The Beginnings of the Busted Knuckle Garage - Chapter 6

So changing icy, muddy, salty, wet and drippy tires during an Upstate NY winter was losing any sense of fun.  My buddy Chris and I had been plotting for months to head where the sun forever shines, the state of California.  The vehicle of choice to get us there?   A 1953 Chevrolet Pickup Truck with period correct straight 6 cylinder engine and a four speed transmission (granny gear being the useless first gear).  It had the looks with a rust free body, respray of alpine white, blacked out grill and bumpers and this being 1976, the quintessential white "circus wheels" on raised white letter tires.  $150 got us a very cool and ugly shell for the back which we loaded with our JC Penney flannel sleeping bags and all sorts of camping equipment and munchy foods.  Heading to California via Florida was ambitious in this rig and we soon required more space in the bed for motor oil more than anything else.  Issue number one on this trip was the floor shift bouncing out of top gear when hitting top speed (60mph?).  Gotta thank the inventor of the bungee chord which promptly repaired the annoying shifter from shifting itself into neutral.  Issue number two was the lack of a gas gauge.  We would soon learn that the ol' "jam on the brakes and listen for the slosh" was likely not the most accurate way of measuring fuel in the tank.  Issue number three was the inordinate amount of motor oil this truck would soon begin consuming.   Issue solved with a long rubber hose connected to said engine, run through the firewall and attached to red plastic funnel that could be fed from within the cab.  When you're driving cross country at 60mph there is little time to stop to add oil so we had to semi-automate the process.  Below is the only pix I could find of this revered buggy which at least shows off the infamous "circus wheel" look of the 70's.  I'll have to blow some dust of the shoe boxes and find a full blown pix.  More to come.... (Note the two Honda CL350 bikes behind fence...another Busted Knuckle Garage story altogether.)

 

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