TRUCKS WE LOVE
A classic car aficionado discovers the truck he never knew he wanted.
ince childhood, my friend Carl Hucke dreamed about owning a classic car from the 1920s. Every time he found the perfect vehicle, though, the price tag was too high. One day in 1995, while conducting visits to clients for his brake-assist manufacturing business, he noticed an old, decrepit pickup truck behind a customer’s building. The owner told Carl that the 1929 Ford Model A truck was for sale, and the price was right. Carl had fixed up tractors, but he’d never considered restoring a classic truck. With the blessing of his wife, Judy, Carl hauled the truck home and sketched out a restoration game plan.
The truck’s former owner said he had started the restoration process,
Sbut it wasn’t quite evident; although the tires appeared new, everything else needed a complete overhaul. Carl first removed all the sheet metal work, including the cab. He then disassembled the engine and replaced the brakes and countless other parts. Fortunately, parts for the Model A were readily available. Carl sandblasted and repainted the undercarriage. Once the engine was fully operational, he reinstalled it.
Carl simply couldn’t wait to drive his new truck. Before it was fully assembled and painted, he jerryrigged it for test drives. He strapped a temporary gas tank from a lawn mower in a secure place, then he inverted a milk crate and anchored it to the floorboard for a seat. He drove the unfinished truck around the block most evenings before final completion. Once, cruising around Crawford, Ohio, Carl saw a sheriff’s deputy pass by. Carl hadn’t installed taillights and had no license plate. But the officer didn’t pull him over.
Carl completed the restoration in 1996, and immediately the truck was in high demand. Carl has shown it at tractor and car shows. Most of all, Carl likes to use the truck for special occasions where it provides entertainment. His grandchildren are fond of it; at family gatherings, the kids fill the cab and pack the rear bed. They love going for rides around the community. Carl even drove his granddaughter to prom in it one year. Carl proves that dreams really can come true, if you just wait long enough.
Carl and Judy Hucke’s grandchildren love taking rides in their grandfather’s 1929 Ford Model A.