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Old 03-30-2012, 01:12 AM   #1
Critter
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The return of Lil Reda reunion story

THIS IS THE TRUCK THAT STARTED IT ALL FOR ME!

It’s December 1990 and my older brother has just turned 16, I will be 12 the next month. He had saved his money and with a little help from my parents he bought a 72 swb stepside from a shop down the road that specialized in these trucks. We were told it had a 305 HO and trans from a mid 80s Monte Carlo SS (installed at that shop). Overall it looked pretty nice. It had obviously had some body work done to it but a recent red and white paint job looked good from 20ft away. My bother soon gathered a lot of attention driving the truck that was dubbed "Li’l Red" by him and his group of buddies. It was loud, fast, and could usually be seen hauling @ss around at all hours of the night on weekends (my brother snuck out of the house a lot!) Over the next couple years I was right in the middle of things when my bother would work on the truck; exhaust pipes, window tint, stereo install, etc. All the fun stuff that teenage boys do to their trucks was performed in the driveway with a little bother looking on. I was, of course, infatuated with this 72 of my big brothers! It was the first 67-72 I ever sat in, the first one I ever drove, the first one I ever worked on, you name it. Around 1995 my bother traded the 72 to a guy in a neighboring town for a ton crew cab. By this time I was fully infected by the 67-72 bug and a few months later I bought a 68 step side that I put a lot of work into after I turned 16…but that’s another story for another time.

The new owner never intended to keep the truck, he just took it for trade because he was a friend of a friend and he knew it had some value. He soon sold it to another man in the same town and at that time we lost track of the truck. A few years go by, I sell my 68, leave for college, and all the other stuff that comes along with growing up. In the summers I go back to my hometown to work with my father and sometime around 2000 I happened to run across the truck in the neighboring town where my brother had traded it. A few months go by and I notice the truck moves around in the driveway but that’s about it. I stop and ask the gentleman if he would sell it and of course he wouldn’t. A few more years go by and the truck disappears from the house but not long after I spot it a few miles down the road. This goes on for a few years, the truck would appear and disappear each time looking a little more faded and run down. The last time I saw it was September of 2010…until 2 nights ago when I ran across it on craigslist. First thing yesterday morning I called the owner and set up a time to meet. Today I drove the 90 miles back to the town it has been in since 95 and bought it.

After speaking with the owner I found out that the entire time, over all the years, it had been in his family. The gentleman that I stopped to ask if it was for sale years ago was the father of the current owner. At some point a nephew had owned it then he moved to a different house, etc. This explained all the moving around that it did in that small town. The whole time the family had it they didn’t really do much to the truck. The transmission was rebuilt a few years ago, the blue fender had been put on, but other than this and the fading paint it was largely unchanged from how my brother owned it. The 93 model steering wheel, the mid 80s rally wheels, the sloppy driveway tint job, the dented up front grill, all things my brother did that are still there! The guy I bought it from was about to have it painted so a few things were recently upgraded. He installed a brand new Vintage air system, a new wood bed and replaced pretty much all the suspension components front and back. The bumpers were removed and the truck was sitting at a body shop waiting for paint and body when the owner changed his mind and decided he needed the money more than the truck. If he had followed through with the paint job I would no longer recognize this truck in the community and you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

The truck is rough, no doubt about it. I now realize that the shop back in the day had mixed and matched a few parts and emblems when they were getting it ready to sell, but oh well. The cab needs the usual rust repair but no worse than the majority I see in this part of the country. The green paint showing through the red is because the truck was originally a US Army truck, the spid confirms this. My brother and I didn’t know much about these trucks originality back in the 90s but since then I have absorbed the knowledge of this website and uncovered a lot. There are also the government codes which are interesting to me, never seen those on other trucks before.

I know this is extremely long-winded but I am as excited as I can be and have to share with others who understand. I have followed this truck around for 17 years. I can trace my love/obsession with 67-72 trucks back to this exact truck! The course of my life has been changed by this truck! Starting my own business in the auto performance industry can be traced back to this truck!!! Now if I could only track down my old 68…

Here are a few crappy cell phone pics from tonight and a couple from the craigslist ad, obviously more will follow as I can take them in the daylight. If you made it this far, I'm surprised! Thanks for reading.
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Last edited by Critter; 04-02-2012 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:13 AM   #2
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

the spid...
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:14 AM   #3
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Very cool story and looks like a great reunion and start to another fine truck!
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:25 AM   #4
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Congratulations! I am a sucker for a good story with a happy ending.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:39 AM   #5
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Thanks for the whole story, have fun with this.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:08 AM   #6
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

What a cool story! Congratulations on getting it back!

