“At that time, my shop was not real busy, so we were able to give the old ’41 lots of attention and everyone helped. Dad was told we were doing the job for a customer and the customer was in a big hurry. Every time dad stopped by the shop, he’d say, ‘You should tell the truck’s owner to do this or do that.’ We would tell dad that we’d tell the owner and then do it. After the truck was painted all maroon, dad stopped by and said we should have talked the owner into painting the fenders black. He drove off and we started sanding all four freshly painted fenders to repaint them black, hoping not to hear about many more changes as the clock was ticking.

“We finished the truck at 11:30 on Christmas Eve and drove it to the folks’ ranch. Then we left to get some sleep before going back at 8:00 on Christmas morning for breakfast and gifts. Out front sat the surprise with a big red bow on the roof, and one very surprised man got the ’41 pickup he had mentioned four months earlier.

“Needless to say, he enjoyed the day, the truck, and the great surprise of December 25, 1977. Five months later, my dad died. I put his truck away at the ranch and never touched it until my wife Peaches said to me in 2006, ‘Your dad would be very disappointed.’ This got me to thinking. Within the next week I cleaned out the rat nest, pressure washed the truck and took it to town to our shop where we redid the complete job over the next two years. It was completed for Father’s Day of 2008, some 30 years after Dad passed.

“I am sure he knows we got it done. This team effort was completed with a lot of help from my great crew at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff. Everyone: Robert Prayther, Jim Sheridan, Robert Del Rio and many, many more are to be thanked many times over. I keep it at home and drive it every chance I get. I look through the same glass, open and close the doors with the same handles and sit on the same seat that my dad and I did over 30 years ago. A lot of time has passed—my memories never will.”