TRUCKS WE LOVE

A clas­sic car afi­cionado dis­cov­ers the truck he never knew he wanted.

Farm & Ranch Living - - CONTENTS - BY FRED HEN­DRICKS

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.

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