As a teenager in the early ’50s Chuck purchased his first car, a ’42 Chevrolet Army car for $75. He knew it had a cracked block, but it was a car and that was all that mattered to the young teen. Chuck remembers his father saying, “Keep your eyes on the temperature gauge, check the water, and always have a bottle of stop leak with you.” If only Chuck had followed his father’s advice he would have been OK. Chuck credits the constant repair of that first car for starting his life-long hobby—hot rodding.
It didn’t take long for teen Chuck to figure out that he aspired to drive a ’56 Ford F-100. In the late ’50s Chuck was limited on funds and realized that if he truly wanted something he had to work hard for it. When he told his dad about his goal, his dad responded, “If you want it, you can do it.” Those words stuck by Chuck and at age 16, he worked two jobs, saved his money, and in 1956 saved enough money to purchase a new Ford truck. He chose a yellow F-100 with a straight six, and like most of the young hot-rodders back then, he polished the paint and cruised to the drive-ins on weekends.
With his teen years behind him, his life had moved in a new direction. He met his wife and was blessed with two great children, but with kids came a huge responsibility and the old, yellow truck had to go. Time passed and Jeff Wester, a friend of Chuck’s, found a great project for him to look at. Chuck was hesitant at first to call the guy because he thought it was a little too much for him to handle. Jeff finally convinced Chuck to call the guy, and a few details needed to be ironed out, but for the most part the truck ran great.
Chuck and Jeff drove to Tuscan, Arizona, from Temecula, California, to look at the ’56. Their eyes must have been locked on the motor because Chuck said when he got it home the paint had more flaws than he originally thought.