The Red Truck

Have you ever had an inanimate object pull at you to the point that you had to have it regardless of how insane or how little sense it makes? That’s how I feel about the red truck.

I helped my dad find the red truck on kijiji a few years ago. The red truck is a 1995 chevy silverado with an extended cab and a short box. He wanted it as a plow truck and even then I wanted it.

A few mechanical issues and then a few more and the truck was deemed “not worth fixing” and set beside the road at the end of my driveway with a for sale sign in the window. I longed for that truck.

I don’t really know why. It’s big block chevy with a 454 engine which means it’s a gas guzzler. My husband firmly believes in diesel and I support his belief, so every other vehicle (including tractors) that we own is a diesel. Why did I want this beat up little gas red truck?

It probably has something to do with the rescuer in me. I saw it’s sadness and wanted to give it a home. I saw it’s rusting side boards and wanted to spay paint them red. I only knew I wanted the red truck.

My dad and I came to an agreement and after a few weeks of working out the details, he agreed to sell me the red truck. He might have been hesitant and a little regretful as he handed over the paperwork, but he said he was happy to see it used by someone rather than scrapped. Perhaps he’s a rescuer too?

I hooked up the battery charger and turned over the engine on my big block chevy. She purred like an old tom cat and I was thrilled with the power, but the fuel gauge fell dramatically all the time. Even worse gas mileage that I could imagine.

Brent and I had a quick look after smelling gas every time we walked by the red truck and decided we needed to pull the gas tank. On a thankfully balmy December weekend we pulled the gas tank and found one big hole in the top and several pin holes in the bottom of the badly rusted tank. She needed a new tank.

My baby was broken, but fixable. We decided this old truck would be put back together in the most affordable and red neck way possible. We found a new gas tank in the hay loft of the barn, and I thank my dad for his hoarding tendencies, as we put the two tanks beside each other and determine if we can make the new tank fit.

Sure we can. Dad bought a new fuel pump and it took us about twenty minutes to shorten it so that the pump fit into the new smaller and shorter tank.

We struggled for two hours to get the hoses, electrical and intake attached to the new tank. Dad showed up and helped us for an hour in the cold. I’m sure he’d rather have been in the warmth of his apartment, but the glint of joy in his eye was unmistakable.

I insisted we stop for lunch and I think we all said a little prayer that the new tank would work over our potatoes and chicken.

Dad and I rolled the red truck off the ramps and started her up. After a few tries and some time on the battery charger she roared to life. We cheered: me on the outside and dad on the inside.

Brent and I drove up to the gas station with Dad following in his Avalanche and I marveled at the raw power. The smart car certainly didn’t have this kind of speed.

With a honk and wave Dad took off for home and we drove around Stevensville in our “new to us” red truck.

She is a beauty.

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