This month I must pay homage to my old blue/gray ’83 Ford F150 4×4 pick-up truck. You may have seen
MTNRNNR around town over the years. I have always liked that particular old Ford body style. My son, Matt, made its presence known in Harrisonburg during its waning years.
When I first bought the truck, it was in excellent condition except for a rusted out rear wheel well, which was immediately repaired. I can’t say that about its condition upon its demise. The old 4X4 has hauled a lot of wood, deer and a few turkeys. I’ve had it a few places there weren’t even places! There are not very many local mountain roads it hasn’t traveled in VA and WVA. It was one tough truck!
Once during a wet period, I was on Galley Ridge and found a downed oak tree a little ways off the main road. No trouble locking in the hubs and backing up to the tree.
After sawing, splitting and loading a good load of wood it was time to head home. As I put it in low 4×4 and eased forward, it immediately sunk halfway to the axile. Then into reverse, and now I was stuck in the wet mountain clay to the axle. Rocking back and forth only made matters worse.
I was not a happy camper as I unloaded the wood to lighten the load. Still no good! I ended up throwing much of the freshly cut, split and stacked wood under the wheels for traction to get out of the ruts.
Another incident occurred on Second Mountain. It was early bow season and I was out to hunt and do some scouting. Just before I got to the first field, I heard an awful racket under the truck! Something was dragging!
When I crawled under to see what happened it was obvious that the straps holding the gas tank in place had rusted through and broken, and the tank was being dragged by the hose that held it to the fill spout.
What to do? As luck would have it, I found two ratchet straps in the truck, which after much maneuvering on the cold ground, worked quite nicely to lift the heavy partially filled gas tank and secure it in place. It’s a good thing the 4×4 had good ground clearance. I wasn’t in the mood to hunt anymore.
Over the years I have replaced just about everything on that truck. Rear end, clutch and even the motor (a
story in itself). With much wear and tear over the years, there wasn’t a piece of metal on the truck that wasn’t beat-up or rusted out. The interior was just as bad if not worse. Still, it didn’t look so bad…from a distance!
I just could not find it within myself to junk the old pick-up, even though it was well beyond its sell-by date. The old 4×4 seemed like part of the family. I had cleaned it out twice to sell for junk, but just couldn’t pull the plug.
The third and final clean-out came after something blew a hole through the engine block, leaving an oil trail on Rt 42, just before Christmas.
It was time for a proper burial. The junk man probably came out pretty good considering scrap metal prices, the catalytic converter and a decent set of tires.
After much shopping around, I finally bought a 2003 Toyota Tundra 4×4 to replace it. I have high expectations.
I love my truck!
Graduate of Bergton Elementary (Class of ’65)