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I've recently had the opportunity... er... obligation to experience a situation that I never would have thought I'd be a part of. I helped a friend dig a mid-'90s S-10 out of a backyard where an all original early '30s Ford coupe in great condition and a 1956 Buick Special sat maybe 20 feet away.
When looking at a backyard with those three vehicles in it, my first choice of what vehicle to resurrect would not have been the Dime. But, before I explain the situation a little further, this got me to thinking. I'm always thinkin', aren't I?
What is it going to be like in 50 years when you walk into a backyard or open the garage of a neglected house and find a body-dropped S-10 on 20-inch wheels sitting there with junk piled all over it? The bodywork will probably be cracked around the shaved door handles, maybe the rollpan will be rusted through because the back of the pan wasn't painted, and you would have to assume that the rubber on the bags will be rotted enough that they won't hold air anymore, and a long list of fun fixes may arise. How will the electronic fuel injection have held up after all these years? Will the urethane ends on the four-link survive the weather cycles or just deteriorate? What about the compressor? Would it be salvageable with some Marvel Mystery Oil and a little elbow grease? And most importantly to me, will my grandson be as excited about finding it as I would have been to find a '50s Detroit car? Imagine hanging out with your friends and hearing rumors of this old guy who has a bunch of restored minitrucks in a garage somewhere in the back hills of the neighboring town. The story would sound like this: "Seriously dude, he has like 20 fully restored minis, most of them are Toyotas, but he's got one or two Mitsus, an extra-cab tandem Mazda that's supposed to be the s@%t, and one that I think is a bullet-side Datsun. My dad knew the guy when he worked for the slaughterhouse and he showed them to him. Pops says he doesn't remember much cause he isn't really into cars, but he took a few pictures for me-I wish he still talked to him!"
That same story would be regurgitated everytime he'd get drunk until you all finally went to see if this urban legend was true.
Unfortunately for this moment in the minitruck age, the story of us removing an S-10 from a backyard accompanied by much older automotive companions does not have such a neat-o back story. We had to store my 1956 Buick and Johnny O's S-10 at a friend's house for a few months while waiting for the county to stop bothering us. When Johnny finally had a place to put his truck due to a new residence, it was a perfect time to see my best friend's backyard in full bloom after the recent rains and months of neglect. And aside from the rainforest-like foliage, the obstacles were similar to moving an older car but still different. Figuring out why one 'bag wouldn't lift was unique, as was trying to lift the access panel in the rusted custom bedfloor. Trying to maneuver it out of its current resting spot always sucks new or old. Helping a friend is never supposed to be easy, so none of this was any surprise to me. The funny part of the whole thing was the "magical trailer effect," where anything on a trailer has potential. I thought that trailer potential was a drug that worked only on early iron, but I guess I was wrong. We were stopped at a parking lot only to have someone tell us how "sick" the truck was.
This was a rare case where helping Johnny out of a bind actually had an advantage to the helper: I got a good story out of it-oh, and lunch at Taco Bell too! Otherwise it was a waste of a perfectly useful day. Thanks, John!
By the way, there has been a typo in my Mini Truckin' email address, so if you've been trying to email me, I'm sorry. It's Mike's fault; I accept zero responsibility. So, we started a twitter account too. Follow Bio Kustumz at Twitter.com/BioKustumz.