) so if my dad was ever in southern Virginia to stop by, then he left.
Editor's Note: I think is really funny how he ended up running into someone who was about to go buy that truck. If they hadn't turned around when they did, the truck would have been gone.
We had just finished up filling the tires with more air and headed back home bringing with us a great truck - if you look at it the way it should be looked at all the time.
While I waited for the title, I wanted to see what I could do with the paint! So I started to polish the driver side fender while listening to Electric Light Orchestra. After a while of elbow grease and dirty rags the fender started to turn a deep red almost the original red that is under the oxidized layer of paint. Once I had finished the whole fender, I took a few steps back to look at it. It looked good but now I had to do the whole thing. Come to think of it, I never did get to polishing the whole truck.
The time I spent waiting for the title to arrive in the mail was unbearable at least for me. Just got my first truck that I couldn’t actually take out for a spin around the block for the first time. It really sucked. But seeing it sit in our driveway each morning was worth the wait, seeing my very own truck and one that I liked thinking I 100% own to my name was a first in my life. I probably won’t ever forget those days of patiently waiting for that exciting moment which ran hundreds of times through my head, of getting that one anticipated letter in the mail.
As I continued to wait, I started to go over all the things I planned on fixing looking around at everything I would give a little tweak or strip out and replace for example the wiring. I thought to myself “I might as well make the best out of waiting and I gave all the grease zerks shots of new grease so everything could move, turn, and spin well and also for my peace of mind.
When the letter finally arrived in the mail, I brought the yellow envelope inside and opened it at our kitchen table. But before I opened it I noticed something strange - it was a little too heavy for just a title and other papers of ownership. So I opened it of course and who could have thought, it was the title all right but John also sent me a black and yellow Water Wonderland licence plate with the trucks year on it. I took a glance at the title but mostly I just looked at the licence plate. I thought it was just the coolest to have the original licence plate. So I took a wrench and straightened some of the bent corners and put on the front bumper just for one of those little things to give it that “Huh...that's pretty neat,” effect.
So in all, this is just the beginning of my little brother's adventure with this old truck. We are a family who just loves old things. Old barns, old trucks, old music, and an antique way of life. Maybe it's how we are all raised, maybe its just in our blood. Either way with us around, you're in the company of a few old souls that are just too stubborn to live that neon life....
What do you guys think so far? He will be getting around to posting more about his restoration process soon as well as talking about a couple of great findings and people along the way!
Connect with us! - comment below and let us know if you have any old restoration projects in the works! We would LOVE to hear your stories!