I came to own Maych mostly by circumstance. One day while visiting my daughter
and grandson I made a remark that I was thinking about buying an
"old" pickup when I retire. How I reached this
decision, I don't know. I had not been pondering buying an old
pickup up until that moment. It just kind of occurred to me all
at once. As I was still over 2 years away from retiring, I
didn't start looking in earnest. I thought I would just
"keep my eyes open" in case something popped up.
After about six months, nothing had
really "popped up" and I had mostly abandoned the
idea. Then one day at work I happened to mention to a co-worker,
Dave, that I was toying with the idea of buying an old pickup for
bumming around in after retirement. Well, of all the co-workers
I could have mentioned this to, I happened to pick one that was
"into" old pickups. Dave had owned several old pickups
(and old cars) and was currently the owner of a really nice looking
1968 Chevy CS/10 pickup. He was also a member of one of the
local car clubs and knew a lot of people involved with old pickups and
such. He told me he would keep his eyes open and let me know if he
came across anything.
With my interest renewed, I started
actually "looking" for an old pickup rather than just
waiting for one to "pop-up". It seemed to me the
logical place to start would be the classifieds in the local
paper. After a couple of weeks I came across a "1972 Chevy
1/2, V8, runs good, needs paint" pickup in the paper. I
called the number listed in the paper and arranged to meet the owner
after work to look at the pickup. Not knowing much about what to
look for in a 30 year old pickup, I asked Dave if he would go with me
to take a look. He said he already had a commitment for the
afternoon but suggested we run by the guy's place on our lunch
break. If the the pickup was not a daily driver there was a good
change it would be parked in the guy's driveway. That would give
Dave a chance to check it out and then I could meet the guy that
afternoon if I was still interested. I agreed that sounded like
a good plan.
Either the guy was driving the
pickup, or it was in the garage, or at some another location. So
much for our good plan. We were headed back to the office we
Dave remembered a buddy of his telling him about a pickup he had seen
parked on the street in front of a house with a "For Sale" sign in the
window. He said his buddy told him it was a really nice pickup
but the owner wanted a little more than he was ready to pay.
Dave thought he remembered the neighborhood where his buddy said the
pickup was parked and suggested we run by and see if it was
there. We had officially used up our lunch time but the
neighborhood was not too far from work and we don't punch a clock, so
I decided it was worth a shot.
Dave lead us right to the place and
there, sitting under the shade of a big elm tree, was Maych.
Of course, it wasn't Maych at the time, just a no-name
pickup. But it was a really nice no-name pickup.
Dave proceeded to crawl around the
pickup looking for whatever it is you look for when checking out a 30
year old pickup. I figured it had something to do with rust, as
most everything concerning vehicles has to do with rust up here in the
salt belt. Before Dave had finished his inspections, a guy
from the house across the street walked over and introduced
himself. "Hello, my name is Mr. Soldittome," he said. Very nice
old truck isn't it". Not wanting to give away any
bargaining power, I said, "Yeah, it looks pretty good for an
old truck". Mr. Soldittome handed me the keys and
said, "Take it for a spin and see what you think". So
I got behind the wheel, Dave crawled in the passenger side, and we
After driving a little way I asked
Dave what he thought about the condition of the pickup. He
said it looked to be remarkable rust-free, compared to most pickups
he'd looked at. Now, when Dave talks about rust, he's talking
about "bad" rust -- areas where the metal has been eaten
away to the point that it can only be fixed by replacing the rusted
part with new metal. He's not talking about surface rust --
areas where the metal can be restored by simply removing the rust and
re-painting. The only "bad" rust on the pickup was in
the usual places -- rocker panels and cab corners and, according to
Dave, these were relatively easy to fix. But other than
"surface rust" on the frame, the rest of the body was
relatively rust free.
Ok, I thought, the no-rust part is
good. I did know enough to know that trying to maintain a pickup
with a lot of "bad" rust could get real ugly, real
quick. The thing that impressed me most about the pickup was
that it had not been modified. I'm not talking about the kinds
of modifications you see in the hot rod magazines -- some of those are
real works of art and are okay with me, if that's what you're
into. I'm talking about the kind of modifications we all did
back when we had more hormones and pimples than money or
brains. Things like: cutting up the dash to stick in a 100-watt
stereo; cutting holes in the door or kick panels to mount
speakers; installing anything and everything found on the
"custom" rack at the local parts stores ( genuine rosewood
and chrome steering wheel, tachometer bolted to top of dash,
foot-shaped accelerator pedal, carbon fiber shifter knobs); bolting on
a fake hood scoop; installing chrome plated hood pins, cheap "mag"
wheels. OK, you get the point.
Aside from a cheapo FM converter
bolted under the dash, the truck looked basically the same as it did
when it rolled off the factory floor. It even had the original
bias-ply, H78/15, Firestone spare tire. The only original
equipment I could find missing was the factory jack and toolkit.
They are probably still laying in the ditch where the previous owner
chucked them after trying to change a tire in the mud. By the way,
if you know where I can get an original jack and toolkit, let me know.
The mechanicals of the pickup also
seemed to be in good shape. At least as much as I could
tell from the short test drive. It started right up, didn't
smoke excessively, and shifted smooth. According to the
owner and the odometer, the engine only had 66,000 original miles on
and with that low mileage it should be in good shape. (I
have since confirmed the mileage on the odometer is correct).
By the time Dave and I got back
from our test ride I had decided to make the owner an offer.
Dave had told me that the buddy who told him about the pickup said the
guy was asking $5200. Wanting to make the owner think I knew
what a pickup like this was worth, I didn't ask him what he asking for
it, I just made him an offer of $4000. After a little
back-and-forth, we settled on $4200.
Just like that, I was the owner of an "old"
pickup -- soon to be known as Maych.
The other tabs on the left chronicle my adventures (and misadventures)
since I drove him home.
Epilogue -- I know
some of you are thinking $4200 is way to much to pay for a 30 year old
pickup that's not in near perfect condition. Well, you're right,
if you happen to live in the south (or other places where salt is only
used to season the green beans). But up here in the great salt
wasteland, you just don't find pickups (or any other vehicles) over 15
years old that aren't mostly eaten up with "bad"
rust. At least, that's what I told the wife and I'm sticking to
it. So if you decide to leave me a note in the Guest Book,
please don't tell me about the "great" pickup you just
bought for $500, or I'll be forced to tell my wife that I know you
personally and you've never told the truth in your life.