It’s no secret that I have a thing for old rusty trucks. Since the launch of Rusted Roots, I have told many a story about creating beauty from the Rusted Roots that God gives us, and my journey to buy a rusty old truck is no different. My grandfather drove a ’49 Ford Truck… it was the first truck my dad ever drove… at the age of 14! But sadly, that truck is no where to be found today. Oh, how I would give the world to find that truck. But truth be told, it probably was crushed years ago.
Although, I will never have my Grandpa’s old truck, that doesn’t mean I can’t find one very similar!! If you remember, the counter at the Rusted Roots shop was made from a ’49 Chevy, but I can’t really take that baby out on the road. So, it’s time I find an old rusty truck that I can putt around town in, take on junk adventures, and load up with all my funky finds! And I figure, you know what, there’s lots of junkers out there who would love to rescue a rusty old truck, so why not take y’all along on the ride and share what I learn along the way!
I’ve been on the hunt for a rusty truck for about six months now, scouring Craigslist, Ebay, and other online sites. But I find the best way to find a good ‘ol truck is to hit the backroads and talk to people! You’d be surprised how many people have old cars and trucks tucked behind their house or out on the farm that they wouldn’t mind parting with for the right price!
And of course, there are salvage yards out their that specialize in antique cars and trucks. Most of them don’t run and likely don’t have a title. But I am quickly learning there are ways to get around both of those issues. I learned A LOT about titling a non-titled vehicle when we tried to buy the vintage camper. Remember that turquoise doll? Yeah, that was a mess. But a lot of times, the salavage yards are very familiar with the process for titling the vehicle in their state and will do the leg work to make it happen!
As for the truck not running… boy, have I learned a lot. Remember when I posted this old milk truck on Facebook? I was so happy when a new junk buddy contacted me to tell me about a group of guys in Texas that take the body of old trucks and build them on the frame of a newer truck, new motor and all. Now, I don’t claim to know much about how that would work, but the concept lit a big ‘ol edison bulb above my head! That’s it!!!
Ever since that conversation, I’ve been on the hunt for someone locally that did that sort of thing. And along the way, have found some B-E-A-U-tiful old trucks! And a lot of inspiration for when I do find the perfect truck. A Rusted Roots logo on the door is a MUST!! Something like this…
But all this new information about rebuilding old trucks does raise a lot of questions for me. I’ve learned that the trucks I really like, late 40’s and 50’s models, fit best on a smaller truck frame like a Chevy S-10. Okay. I’m good with that. But how do you know where that S-10 has been? Was it totalled? How many miles is on the engine? How long will it last after I pull it off the ‘lot’? All things to think about and talk with your builder about BEFORE starting the job!
And I’ve also learned that ‘building’ a truck can be a lot like building a new house. You can keep adding things forever which will really up the price point. So, it’s important for us to nail down a budget and stick with it. Things like a logo… air conditioning… heat… those may end up being a luxury depending on the budget. But just like bulding a house, you can always add things to the truck later. For me, right now, I don’t need heat or air. I just want a good dependable daily driver with a logo!! Gotta have the logo!! Ha ha!!
I’ve actually stumbled across several trucks that are original and RUN! But they just aren’t exactly what I want, and I don’t want to waiver on the dream truck. I’m not a fan of the 70’s model trucks. And it seems that there are a TON of them out there. It’s harder to find the body style that I want with the color I want. And for me, original paint is a must, in all it’s chippy goodness!! A top coat sealer will lock in the beautiful patina but protect it from the elements. I prefer a flat coat, but glossy would be an option if that floats your boat! (or drives your truck!)
My Grandpa’s truck was red. So, I’d be happy with a red truck perhaps with some orange layers in it. But am really really loving the blues, greens, and turquoises I see as well. So, I’m not sure what the dream color is, but I know I will know it when I see it!
In the mean time, I have some decisions to make. First and foremost, a budget! I am using my winnings from Wheel of Fortune for this little dream and have to decide how much, if any, I want to put with it! Then, I have to decide what I want. When building a truck, there a lot of options. Do I want automatic or manual transmission? Do I want it bagged or not bagged? From my understanding, that would make it ride smoother but will cost more. (Think hydrolics on a rat rod, only I wouldn’t have to bounce her up and down cruising in the country! Ha ha!) Decisions like these will come with the help of my Dad and others who are super savvy when it comes to old trucks! I’ve got a lot of learnin’ to do!!
It’s sure to be a journey worth coming along for… and hopefully one day soon, we can celebrate together when I finally find the perfect truck!! Until then, if you want to follow the road to buying a rusty old truck, pin the image below! You can come back to this post any time and I will add the links to the next chapter right here!!!
(Disclosure: I am not a mechanic or automobile professional and am simply sharing what I learn on this journey as I understand it. It is important for you to do your own homework before buying any vehicle. All of the trucks featured in this series were photographed by Rusted Roots and are the property of Rusted Roots. Sharing on social media is acceptable with a link back to this post. Other use of these images without written permission is strictly prohibited.)