I’ve spent the past several years dreaming of a 1965 VW Microbus, but the one I wanted sold before I could get to Kansas City to look at it, and in the meantime, Ron’s friend Jeff Wall got on his MySpace page and waxed poetic about the old beater pickup truck he’d bought for $500 somewhere. (By “poetic,” I mean “foul-mouthed and sarcastic, but in an oddly endearing way” … so don’t click the link to his ode to old pickup trucks if you are easily offended. But if you like old trucks and don’t mind sifting through a sailor’s syntax, go ahead and take a look.)

I was still pretty set on buying a hippie wagon, but I don’t have any practical reason to own one, and Wall is a good writer, and he has the right sensibilities about things, and … I dunno … something just came over me when I read about that beat-up truck of his.

I picked up a Truck Trader magazine next time we were at QuikTrip and found out I could buy a truck capable of winning every car show in the state of Oklahoma for what we’d planned to spend on a Splittie. I dogeared about 10 pages and circled maybe a dozen trucks and left the magazine for Ron, who told me we weren’t going to buy a truck until he pays off his Insight in June.


A week later, we found this gorgeous thing on a used car lot on Route 66 in Red Fork. Ron liked it enough to call and ask some questions about it.

We found out it had a newly rebuilt engine, and it cost about half what I’d planned to spend on a VW, and on top of all that, it was a ’66.

We’d found a ’66 on Route 66.

So of course we had to take it out for a test-drive.


It felt like an old truck is supposed to feel.

It looked like an old truck is supposed to look.

It sounded like an old truck is supposed to sound.

It smelled like exhaust fumes and grease and old metal and dust and dirt and honest work.

It smelled like my late grandpa’s truck.

I looked at Ron. Ron looked at me.

“What do you think?” he said.

“I think it smells like Grandpa’s truck,” I said.

So we bought the truck.


I drove it to the feed store this morning to pick up a bag of growth formula for the Bond Chicks.

It burns a lot of gas. It doesn’t have air conditioning. It doesn’t have power steering. It doesn’t have power brakes. It doesn’t like to start on the first try. I will probably have to buy two Terrapasses and go vegan just to compensate for whatever it’s spewing into the atmosphere. I am not allowed to have my credit card and the truck in the same place at the same time, because Ron does not trust me to control myself at the hardware store, the nursery, or the feed store now that I have a way to pick up anything I want and haul it home.

That’s OK.

I love our truck.

It smells like Grandpa’s truck….


6 thoughts on “Truckin’”

  1. Nice lookin’ truck. Don’t blame ya a bit. I like older vehicles, too.

    I feel about the same way ’bout my ratty ol’ Bronco II. Needs a lot of work over the next couple of years, but I’ll do it. I’ll do it ’cause it’s special.

  2. Made me cry just a bit…I can still smell that truck as if I were sitting in it right now. Along with that sweet smell of sweat after a hard day’s work out in the sun…….

    I just might have to come to your house, just to smell the truck.

  3. My vehicles have a tendency to name themselves: The Albatross (a ’98 Neon, so named because I was upside down on it and couldn’t get rid of it as fast as I wanted to; alternately referred to as “the Yugo of the ’90s”); the Hippy Wagon (a fun little Saturn station wagon); Max (Ron’s Insight, named after the spaceship from Flight of the Navigator, which has basically the same body style); and the Starlight Express (my Scion xA, which resembles nothing so much as a Fisher-Price roller skate).

    The truck hasn’t named itself yet. I’ve only driven it once, although I plan to take it to Stroud this Saturday. If it doesn’t tell me what its name is by the time I get back from lunch at the Rock, I will probably just christen it “Gretchen,” as in Wilson. Somehow it strikes me as a fitting ride for a Redneck Woman….

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