Farm & Ranch Living

Trucks We Love

It works hard. It takes vacations. And this GMC never fails to get folks talking.


His dad’s old GMC pickup is still truckin’.

My dad raised Angora goats and managed 230 acres of Texas timberland. In 1966, he bought a new half-ton GMC pickup in Mexia, Texas, and it spent the first 30 years of its life as his work truck. Mom and Dad also took it to Wyoming every summer for many years, to their cabin near Yellowston­e National Park. After

Dad retired, they drove it to Alaska and traveled the Alaska Highway.

When Dad was in his mid-80s, he had to give up driving the truck. No power steering, no power windows and a heavy-duty clutch simply got to be too much for his arthritis.

At that time, my wife, Carol, and I brought the truck to live with us in Cave Creek, Arizona. For nearly 20 years, we used it to haul hay, fencing supplies and feed around our small farm, where Carol raised miniature goats. We also took it out on fourwheeli­ng trips in remote corners of central Arizona.

When we retired in 2014, Carol and I purchased 100 acres of West Texas ranchland. (My older brother David still runs the timber business that was our dad’s.) With a U-Haul and an auto trailer, Carol and I hit the road. And literally every time we stopped—whether for food or gas or at a rest area or motel—people would approach, wanting to look at the GMC and to talk about the trucks that had been in their lives.

One man told us about a 1948 Internatio­nal that was his very first pickup. He said he’d paid $40 for it in the late 1950s and that it was still running. Another spoke of his father’s 1967 Ford F-150 and all the memories he had of farming, fishing, hunting and camping with it. Like the first man, he still had the truck and it still ran. And I met a guy with a GMC just like my dad’s, right down to the color of the paint. He was starting to work on restoring it and wanted advice on where to find parts.

My dad’s truck is now more than a half-century old. It has 230,000 miles under its belt and still works on our ranch, where we raise cattle as well as 120 head of Spanish and Boer goats. We use the pickup to haul trailers and fencing and to pull posts, and it can slog its way through mud when necessary. It’s a good old ranch truck, doing exactly what it was built to do.

The GMC gets only 10 miles per gallon, so we don’t take it into town often. But when we do, folks always come over to admire it, share their stories and “remember when.”

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