Nostalgia takes on different forms for different people. Roger Shawgo's pet nostalgia is Texaco. "I used to co-own a Texaco gas station from 1973 to 1975 with my brother, Wayne," he said. In fact, his nostalgia runs so deep that it inspired him to replicate a service station in his backyard using most of the original Texaco equipment he saved from that shop. Then he got a tip on something he didn't know he needed until he heard about it.
"My brother found a truck in Missoula, Montana, about 400 miles from home in the fall of '07," he continued. But this wasn't any ordinary truck: Hand-lettered logos on the doors read Harold's Texaco, Bothell, WN, (the old abbreviation for Washington state). Roger noted. But that wasn't all, either; peeking through coats of paint brushed over it was another logo on the passenger door, this one Nite and Day Texaco. Though it was in the same town and under the same phone number, the folksy lettering and even older telephone number format indicated that this truck served a long life at a Texaco station-a station not very far from the one Roger and Wayne owned, incidentally.
Roger's Texaco fetish dates back to the Texaco station he and his brother owned in the ear
"Since I built a mock Texaco station in my backyard, it was only appropriate to buy an original truck that was used at a Texaco station and leave the original signage on the body," Roger said. And according to him, it made just as much sense to update the interior and running gear so he could use it too. Assisted by family and friends and guided and supplied by his brother in law, Tim Stromberger (Tim's Hot Rods, Davenport, WA), Roger built the pickup in a bit more than a year.
His nephew (Marty Stromberger, aka Dr. Horsepower) boxed the frame and installed a Total Cost Involved IFS clip. Out of respect for the truck's working heritage, Roger elected to retain the stock-height springs and spindles to preserve as much of its original stance as possible. He retained the stock rear springs; however, when he installed the '66 Fairlane 8-inch wagon axle Marty refurbished, he removed three leaves from each stack to bring the rake back within spec. He kept the frame-mounted pedal assembly but replaced the fruit-jar master cylinder with a later dual-circuit model. Wheel Vintiques made the 15x6 smoothies. They mount 225- and 235/70R15 hides.
While it was original, the shabby interior finish only made the cab look dismal according
Probably economy and familiarity more than driveability inspired Roger's engine choice. He found an '84-vintage 302 from a 20th-anniversary Mustang GT and dropped it right on to the engine mounts his nephew installed. The 175 horsepower it made in stock trim would have moved the truck sufficiently, but once relieved of its air-injection pump, cats, and oppressive exhaust system, the old H.O. engine more than does the trick.
The longer Ford engine caused some length issues which Roger solved with a Spal electric fan. It mounts to a stock, re-cored radiator. He replaced the manifolds with Summit Racing 11/2-inch mid-length headers and Discount Muffler bridged the gap between them and the MagnaFlow mufflers with 21/2-inch aluminized pipes. Between those pipes is a C4 transmission that Roger robbed from a '77 Mercury Monarch. It feeds a stock length '65 Falcon driveshaft.
Vintage plates are common in Washington but commercial plates for the years immediately af
The body remains largely as Roger found it. He replaced the door glass and windscreens with panes cut by Priest River Glass, "But I retained the back window with bullet holes to reflect some of the truck's past," he said. He replaced the missing driver's side exterior door handle but kept the oblong holes for the safety hasp that previously locked the door. And that paint. Though it's real, Roger said it takes a bit of work to maintain a beautifully aging finish without destroying it.
Though worn similar to the truck's exterior, Roger said the interior paint only made the cab feel dismal. So he prepped it and shot it Ford Vermillion Red. He kept the stock seat but had J's Upholstery in Newport trim it in black ox-hide vinyl. Rather than retrofit the old mast to work with U-joints, he replaced it with a straight ididit Inc. column. He replaced the stock gauges with a Bob Drake insert and VDO Cockpit-series gauges. Finally, in a nod to safety, he replaced the in-cab fuel tank with a Tanks Inc. polyethylene cell that mounts under the bed floor.
Ford used wood indigenous to the areas around factories that built trucks-usually ash, map
True to his word, Roger retained just enough of the truck's history. So too did he honor his own word that he'd drive it: we met him at Goodguys 6th Great Northwest Nationals in Spokane, basically the truck's first outing.
And like any owner of a newly minted driver, he was fussing over the occasional detail that wasn't yet to his liking. Yet he never once complained about the way anything looked. "Considering the originality of the truck and the major bodywork that it would require (to paint it), I wouldn't change a thing. My other projects included paint, and it was nice to do one without the bodywork, including the time and money."
Then he summed it up: "As most people say, they're only original once."
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