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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cars in Yards: Slick 60's 1964 F-100 flareside, a hunting truck full of memories

  Memories don’t rust. In 1975 the Brown family, of central Alabama, bought a used, green 1964 F-100 flareside. The Ford, with its 223-cubic inch, 6-cylinder engine became the family workhorse and hunting truck. 35 years later, the family’s eldest son, Travis remembers going coon hunting in the pickup with his dad. "Back before everyone decided you had to have 4-wheel-drive to go hunting. That 2-wheel-drive F-100 would go anywhere you wanted to go," Travis says. "We took it bouncing through the woods with dog boxes loaded in the bed." The straight axle, step side Ford remains in the Brown family despite almost being stolen, losing its engine and narrowly avoiding the scrap yard.


Can’t steal this 
  Brown’s dad was squirrel hunting in the early 1980s when a would-be thief was outsmarted by the F-100’s transmission. Travis’ dad swapped the 3-speed column shift to a floor shift during the truck’s hunting years. When the transmission swap was made, the shift pattern was reversed. The thief hot-wired the ignition but got caught in the act when he couldn’t make the truck go forward. Reverse was where first gear was supposed to be and vice-versa. A curious landowner recognized Brown’s truck and called the cops on the guy fiddling with the shifter. When Brown crept out of the woods, his squirrels in tow, he was overwhelmed. Sheriffs and a band of convicts were searching for him. Authorities thought the truck thief might have harmed Brown before he tried to make his escape in the Ford. Brown was relieved that the cops weren’t there to bust him for hunting. 

Running 6 cylinder engine sold for $20 bucks 
  In1983 the truck was parked. A few years passed and Travis’ brother, Clint, wanted to learn to drive the truck. It had not run in years and was languishing in the pasture beside their house. Clint, 12-years old at the time, was determined to make it run and he did. He fired it up and wheeled it around the field a few times before his hot laps caught the neighbor’s eye. The deal of the century was made. Clint agreed to sell the engine and remove it from the truck for a crisp $20 bill.  
   
Scrap yard calls 
  Ten years ago, the F-100 was headed to the scrap yard. Travis couldn’t let that happen to the truck that held so many memories. He hauled it to his house, unable to let go of a piece of family history. 
Travis riding his bicycle around dad's 1964 F-100 in 1979.
Future plans 
  Travis plans to return the weathered but beloved pickup back to it’s former glory. “I  made a promise to myself to fix up this truck when I was 13-years old,” Travis recalls. A fuel-injected V8 from a 1988 F-150 may soon
make its home under the hood of the 1964 F100. For now, trips down memory lane are just a glance away when Travis walks by his dad’s old truck parked in the yard.  

Ford F-Series pickup truck fun facts
1961-1964 models also known as Slick 60's.
1967-1972 models also known as Bumpsides.
1973-1979 models also known as Dentsides.


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