We've all had our "firsts". From that initial skinned knee you cried all the way home to mama about to the first time you held another's hand--which quite possibly led to a little more--everything in our past had to start somewhere. Possessions of the four-wheeled persuasion are no exception, either. Though few of us may actually still have the first car or truck that got us into this hobby to begin with, it's fairly safe to say that we'll never forget our firsts.
Bob Brittingham just happens to be one of those individuals fortunate enough to have held onto his first love he's had since his high school days--he's also got the original set of wheels that got him rolling with classic trucks back in the late '70s. Yes, we were initially referring to his wife, Marlene, although she'd yet to be partnered legally with her beau at the time he acquired his '37 Chevy pickup. However, as possibly a sign of things to come, Bob's soon-to-be mother-in-law was very instrumental in helping financially facilitate the purchase--she fronted the difference between the truck's asking price and what her daughter's courting counterpart could afford.
Things were different back in 1978. World events aside, the hobby as we know it today was definitely more grass-roots oriented in that era. And as would be expected of a red-blooded teenager fresh out of high school, Bob and his friends were your typical backyard pros, with the '37 half-ton their post-grad learning material. Ironically, Bob's age at the time would turn out to be the same number of years it would take for his truck to finally graduate from a basically stock, home-brewed hauler into a full-on family project--18!
Bob not only personally managed the seven-year stretch it took to complete the truck, he also did a majority of the work himself. But even so, he and Marlene openly admit that it didn't take very long to surpass the initial budget they'd arranged. In the end, however, the first year alone following the Chevy's completion made all the financial stretching worthwhile--at least psychologically! Now, Bob feels a lot better for not giving into temptation for all those moments where he felt like just paying someone else to finish the '37 instead. That level of personal pride itself isn't measurable in any dollar amounts--no matter how much you pay!