Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pickin' Up a Pickup, Part II

Liv jiggered her schedule around so she could go with me and we hastily planned a trip to Salt Lake City.  She'd lived in SLC for about five years when she was little so she had quite a few memories of the city.  I planned the trip so that we'd have a whole day there before picking up the truck: Thursday night to Reno; Friday to Salt Lake; Saturday sightsee in SLC; Sunday pick up the truck and start West; Monday home.

We left Thursday after work with high hopes of making Reno in time to eat a late dinner at Louie's Basque Corner.  Liv got on a basque food kick after a trip to the legendary Noriega Hotel in Bakersfield... she was hot to try all the Basque food she could eat.  I'd only ever eaten Basque food in Spain, so I was game.  We hit bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway so we barely made it... turned out they were doing a booming business from all the Burning Man traffic so we didn't feel bad about showing up so close to closing time.
The meal was great and when we got to our hotel I posted a picture of Louie's on my Facebook page.  Thirty seconds later my phone rings: "Tim, are you in Reno?"  It was my pal Pete, a Reno native who owns the record label that has put out most of my bands' records.   Pete spends most of the year in Europe and usually only comes back to the states around the time of Burning Man - he's been there 18 years in a row!  Pete's traveled with my band all over Europe and I've met some of my closest friends through him.  He's a good guy, and an absolute music fanatic. We've got that in common.  I hadn't thought to call him since I figured he'd be at Burning Man - turned out he'd gotten back that day. We met up with Pete and his gal for breakfast the next morning - they were very skeptical that a car was going to fit on my trailer.
Liv and I blasted along through Nevada for the rest of the day.  We stopped in Winnemucca just in time to catch the Poke and Peek thrift store ten minutes before closing time.  The place was a gold mine of junk and Liv and I loaded up on vintage clothes, books and records, all to the tune of about $4.  The store was on a decommissioned military base and they had a neat display of tanks and planes out front.
It took a bit longer to get to Utah than I'm used to - I kept the speed down because of the trailer - but we got into Salt Lake late and hit the hay.  The next day we ran around looking at Liv's old houses and school, and eating at some of the places she remembered as a kid, like Hires Root Beer stand.  Liv had the great idea of leaving the trailer at the hotel which made parking much easier. We hit a bunch of thrift stores and I discovered that Mormon kids really must have loved the Osmonds because their records were everywhere
The next morning we drove down to Bluff City to pick up the Pickup.  Steve and his wife had gone camping so he'd arranged to have his son meet us.  We rolled into a nice new suburb surrounded by old farms, and there it was, parked on the driveway, waiting for us.
I was... surprised.  First off, the windshield/frame was from another make of car and had simply been screwed to the Crosley vaguely where the original windshield would have been.  Second, the 'not much rust' description didn't take into account the loaf-of-bread-sized hole in the passenger floor.  Last, the doors were the roll-up window variety - not bad, but not strictly correct for a '48.
There was good stuff too: the seats had been recovered at some point and were still very presentable, and the truck bed was surprisingly solid for the amount of rust in the passenger floor.  There was plenty of stuff missing, but there were some extra parts, including a spare engine, in the mix.   Best of all was the underside: the gas tank was battered, but intact, and the truck had at some point been converted to 9" hydraulic brakes!  These were the best of the Crosley brake systems by far.
We loaded the spare parts into the back of our truck and got the Crosley lined up behind the trailer.  Three of the Crosley tires held air, so we didn't have much trouble getting it loaded - the fourth tire was flat before I had the tiedowns tight.  Less than an hour after we'd pulled up we were waving goodbye and leaving Bluff City with our 'treasure,' headed for home.
See, Pete? It fits!

To be continued....

1 comment:

pete said...

The rocktocycle wouldn't fit on that trailer...