Monday, August 11, 2014

1963 Chevy C10 Panel Truck a time capsule for family-owned florist

  Simpson’s Florist in Decatur, Alabama is now the official florist for Junkyard Life! Why do we need a florist, doing what we do? Well, for one thing, we stay in trouble, a lot – and what gets a guy out of trouble? 
  We also encourage others to rescue and obtain vintage, motorized toys. So, we may have a hand at causing strife in a household, whose matriarch was unaware such a purchase has been made. Flowers. Ron and Jody’s Junkyard Life relationship advice for the lovelorn and car-adorn? Forgiveness is easier than permission, and what is a segue to forgiveness? Flowers. (Editor’s note: This is the first time on Junkyard Life that love advice has ever been offered) So, check out this find!

1963 Chevy Panel truck ought new and still owned by Simpson’s Florist in Decatur, Alabama.

   We found this 1963 Chevrolet Panel Truck with Simpson’s Florist logos on the side, and then realized we were behind Simpson’s Florist and we were looking at living history. This truck was AWESOME! We knew there was a great story to be told. We were right!
   Simpson’s Florist opened in Decatur, Alabama in 1957. Things were in full swing by the early 1960s and therefore a trip to the local Chevrolet dealer was in order. Hick’s Chevrolet was also in Decatur, Alabama. Back then, area businesses were loyal to one another. Mr. Simpson walked into Hick’s Chevrolet and ordered up a work truck. He probably knew Mr. Hicks!

Flower Power. This Chevy work horse needed an engine as reliable as the straight 6, but powerful enough to move a vehicle stuffed with flowers. That doesn’t sound heavy, but it is! Also, it needed to be powerful enough to not strain the motor with factory air conditioning blowing cold to keep the flowers fresh in Alabama summers. Mr. Simpson chose a 283-V8. The proven, mouse motor had been around a little while by then. Actually, the 283 made its debut the same year Simpson Florist opened their doors… 1957. How cool! 

   Mr. Simpson could have saved more of that flower money on the standard three-speed, manual transmission. That sounds like a good idea, but remember that a few people were subject to drive this truck anytime. Not everyone can operate a “three-on-the-tree,” so he opted for the easy to drive Power Glide. Mrs. Simpson did not drive. Perhaps, Mr. Simpson may have been thinking the automatic would not be so scary for her if she ever did attempt to conquer the roads of North Alabama. We here at Junkyard Life could not resist driving a truck like that. She resisted.

   Now that he had the motivation for Simpson’s new delivery vehicle down, now for the details. The new truck was going to be a blank pallet for the Simpson’s business lettering. The truck was adorned in paint code 502 Sea Mist Jade. Perfect. If you factor in the chrome bumper package at extra cost, this truck is starting to get pricey. 1963 was also the first year amber parking lenses were included. Prior to 1963, they were clear. Now about that big order you placed… no problem.

Notice how perfect the grill is and that perfect chrome bumper. This truck really is perfect just like it is-paint patina and all. Perfect.

Family ties 

  Do you know what the best part is? Despite not having children, the Simpson's managed to keep this business in the same family for three generations. They turned the business over to their favorite niece and nephew, The Bentley's, in 1980. Like we said about area business loyalty, they kept the Simpson’s Florist name and enjoyed the same success. Then in, 2008 turned the place over to their son David and his wife, Kristen. 
  David said, “Okay, we have a deal, but the truck comes with it.” 
  We at Junkyard Life would have done it just for that part! And the extra, way cool, fluorescent sign in the front. David plans to resurrect the truck and run for the roses once again. If you ever order flowers and two strange looking guys in Junkyard Life t-shirts show up in that mega-cool 1963 Chevrolet, don’t panic. We somehow talked David Bentley into letting us do some rose running of our own. Thanks, David!

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life

The a/c kept the flowers cool during hot Alabama summers.
Freeze your Daisies off with under dash air. A necessity for flower delivery during Alabama summers.

Simpson's Florist, Say it with Flowers!
Say it with flowers, but then see the great design of this truck. We love the lines of the 1963 model. We also love the rear double door. Perfect.

Vintage 1963 Chevy panel truck hasnt been used for flower deliveries in some time.
Dog dish hub caps cover the wheels on the ’63 Chevy flower truck.

Original down to the factory 1963 paint.
Seamist Jade paint covers the all-original 1963 Chevy Panel truck.

Pun times with the 1963 Chevy panel truck
  • “Run for the roses as fast as you can” – Dan Fogelburg
  • “No daffodil-ing around, we got flowers to deliver” – Ron Kidd 
  • “Chrysanthe-Mums the word on how great we would be as delivery guys” – Jody Potter
  • “Let those Junk Yard Life guys drive after all those bad puns? Don’t hold your baby’s breath, guys” – David Bentley

Know a junkyard that we need to visit? Got a car story?  
Send emails to Ron at or Jody at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should check back in with Simpson's. The parking spot has been empty for almost a year. I hope good things are happening.