It’s all her fault…
Really it is, she should have known better, known my weak will, known what I do with my free time, but she left me anyways, unattended, with access to the internet, in SOCAL the land of antique iron. She left me alone to go take a shower. Buying a truck, let alone a project truck 2,649 miles from home was not the plan. Hell, it had nothing to do with the trip at all. We were there on vacation, my girlfriend and I, visiting her parents for ten days so she could show me where she grew up, and attempt to convince me of the superiority of southern California. For the record it really is quite beautiful but that’s a discussion for another time. So with a beer in one hand, cigar in the other, I started hunting for trucks again.
I remember my dad hunting for his 66 mustang, hours and hours of searching eBay looking for the perfect one at the perfect price point. I never really understood the draw, or how he could do it for hours at the time. Yet there I was doing the same thing, yet again trolling Craigslist looking for a project / shop truck that I could use for projects around the house, or to tow the busted ass hunks of metal our Lemons team tries to pass off as legitimate race cars. I had it all figured out, I knew exactly what I wanted. Ford, 8ft bed, diesel engine, F250/F350, something that didn’t need a lot of work, big, brash, the type of truck that, with a bit of work, could kick-start the earth spinning again with nothing more than a burn out. With all that in mind, 11 states away from home I found the perfect truck, a 1960 F100 with a 292 Y block V8, beam axles and a 4 on the floor manual gearbox. Yep, exactly what I was looking for.
I really didn’t set out to look for something that old. I really wanted a 7.3L power stroke, but even with 250k miles, and bodies half rusted out, they commanded 15 to 20k price tags. My budget wasn’t anywhere near that. I didn’t have a set number, but it had to be palatable, and not cause my savings account to look like it had gotten robbed at gunpoint. I really wish I had the original posting, but I remember the seller had taken some artsy photos of it, and there was the truck, sun setting over the cab, light glinting off the chrome on the grill, and a $4500 price tag. I was smitten, but I had to sell the boss on the idea. About this time my lovely girlfriend returned from taking a shower and I started into my pitch. I had it all planned. How this would be a great project. How I really didn’t need a diesel engine. How it would take a bunch of work, but it still had an 8 foot bed, and it wouldn’t be able to tow right away, but that we could fix it, that we could save it, fix it up, and one day it would be awesome.
Little did I know that the same photos that pulled me in, that made me fall in love, that made me forget that the only real thing it had in common with my search terms was that it was a Ford and a truck. Those same photos had already sucked her into the project car rabbit hole as well. We slept on it for a night just to let cooler heads prevail, but when I woke up the next morning and found myself pulling up the listing on my phone before I even got out of bed, I knew this was a done deal. A truck almost twice my age, that I knew nothing about and it was already mine in my mind. My girlfriend and I agreed to split whatever the final negotiated cost was, and I contacted the seller.