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My First Truck
Jeffrey Lehn
photo credit: time_anchor 

My first vehicle was not a car but a truck , a 1951 Chevrolet to be exact. I was 18 years old and heard from a neighbor about a guy down on his luck that had a 1948 Chevrolet truck for sale ,one that he had just restored asking price was $1,400. I couldn't wait to see it , it would be a week before I could get there as we were just heading out for a vacation and I knew that at that price it would sell quick .

We got back and the truck was still for sale , my neighbor drove me Alliquippa and we met with the owner. There it was a red Chevrolet step side , 6 cylinder engine, 4 speed transmission, chrome bumpers and grill, the body looked real good. We agreed on a price and the truck was mine, I got my brother to drive it home because I didn't have a drivers license. Well the trip that should have taken about 20 minutes took about two hours the truck would run for about 5 minutes and die. We had to cross the Ohio river to get back into Ambridge and we coasted most of the way.

For months no one could figure out why the truck ran for just short periods. An old friend of mine came over with a compression tester and found that the truck had 2 burnt valves and the heat valve was stuck closed causing the intake manifold to get too hot and vapor lock the engine. My funds were draining quick I was working at a machine shop and it took me about 6 months to save to get the truck in the first place and now I needed major engine work, and worse yet the restored body was falling apart.

My parents were angry I heard a lot of I told you so, but I rebuilt the engine, and body I spent many trips to carlise to find body parts. After 5 years and $6,000.00 I was finally able to drive the truck on the road. After all this the truck turned out to be a 1951 and I only drive it on nice days ,and yes I still have it .


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