Saturday, August 14, 2010

The scrapper has left the property...

After four months of sweat and tanks of gas to get to the scrap yard... propane for the cutting torch... chains on the tractor... every scrapper in the yard is gone.  The yard isn't empty exactly, because the horse trailer project still waits for us and the old Pontiac waits for a new owner.  In the last week, the last two old Ford trucks went to the Great Scrapyard in the Sky.  

I won't say I hated to see them go.  My ol' Man's exact words were "Not a minute too soon."  He's been feeling the pressure to get the yard emptied.  Truth is, there is something ridiculously sad about sending a wreck off to scrap.

This had been a useful truck up until a few years ago.  When its owner got out of the snowplowing biz, he brought the two black Fords out here with the intention of doing some kind of project.  But good intentions are hard to keep up with once jobs and kids and mortgages happen to a guy.  He chose to spend his time and money on his wife and kids instead of difficult old trucks.  He made the right decision.  It's hard to let go though, and I know that.  The transmission from this one and the engine from the other truck are still here; he'll be picking them up soon.  Once a gear head, always a gear head.  

I grew up with stuff like this in the backyard.  Only back then it was stuff from the 50s and 60s.  

I knew that it was, and is, actually possible to take an old wreck and turn it into something that can be driven.  It's just that it takes huge amounts of work and money and time.  I'm not willing to sacrifice any of those things anymore.  

But I'm still fascinated by an old truck with a rotten floor.

In 1981, you could still get a truck with a plain bench seat, rubber floor mats instead of carpet, and a steel headliner.  It was practical and all about WORK.  No cupholders, nothing... fancy.

Although it still boasted some mighty spiffy fake woodgrain!!

(Notice the CB holder beside the radio.  As my kids would say, "old School.")

Yeah I'm sure in its day it was a bitchin truck, with that row of clearance lights on the roof and whip antennas, it was a mean ol' 4x4.

So anyways, it and its slightly newer brother, languishing behind the hill for years, are outta here.  

It's the end of an era.

(And the beginning of a nice, empty piece of land at the back of the property.)


A Paperback Writer said...

I have a friend who buys and restores Ford LTDs from 1968-1972-ish. (I think I mentioned him to you once before; he's the guy who bought the Ford that was used as the taxi in which Johnny Depp rode in "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas.") Anyway, his cars often look about this bad when he starts with them, and end up looking quite nice. Yea, they all have bench seats and lapbelts only. No cupholders, only radios -- or 8-track tape players that no longer work. The windows roll down by hand -- and the doors lock by hand. No car alarms on these babies. And a couple of them have that fake wood panelling. It's pretty fun riding in something this retro.
But I agree with you; it has to be someone who really, really wants to spend the time and money to do this kind of thing.
My buddy now has 4 LTDs, one '37 truck -- and a Subaru for daily driving. He graveled in his whole back yard so he could park everything there, as he lives on a busy street in the city and on-street parking is not legal there.
So, he's made the space and has the motivation. I would not, like you.

Biddie said...

Wow, you have done so much work! It's gonna be strange to see the place without the old trucks n stuff. I wonder if I will recognize the ol farm???

Heidi Willis said...

Little by little...

what a blessing you must be to your folks!

Heidi the Hick said...

Well, my ol man did tell me I've been a big help and I told him how much I appreciate being told that.

So basically, yeah, for this alone it's a good thing I moved us in here!!!

Bid, you'll recognize it... there will always be a few oddities lurking in the long grass. You know how much he likes having things to pull behind his truck!

APW I totally remember reading about that guy! I'm glad we've got him to preserve those cars because they're pieces of history. Or maybe just because I like cars. Also because I decided not to get into the car preservation line of work!