No single reason may be good enough to justify building a particular vehicle, but one stands out as a perfectly good reason not to. And it has four letters and begins with an F: free. People don't just give away things that are worth something. They give away rusty six-cylinder AMCs, delaminating boats, and electronics that smoke. Why anyone would waste their money on something like that is beyond me.

But some people think they know better. Take Arlyn Livingston. He got his F-250 from someone he refers to as a good friend. But we have our doubts. You know how much he paid? Nothing. Now honestly, what could he have gotten for that?

I'll tell you what Arlyn got. An old farm truck. On the day he drove it home, the kindest things people said were it was rust free and straight. We've got to hand it to Arlyn, though. To maintain his graciousness, he committed to redeem this truck that only one person before him considered it worthy to own. He appealed to Joe Maxwell and his crew at Maxwell's Metal Works in nearby Marysville, Washington.

Karl Bryson, Eldon Watson, and Joe stripped the chassis and replaced the twin-I-beam suspension with a crossmember and A-arms from Total Cost Involved Engineering. A Total Cost four-link kit mounts a Ford 9-inch-style axle. A 4.11:1 gearset on a limited-slip carrier spins Dutchman 31-spline axleshafts. The front rides on conventional coils and separate dampers. The rear rides on Total Cost's coilover dampers. A stroked Mustang 5.0 replaced the 352 that came in the truck. Monster Transmission prepped the AOD the 347 backs up to.

Probably in light of the truck's lowly roots, Steve Hebert and John Eastman couldn't justify removing the intact and straight trim that came with the truck. Instead they asked Art Brass Plating to just spruce it up with some chrome. The only real modification Eldon saw necessary was to graft a '55 Chevy passenger-car fuel-filler door to the bed for the saddle tank. In fact, the cab and bed let everyone down by depriving anyone the chance to demonstrate their ability to resurrect panels from the dead. Call it an opportunity missed. Disappointingly it went rather quickly into the paint booth where Eldon applied the PPG Deltron-series Ivory White and GM's Luxo Blue.

In the interest of making such a truck tolerable to sit in, Maxwell sent it to Paul Reichlin at Cedardale Auto Upholstery in nearby Mount Vernon. Paul dispensed with the springs, webbed the seat frame, and carved body-contouring foam to make the thankless task of driving such a pariah at least pleasant. He trimmed it, the door panels, and the headliner insert in tan leather. He laminated a fiberglass panel that both flattens the transmission tunnel and gives the American Autowire harness a place to go. He clad the floor in velour carpet.

But is it really worth it to lavish that much attention on something so lacking in value that they gave it away? We have our doubts. I mean, it takes a lot to make something of somebody's castoffs. We pity Arlyn for suffering such grave misfortune.

It's for that reason that we extend this following offer. Next time someone tries to unload a desirable, straight, complete, and rust-free pickup, call us. Yeah, I know it seems rude to impose upon complete strangers like us, but it's the least we can do. Just call us generous.

The only real modification Eldon saw necessary was to graft a '55 Chevy passenger-car fuel-filler door to the bed for the saddle tank. In fact, the cab and bed let everyone down by depriving anyone the chance to demonstrate their ability to resurrect panels from the dead.