The Little Blue Truck

workbench photo

I was bit by the old car bug at a very very early age.

I was probably only eleven years old when my Dad took my younger brother Jim and me to his friends farm in Glastonbury Connecticut. Johnny Galley had a lawn mower repair shop at the farm and we were taking our lawn mower in for a tuneup and blade sharpening.

Johnny’s farm was a really neat place to visit. He had a series of spring fed concrete pools where he raised rainbow trout for the state of Connecticut. There were hens and a rooster roaming free. And an old rock quarry that you could climb down into and go fishing. Once his cow fell into the quarry and they had to get a crane to lift it out. There was a picture of the cow hoisted up in mid air in the newspaper. It was front page news back then in Glastonbury Connecticut.

On one trip to the farm Johnny took us to a little stone garage set away from the house and next to the barn. Inside the darkened interior of this very small garage was what appeared to be a car and it was covered with white cloth cover. Dad and he very carefully removed the cover and revealed a completely restored Ford Model-A.

Dad did not have to tell my brother and me not to touch the car. We knew this was something special.

Johnny asked us if we wanted to go for a ride. You bet we did! Johnny drove, Dad sat up front and Jimmy and I rode in the rumble seat.

As the little car chug chug chugged thru the country side everyone paused, smiled and waved. And we waved back with grins from ear to ear. And there was that “ahooogaa” horn too!

Even now as I write this I can completely relive the excitement of that day. I was bit by the car bug.

I always tinkered with cars. In high school we went to Connecticut Speedway, the drag strip in Colchester Ct. And I hung out with some guys that had a NASCAR Modified Sportsman oval track car. But I never had the money to do a car right.

My first love remained the antique cars. I knew that to successfully enjoy restoring an antique car I needed to have all of the money first before I started the project. I had seen too many projects started by others that went unfinished for lack of funds.

In 1987 that time came. With $10,000.00 set aside I started my search for a pickup truck to restore. My prime source of information was Hemmings Motor News magazine.

A frequent advertiser was Antique Motor Cars, in Missoula Montana. They regularly ran several photo adds each month of early V8 Ford cars and trucks. The cars and trucks were selling also. New cars and trucks were appearing with each issue of Hemmings.

What finally jumped out to me was a panel truck. I called Antique Motor Cars to inquire about it. We talked about the truck and about my previous automotive experience. Finally after fifteen minutes or so on the phone he said he would not sell me the panel truck. Why not? The panel truck needed an awful lot of work and had a lot of rusted thru areas and he felt I would become discouraged before I finished the project. At the time that seemed odd, however, as my project moved on I came to appreciate his foresight.

I received in the mail a packet of photos of my future Little Blue Truck. A 1935 Ford Commercial Car with a flathead V8. They were not called pick up trucks back then, rather they were call a “Commercial Car”.

workbench photo

This truck was recommended as a first project because “all of the parts were there.” Well it looked good to me too.

A bank wire transfer in the amount of $3,850.00 was sent on its way to Montana.

Brand new in 1935 this truck sold for around $650.00

The replacement gas tank I purchased for it cost around $650.00

pickup story continued