Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Maiden voyage of the shop truck.

Today was a perfect day to exercise the Chevy shop truck. Dry roads and temps in the high 20's were perfect. I haven't run the truck in about a month, and even then I didn't drive it very far. See in MN you're required to have these things called taillights. Weird. I'm working on that...

It's always a small wonder when things work like you want them too on project cars. With no real history of this vehicle and little engine work done to this point, I wasn't sure it would even start this morning. Sure enough though, the slow cranking six volt starter system had the car running in just a few turns of the engine. Truthfully it started as easily as my Camry!

Making it out of the barnyard posed the next challenge. With super warm temps followed by a solid hard freeze the hill out to the road was glare ice. It tool me about six runs at it before I found the right combo of speed and gas to get it over to the flat drive.

On the road it drive just like you'd expect a 1950 truck in original shape to ride. The term lumber wagon has been applied to similar vehicles, and this certainly is reminiscent of that. Stiffer springs and no weight on the rear make for a bouncy ride. Giant tube type bias-ply tires on split rims make the ride rather dead feeling and harsh. The wheels and tires will be changed soon to a modern set up which will drastically change that for the better.

Simply cruising at maybe 40 mph is a joy though. There's just something about old cars that brings a huge sense of happiness for me. It's easy to imagine driving a vehicle like this just as it would have been 63 years ago. The road, the fields, and the scenery haven't changed all that much since then. Like riding a single speed, there's a huge sense of simplicity. There are no modern distractions, no real creature comforts save for a heater, there's not even a radio. I love it.

I drove the truck about six miles before I broke it, and turned back to the barn. Something in the exhaust manifold broke, and the truck sounded a whole lot meaner! The smell through the firewall confirmed it. No problem though, I simply opened the window and put the hood vent open to max.

It was a great morning. Sure I've got a few more things to fix, but I consider the trip a resounding success. The truck completed it's maiden voyage in fine enough form for me.


Guitar Ted said...

Awesome! Hope to get a ride with you in that someday, Ben.

Ben Witt said...

Next time you're up we can go out. I should have the exhaust fixed then and the new wheels and tires should be on there as well.

Jeramy said...

That thing is a beaut Ben! Keep up the good work.