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Old 08-16-2012, 08:08 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Senatobia, MS
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Black Betty - How it all started

Instead of doing the usual build thread, I thought I would do something a little different since I didn't actually build this particular truck but I love it nonetheless. Just wanted to tell the story of how I came to own this particular truck.

I own a 57 short bed that I've completely gone thru already and I knew I wanted a 60s series truck so I began looking in the usual places. Ebay, oldrides, craigslist, etc. Found tons of trucks in my price range but nothing really stood out to me. Some had some serious potential, others needed some serious help. I found one in particular that I kept coming back to but was a bit out of my price range and it was located in N.C and I'm stationed in Pensacola fl..

I contacted the guy just so I could get some info on the truck, figure out how negotiable the price was and ultimately, since it was a little out of my budget, I could get the truck out of my system. It was a 66 with a 63 grille, 283 and a 4 speed. The truck had undergone a frame off restoration a couple of years ago and the seller knew the entire history of the truck. The seller is a car guy with several sweet rides sitting in the garage besides the truck. The truck was purchased new in 66 by his buddy's father. The father gave it to the son (seller's buddy) and the son had all the work done. Later, the buddy sold it to the seller who wanted it for his own son. The seller's son wasn't very interested so the that's how the truck came up for sale.

I spoke to the seller and we hit it off immediately which made things even more difficult since it was out of my price range...I considered the price of traveling to get the truck but made an offer anyways. It was too low so I told him I enjoyed talking to him and if my financial situation changed, I would be in touch. The seller's wife contacted me a few days later and said that they would accept my offer. It appeared that they had a soft spot for military folks and wanted to help me out.

I called the wife from work and we talked about it as I was still unsure if I should pull the trigger on this. I tend to over-think some things and because of that, I'm usually the guy who takes one day too many to sleep on things and misses a good/great opportunity. At some point, my wife and the seller's wife spoke on the phone without me knowing and really hit it off. By the time I came home from work, the wife had a certified check and an airline reservation for the following day for me to fly to N.C and pick up the truck!!!

Wife said this was too good an opportunity to pass up and even though we had several trucks on our 'short list' she knew this was the one I really wanted and she didn't want to see me miss out on it.

I called the seller and we finalized my travel arrangements. The next day, I got dropped off at the airport, checked my (tool) bag and boarded an airplane headed to Fayettville. The seller's wife picked me up at the airport and you really couldn't ask for a nicer couple. They were so excited for me we immediately clicked; it was a really good experience.

When we pulled up to the driveway, there she was. The seller and I looked at the truck, he pointed out all of the things he wanted me to know about; good and bad (there wasn't much bad). I know about 'buyer's excitement' but this truck really was everything I wanted and the pictures didn't do it justice. Everything was in order. Yeah, the speedo and the fuel guage didn't work but other than that, she was a really sweet ride.

We talked some more about cars, and took a look at his other rides. We completed the business end of things and continued to talk and enjoy the visit. At about 1pm, I told them I had to get going so I could get home by midnight. They still couldn't believe that my plan was to just jump on the interstate and go. I figured why not. I needed some excitement in my life so off I went.

Experience has taught me that there is a fine line between guts and stupid and I was hoping that I wasn't about to cross it! I filled the tank up and got on the road. The 1st hour in the truck was as you could imagine. My eyes are locked on the gauges hoping they're accurate and no abnormal indications appear. After that, I began getting a little more comfortable and used to the particular noises, etc.

The wife has this cell phone tracker that she can 'overlay' onto google maps and we figured that about 3 hours would be a good window to pull off for gas and to stretch the legs. She would plot certain landmarks on my route home and get a notification on her computer when I reached them. She would give me a text or call telling me to pull off and get gas. That's how we plotted my route home the entire way and it was cool because even though she was bumming that she couldn't come, she was still involved in the trip. Also, the seller would call me occasionally to make sure things were going well which I thought was really cool.

The miles clicked away and the entire trip was uneventful. I did run into a little rain but the wipers worked and I kept on truckin. Everywhere I stopped, folks came by to check her our and ask questions. Eventually I got off the interstate and called the wife to let her know I'd be home in a few minutes; it was close to midnight by now.

By the time I pulled into the driveway, she had the garage open and a grin from ear to ear screamin, "that's bad-ass!". I smiled the entire trip home but I was getting tired so I pulled her in the garage after the wife completed her 'walk around' and went to bed. The next day, I pulled her back out and checked her out and wiped some of the bugs off. Everything was in order and I began making a prioritized list of things I discovered during the road trip that would need attention.

The next few days involved trips to the DMV and emails to the seller thanking him for his help and letting him know I made it home and was very happy with the sale. I've been driving the truck every day since my road trip, rain or shine. So far I've replaced the speedo cable and got the horns working. This truck has all the mods I would do myself and it rides great! I can't imagine a better op-check than a 12 hour road trip so my confidence on the maintenance performed so far isn't in question. My plans are for some autometer guages, underbed tank and drive the heck out of this thing.

Sorry for such a long thread but I wanted to share my story with you folks. Here's a pic of the truck from the original ad and the 2nd pic is me the next morning painting the M/C and the rotors and calipers. Yes, I have to add some of me into her....
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