What is the worst thing that you can think of happening to your beloved classic truck--especially if it was handed down from your father to you and basically a member of the family? If it were stolen there's a chance you could get it back, if you blow the engine you can replace it, but what if it were totaled beyond repair? Devastating right?
If that has happened to you and you can still walk and not eat through a tube for the rest of your life, then you are lucky. We all know our older vehicles might not be up to par with the crash test standards of today, but I recently met John Leal at the F-100 Western Nationals who said he had some pictures of his cool chopped '56 F-100...but I wasn't ready for what I saw when I opened the e-mail! Luckily, John lived to tell me about it, and here's his tale...
"Hi, I talked to you for a brief minute at the F-100 show this past weekend, you were talking to the owner of the yellow truck. Anyway, I told you I was going to send some pics of my truck, and here they are. Maybe you can use them for the cover, ha ha ha! This truck was in the family for the past 30 years and was taken from me last year on the way home from the Labor Day cruise in Costa Mesa, California, last September 2 to be exact. I was on the way home after spending the weekend at the show and bam, crash, boom, bang--a car lost control and smacked into my truck, sending me over three lanes of the north-bound 55 Freeway into the block wall where I came to rest just to get smacked from behind by a Suburban. I guess I'm glad to be alive, but the bad thing is the truck can never be put back together. The frame is right bent three ways, so not much of the truck can be reused. It took me five years to build, and as you can see in the pics, it was chopped, the corners on the doors rounded, it had 150 louvers on the hood, a 460 Ford motor, a full tilt front end (metal), the bed was lowered to match the chopped top, and so much more. The truck was chopped by dad back in the day, and was driven daily when he had it. I rebuilt the truck from ground up, doing all work myself with some tips from dad. I even painted the truck myself. I only got to drive the truck a couple hundred miles before this happened. Well, here they are, are you sitting down?
Thanks, John Leal
Well, John we're glad you're still here to tell us about it, but let this be a lesson to us all. As the say, it's better to be safe than sorry!