The best truck I ever owned was a 1978 F150 Ford pickup. It had been an old mine truck, and due to previous accidents, it was actually cobbled together from two trucks. The front was a pale 1970’s tan, and from the doors back it was orange with a darker tan accent running down the side. That was how it started. And it started at 100,000 miles.
I drove it first to school, and then to horse shows, pulling behind it a trailer older than either of us by twenty years. I then moved with it, once in state, and then to Colorado, and then To Kentucky, and then back home, pulling horses the whole way. cargo van
It hauled tons of hay over the years, and rattled down countless dirt roads. It went over Rabbit Ears Pass in the winter, and got bogged in a pond in Arizona. And it broke down. I spent a night in it on an interstate in Kansas, two horses in the trailer behind me, and snow on the ground.
I hit a deer with it and mangled the grill, and hit a wall in front of a Chinese restaurant and one fender was changed out and was now Rustoleum black. I carried a screwdriver to open the hood, and a small lockable wrench to turn on the windshield wipers. It had an am radio, so the music came from a boom box mounted on the gun rack.
It had two tanks and could hold fifty gallons of fuel. It got around ten miles to the gallon. It got five quarts of 50 weight oil every fill up, and I carried a case around with me in the bed for places that didn’t carry 50 weight. It had bad lifters, and probably a cracked head. It had overheated in the Rockies, in the White Mountains of Arizona and in New Mexico, where I drove through the entire state with my heater on, my windows down, and one eye on the heat gauge, it was June.
I finally sold the truck when the thought of one more breakdown-filled cross country drive left me cold. I knew it needed a new engine, and didn’t have the heart to find a mechanic trustworthy enough to put one in. Not in good ol’ boy Kentucky.
So, I sold it, but a piece of it will always remain. And if I saw it for sale today? I would buy it, because like a good horse, some things deserve a dignified retirement.