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Article By: Chris Callen

Originally Published In The August 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Trip In An Old Time Machine

So I got me an old Ford pickup truck last month. It was an early birthday present from my loving wife. Funny how something as simple as an old truck that we only paid a couple grand for can be such a big deal. You see, my grandpap had one like it, 460 motor, four on the floor, this one is a ‘73, and it drives like a good ole boy. Funny thing about accomplishments and life and all, I have been around this country several times, had many different bikes, hell I get to build them as part of what I do now. I’ve met most of my heroes and even get to call a lot of them colleagues today but getting this old Ford somehow qualifies as “making it” in some weird way. My Pap was a man’s man, I’ve written about him before, but I never get tired of talking about him as he gave me so many good lessons in life. He taught me how to be a man simply by being the man he was as I grew up in his shadow. I still remember the day he bought his old Ford, brand new at the time. I was along for the occasion, and like they did back then, the whole family got dressed up the day he was going to buy it and headed off into town. God, I know it sounds like a story John Boy would be telling about the Walton family, and I guess in some ways it is just the same. Anyway, my grandpap never believed in credit until the day he died, paid for everything in cash and not because he had a lot of it. He would save his pennies until he had enough to buy what he wanted and then walk in with cash on the barrelhead. That gave him an incredible amount of leverage in making a deal back then although today I’m not sure they wouldn’t rather you finance. Anyway, on that particular day the dealership was having an open house, and as part of their festivities, they had a little go-cart that was adorned with a fiberglass body shaped like a Gremlin, a very big deal to any six-year-old boy.

Of course, I went crazy over it and wanted it more than anything. Problem was this was a promo item that was going to be given away to someone who bought a new car. Each customer that bought a vehicle got one ticket and was entered to win. On occasion my pap spoiled me and told the salesman he’d pay the sticker price on the new Ford truck, in cash, as long as that go-cart was loaded in the bed of it when he left. This caused a big ruckus, and eventually, they loaded up the gocart, and we both got a new ride that day. But like I said, he didn’t have a lot of money, so things like this didn’t happen a lot, but he did save for what he wanted and when he owned something it was his, and he didn’t have to share it with the bank. I guess the reason I’m writing about this today is the fact that we’ve been so busy here at the magazine lately that I have gotten pretty far away from some of the simpler things like that old Ford truck. I knew this the minute we bought my ‘73, and I spent the rest of that day tooling around town, trying not to grind the gears as I relearned the shift pattern. I took Heather out for dinner and slid her over in the big bench seat, and for just a minute we rode around like regular people doing regular stuff. It’s been many rides later now, but anytime I get a chance to roll down the back country roads of South Western Pennsylvania in it, I do! Rides just like my old Panhead, kinda slow, kinda finicky but nothing I’d rather be doing at that exact moment than just going for a ride. Hope you understand what it is I was trying to say here and get your own little time machine; it does a world of good.

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