You and Lostmy65 should get together and compare notes!! LOL

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=426650

He has a very similar story about his '65.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:17 AM   #7
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Well you have your veteran back in your family. Great story. Glad to see the truck made it back where it belongs.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:28 AM   #8
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Oh boy that was an awesome story. Thank You for taking the time to share really something I can understand. Wish I could find my dads 65 chevy 10 longbed that he had in the 80's but that aint gonna happen haha. Good stuff again.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:48 AM   #9
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Thanks guys. The funny thing is the family that owned it for 15+ didn't really have that much involvement with it. It just kinda sat around with them I guess. There was more history in that truck from the 5 years we had it! I spent 30 mins walking around pointing out dings and parts that my brother put on it and the seller was like "Damn, you know more about this truck than I do!"
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:57 AM   #10
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Congrats on the family reunion!
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:02 PM   #11
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Cool story.It's great that it will live again.Not many get the chance...
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:15 PM   #12
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Can anyone comment as to what some of those weird options are on the spid? Most are normal/obvious, but what exactly is "caution form", "service ident plate", "processing option" and some of those? I haven't had a chance to sit down and search through all of them yet.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:36 PM   #13
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Its an old GSA truck like my Burb, there should have been a tag on the outer glove box with a whole bunch of information on it. All those weird options are for the military processing.

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Old 03-30-2012, 02:45 PM   #14
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

awesome story and great new beginning!!! keep us up to date and look forward to seeing MOAR PIX!!!
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:40 PM   #15
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Congrats on getting your brothers truck back. Glad it stayed fairly close in the next town. Great story!

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Old 03-30-2012, 07:31 PM   #16
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Now that the excitement of the initial purchase has started to die down I have begun looking forward. Part of me wants to fix the body and paint it red with white top like it previously was. However, I never really like that scheme to be honest with you. My buddy Jtrux put it well saying "If it had stayed in your family the entire time it probably wouldn't be red and white now anyway." Which is a good point. It will probably end up solid white if I try my hand at painting it myself, if I shell out the money for a professional job it will likely be bright silver. But that is a long way down the road...gotta get the rust fixed and start tracking down parts for a 5 speed swap.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:14 PM   #17
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Nice story.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:13 PM   #18
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Cool story!
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:38 PM   #19
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

i enjoyed reading the story and wish i had one like it. congratulations and good luck on your project.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:29 AM   #20
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Thanks guys. I had a little time today to look over the truck and discovered it doesn't have a th350 trans...it has a th200-4r. Wasn't expecting that! Like I said, when my bother owned this thing we didn't know much of anything about anything. I never really put much stock into the original shop saying it had a "monte carlo ss" drive train but I guess all that time maybe it did. Funny thing is I just talked to my brother and neither of us ever remembered it going into overdrive. It has very high gears (I guess 3.08s, I need to look) so maybe it didn't get into overdrive??? Maybe it wasn't hooked up properly and never went in??? The column shifter linkage only has P-N-R-X-X-X. I don't know what those Xs are exactly, but there are only 3 notches that you can feel when moving the lever. Needless to say I'm pretty confused about all this. I had planned to swap the truck over to a manual 5 speed but now maybe I won't. I'm familiar with 700r4 but not these, time to do some research.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:09 AM   #21
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Forgot the pic earlier...
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:43 AM   #22
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Cool story. Is your brother as excited as you are about getting the truck back? I have an idea, ask your brother what color the truck would have ended up if he had kept it. I know it is yours now but I am sure he would be touched that you still consider it his old truck. Just an idea. Again, great story, does an old heart good to hear them like this.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:14 AM   #23
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

This looks like the 2nd story I have read on here about a former military truck. What's amazing to me is that they both had V8's and automatics. All I ever drove were 6-cylinder/sticks....except for the '68 El Camino SS396. I was in Viet Nam, and it was the chase vehicle for the U-2 that my squadron (100th SRW) kept at Bien Hoa.

Neat story.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:49 PM   #24
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

Quote:
Originally Posted by specialtyretail View Post
Cool story. Is your brother as excited as you are about getting the truck back? I have an idea, ask your brother what color the truck would have ended up if he had kept it. I know it is yours now but I am sure he would be touched that you still consider it his old truck. Just an idea. Again, great story, does an old heart good to hear them like this.
Yeah well my brother is a smart@ss, he said I HAD to paint it back to red/white so he could go terrorize the neighborhood and cut doughnuts one last time. Then I had his permission to paint it whatever color I wanted.
He is very excited though, we live about 1.5 hours apart so he hasn't seen it yet but we have talked on the phone about it almost every night since I brought it home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevLoRay View Post
This looks like the 2nd story I have read on here about a former military truck. What's amazing to me is that they both had V8's and automatics. All I ever drove were 6-cylinder/sticks....except for the '68 El Camino SS396. I was in Viet Nam, and it was the chase vehicle for the U-2 that my squadron (100th SRW) kept at Bien Hoa.

Neat story.
Now that right there is cool!
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:21 PM   #25
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Re: The return of Lil Reda reunion story

I was digging through a bunch of old cell phone pics on a mini sd card and found this. It was from a sighting of the truck I had back in 2010. At this point I hadn't seen the truck in probably 5 years. This was the first time I had seen it with the blue fender and the faded red paint looked worse than ever! Thought I would share.
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