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 took off.

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 it, 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.

Copyright 2001-2006 by Johnny M. Patterson
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