marque FORD modèle F-250 finitions année quantité
/ prix carrosserie moteur/boite
28 341 exemplaires / $1624
boite 3 vitesses, levier au volant
quantité / prix
American cars have a history in my family since my grandfather purchased in Belgium during the Twenties a Chevrolet followed by an Oakland and a Plymouth. When I was a kid my father had a 1950 Plymouth and when it died ( we could see the road through holes in the bottom) a 1958 Plymouth Savoy took its place.
At the age of 15, my father used to let me drive it ( with him sitting in the passenger seat). The only precaution he took was to place his hat on my head From that experience comes my love of those big cars.
In 1999, I found through an ad, a Ford F-250 pick up in a small city south of Brussels (Belgium) where it had been used from 1956 to 1982 by a company specializing in truck and tractor engine restoration.
It was at the end of its hard working life ( the engine had been overhauled and it stayed in hangar for many years) and I got nailed by its charm. It really was what is called in French a "coup de coeur".
In July 1999, I had it delivered on a tow-truck to my workplace where I started working on it. I removed tons of grease, dust and rust, replaced the complete brake system, restarted the engine, removed the bed to have access to the frame, and checked the essential electrical systems.
In October, it was quite an exciting experience to drive it home : we formed a convoy of 3 vehicles : my wife opening the road with flashing lights on and my son following with a fire extinguisher ( just in case) . Since gas tank and gas line were out of order, I had placed a jerrycan inside the cabin.
I was quite tense at the wheel feeling the adrenaline flowing through my arteries while the truck was coughing without exhaust and showing its bare frame to the astonished pedestrians.
As I was planning to use my pick up regularly, either for the pleasure it would give being at the wheel of such a nice truck or for advertising my business, I decided to start a rebuilding program instead of a full restoration.
I spent almost every evening and Sundays during the fall and winter working on it. I truly hope that God will forgive all the curses I shouted so often ( especially when a hard bolt decides to let go suddenly and that my knuckles discovered how strong the metal was in those days). Many things had to be done and I found several other enthusiasts who helped me each in their own way, including companies like MAC's and DENNIS CARPENTER.
When looking back at the diary I kept, I keep telling myself that I had to be half crazy to start and achieve such a huge job in so short a time: anyway it's over and now my pick up is ON THE ROAD AGAIN.
The main items of work were cleaning, removing rust and dust and painting all the small parts I had taken out of the truck; complete anti-rust protection and painting of the frame; replacement of the rear shackles, which were completely worn out, as well as new shock absorbers; new front fenders ( purchased and air shipped from FAIRLANE Co ); new cover on the seat ( thank you, Anne ), completely new home made electrical wiring; checking of starter, dynamo, regulator; soldering of the holes in the bottom of the cabin; replacement of cab swing arms; checking compression, valves clearance; repainting of engine; repair of carburetor .
One of the most disappointing things in this type of work is to discover that a part does not fit any more or needs to be replaced after you have spent many hours working on it.
As the truck had to be ready for a show in my city in early April 2000; I increased the pace ( this meant working even later at night ) to have it at least partially finished with only a provisional coat of paint: I only had time for a few kilometers of road test before the show.
During the spring and summer, I had to dismantle some parts again in order to finish the job (mainly the radiator which was having leaks one after the other ), also finish the wiring, adjustment of ignition.....
Now it runs and sounds like a truck but as any old person it needs a lot of care and tenderness.
I am quite proud when I see it glowing in the sun or plowing its way in the rain with its engine purring with strength and I am very confident that, with some care, it will last longer than me.
PS : there are two very stupid questions usually asked by by-standers:
Q.1 :How much did it cost you ?
A. : " Do you know the difference between a child and an adult? The price of their toys ! ''
Q. 2 : How much gas does it use per 100 km ?
A. : '' He is a thirsty fellow ! '' or '' If he were drinking beer, he would be an alcoholic''