I have never bought a brand-new car in my entire life, but don't feel sorry for me, because I've never wanted to own a new automobile. I look at new cars as an awful lot of money to spend on something that can't do a whole lot more than haul people around.
But when the subject changes to brand-new trucks, that is a completely different story, because now we're talking about something that can help people make a living as well as enjoy their time off.
Of the three pickups I've bought brand new, I've noticed I have a peculiar habit of allowing them to age a little before I can actually utilize them as a truck. This realization didn't occur to me until recently, when I decided to tear into a '79 Big 10 I just bought from a friend for $1,600 who got it on the same day from a prune farmer.
I guess I should mention this is the truck we just threw together at the last minute for me to drive from Orange County, California, to meet up with the group from Painless Performance for the southern leg of Americruise. I know I made the mistake of predicting the '72 F-100 I've been working on for the Bumpside Build-Off against Grant Peterson at Classic Trucks would be ready to roll for Americruise, but I guess I jinxed myself, because it's just not going to happen.
Anyway, back to when I first got the '79 Big 10. It looked absolutely terrible, but it had only 75,000 original miles. The faded silver Chevy ran like a champ, but the interior was covered from top to bottom with a thick, sticky, gelatinous goo that had transformed into a shade of candy poop brown over the silver base color. The only way I was able to effectively detail the cab's interior was to remove the bench seat, climb in with a bucket of hot water heavily concentrated with car wash soap, and flush it all out with a robust blast from a garden hose. By the time I'd finished detailing the Chevy, it was truly amazing how much better it looked. This got me to thinking about all the old trucks out there in the world that would be in real cherry shape today if their owners paid better attention to them during the course of their lives.
Not to sound like a hypocrite, but I only have to look as far as myself to find a perfect example of someone who does a pretty good job of neglecting some of the inherent duties associated with owning a new truck. It is not something I set out to do intentionally; it just seems to turn out this way. There are some chores that I'm attentive to, and then there are others that I'm not. The positive part is that for at least the first two years of ownership, I will not carry anything in the bed that will scratch the paint, and I change the oil way ahead of the factory recommended intervals. On the negative side of things is the fact that I can always seem to find time to detail an old truck I just bought before I can for my new GMC.
An excellent example to illustrate my bad luck with new trucks was when my '05 GMC recently turned two years old. Almost to the date of my Jimmy's second birthday, while transporting a six-foot wooden ladder that I use to take aerial shots, the damned ladder managed to wear through a protective towel and leave a big long deep scratch in the bed's paint. In a way, I guess it was kind of a relief; I jokingly refer to it as the day my new GMC became a truck. From that moment on it was just a matter of hours before I was tossing transmissions, engine blocks, and anything else I needed to haul into the back of my late-model GMC-boy, it sure is amazing how soon a new truck can become old.
Not to dwell too much on "gee, how fast the time flies," but this issue marks one year since Cody and I took over the reins of Custom Classic Trucks. I'll keep it short and sweet by expressing our deepest gratitude to all of you wonderful folks who have remained loyal to Custom Classic Trucks, consequently keeping Cody and I out of the unemployment line and able to pursue our passion for customizing classic trucks.-John Gilbert