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Old Town Car Show First Place

Old Town Car Show First Place

Drove Roxanne to the Old Town Car Show here in Northern Fort Collins – 2018 edition. If your new to my blog here, Roxanne is my new girlfriend; 1950 Dodge B-2-B-108 Pickup Truck.  Spent some time earlier in the week cleaning her up – got out the pressure washer and sprayed her inside, outside and underside. One doesn’t see much of an improvement but the driveway stains and dirt told another story. I went a little crazy spraying down the engine and got a lot of grease and dirt off – was a little freaked out that she might not start after water gets into the generator, starter, carb, etc. etc. so on and so forth… but she started right up!

My son Max walked over to the show from his Old Town apartment (he lives in a basement) and hung out with me. We enjoyed talking with one another and too with the car show attendees. Max was a good sport and tracked down a couple good burgers for lunch. I paid of course! It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to hear some of the stories car show visitors seeing Roxanne elicits. One fellow wanted to give me the original brochures and manuals he had from the truck his family moved from Nebraska to Colorado in. Their truck was long gone but the stories remained.

Rox Baby was the only vintage Dodge truck on display at the show! – Easy to see how she had garnered herself a first place finish in the Survivor class. The original paint, upholstery, even period correct tires with all the sidewall cracks you might expect.

Old Town Car Show Magazine Spread

NoCo Magazine wrote up a nice article on the show and featured Roxanne. That’s my girl.

Junk in the Trunk

Junk in the Trunk

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to carry all the odds and ends one needs given the limited cab storage space of a Dodge B2B half ton pickup. Many of the Guys on the P15-D24 Forum have come u p with some good ideas. Paul Flaming for example has a home built tonneau (aka plywood) cover that seems very smart and effective.

Tonneau AKA Plywood and Rope Bed Cover

Tonneau AKA Plywood and Rope Bed Cover

Long ago in my impetuous youth I acquired a steam trunk of substance. It has been a functional artistic decorator item in our home since about 1976. “Wouldn’t that be the perfect trunk for the truck?” I suggested to Jan Baby, my best friend and wife for over 40 years. She shot back: “It would get ruined in the weather and we need it where it is”. Thus began my Craigslist search for the perfect trunk for ‘ol Rox Baby’s bed.

If you click that last link, you will see that there are lots of options.  I’ve learned to take my time and cogitate on the options to eventually find something that suits my personal tastes while filling the bill of functionality. Several weeks passed and I started gravitating to vintage steamer trunks with the domed or camel back top.

I found a couple prospects. One was twenty minutes from the house and priced at $60.00 while the other was an hour away and priced at $100.00. I decided to on a rainy Saturday to email the nearby trunk owner and setup a viewing. My plan was to arrive and negotiate the price down to $40 or so dollars.

Norma was a delightful senior woman who graciously invited me into her garage to take a look at the trunk. She explained that it has held spare blankets for her bed for many years but didn’t fit in with her new homes decor. It was love at first sight. The lack of a key to the lock and missing side handles added to its character I thought. I held out $60.00 cash. No way was I going to haggle with such a delightful person such was Norma.

 

 

Brakes Done – Almost

Brakes Done – Almost

Getting the right brake cylinders turned out to be an interesting pursuit. Prices ranging all over the place and no guarantee that the high price part isn’t the same exact thing as the low priced part. I purchased a $58 cylinder and a $9.95 cylinder and they were the exact same cheap Chinese part!

After completing the rear I was ecstatic when I did a hard hands free test brake from 45 MPH – She stopped straight and I could hear the rear tires skidding on the asphalt. That’s a good thing considering Roxanne was unloaded. After bragging to my wife and dog about what a great brake mechanic I’d become, the next morning out in the garage I found a pool of brake fluid under the drivers front wheel. Nooooooo!

Drivers Side Wheel Cylinder Exploded View

 

Look at that chewed up metal. No wonder it was leaking. I suspect my hard braking got the cups to break free and move thus causing the new leakage. The shoes too were interesting. They appeared brand new with no wear. The front shoe had a tad bit of wear but the rear had none. Now I know why the howling squeaks and hard pull to the left were occuring.

After buttoning up the driver’s front I took her out for another aggressive braking test – WOW! Best braking since owning the truck! I decided to put off doing the passenger front brakes until after the Old Town Car Show. My repair technique is such that it tends to leave the truck up on jack stands for long periods of time when things don’t go according to plan. For example, with three wheels done, I managed to tear open or completely tear off the brake lines. So, some more parts acquisition and brake line bending, more time on jack stands. On the up side, I now also have new brake lines, though I’m not sure I needed them as the existing lines appeared to be in very good nick.

 

Roxanne

Roxanne

R O X A N N E

She don’t have to put on the red light – because she’s got me! It had to be done. I’ve been looking for a vintage 1952 or earlier pickup without much luck for years. The ones I’ve found on Craig’s List totally freaked me out when Jan Baby and I checked them out in person. Finally, I found a prospect in Montrose Colorado.

Gary & Kathleen Thompson posted a Craigslist ad for their 1950 Dodge B2B Pilothouse pickup truck. It had just the right amount of rust, ah er; “patina”. Not so much that it freaked me out, if you know what I mean. I drove the five hours out to Montrose and took her for a test drive. Wow, she runs and drives! The brakes were a little wonky – soft and pulled hard to the left, but I had already made up my mind.

Gary, a well known resto-mod builder having won more than one Best of Show with his 1967 VW beetle. was asking for $4,500. I had exactly that much cash in my back pocket. Gary had two car hauling trailers too. I agreed to pay full price if he would haul the car the five hours to Fort Collins. He agreed, amazing!

I was a little concerned what Jan Baby was going to think when she learned I had spent our new kitchen countertop money on a 67 year old rusty pickup truck. After a ride around the block she just smiled, and a big smile to boot. You have to admit, I have the best wife ever. Molly, our faithful canine companion was pretty freaked out riding up in the cab. The rattling and engine noise wasn’t making here too comfortable. Still, she jumps right in when I open the door.

We’re not sure what the future holds for Roxanne. We don’t have the budget for a full restoration. For the time being we plan on keeping her safely running. Any work done I’ll be doing my best to git ‘er done – try each time to make her just a little better than she was before.

Follow my progress on Roxanne’s P15-D24 Thread 🙂

Rox Baby’s Gallery

Roxanne’s Blog

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