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August 06, 2020

A Big Block Shop Truck

If you don’t know what a “big block” is, you might want to stop reading now. However, if you get excited when you hear the phrase "big block,"  you might want to keep reading.

Several years ago, I was at MIDFLORIDA’s Sales Lot when an older gentleman pulled up in an old blue Ford pick-up.  He recognized me and knew that I was into cars and old trucks.  We started talking about his truck and he shared that he was the second owner and he had paperwork showing that the Ford was originally purchased in California.  It even still wore the license plate holder from Corral Ford of Lemon Grove.

It’s very unusual to find an old pick-up that has lived an easy life, but this one had.  It had always been in a warm climate and neither the previous owner nor the old man had ever used the truck as a work truck.  In fact, the bed of this 40-year-old truck looked like it had never seen a rainy day or an old, greasy block.  The interior was just as nice; the only negative was the original blue paint had begun to fade in certain spots.

In most cases faded paint is a bad thing, however, recently it’s become very popular to have a “patina” vehicle.  A patina truck or car is one where the paint is original, or an old respray, and retains a warm shine but has worn through in the normal spots; the hood, the roof, etc.  Desirable patina vehicles are rust-free and will have a nice interior.  This truck checked both of those boxes.

Fast forward several years and my assistant told me that an older man had called a couple times and that he wanted to sell me his truck.  Having my little blog, I occasionally get these calls.  So I called the man and he reminded me that we had met years back.  He announced that the truck had quit running a couple years prior and that he was now ready to part with his old friend.

My wife (who is a Ford truck fanatic) and I went out and looked at the pickup. The patina had worsened a bit over the years, but the truck was still cool.  However, what really intrigued me was the fact that the truck had its original 460 big block engine.  Wow!  I asked him how much he wanted for the truck and he suggested an amount that seemed too low, so we offered a little more and he agreed to sell us his pride and joy as long as we took care of it.

I have always wanted a unique vintage shop truck and this one fits the bill.  It can pull my car trailer, but still look cool.  I had a new livelier cam installed in the block, upgraded to a slightly better Holley, put on a set of aluminum rims and now this patina truck rocks.  The best part is that we rescued an old companion for one the credit union’s members. 

PS: I took my step-daughter for a ride in the truck.  When we got back, the windows were open and, after I turned off the truck, she asked if the key needed to be on to close the windows.  I told her no, you just turn the window handle.  I love old-school!