WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE…..

Edition 9
Photos by Joe Van Zyl
John Jeffery Miller Speed Shop

We have all been there!!! Buying the local Thursday adds paper – checking the regular columns, classics, bargains, but nothing of interest… You look at it again a couple of days later and when looking at other columns, an add for a stock ‘46’ truck jumps at you. It’s late evening – to late to phone. You wake early, too early to call. While waiting for a decent time, you start thinking, what if it’s gone, what have I missed…

I phone, it is available and only just down the road. On my way there I was wondering why is it still there. Could this be another waist of time?

So half an hour later I am waiting outside one of those new storage complexes, up goes the roller shutter door of a dimly lit communal unit.
In amongst the boats, quad bikes and all the other toys which people think they must own, only to use once or twice, then get bored or something new comes into fashion, there was a very red, but very sad looking ’46 Pick-up truck, all covered in dust. I can’t get near it.

It is only then that the owner starts telling me that the engine and box are missing and all the fenders, bonnet and glass are stacked in the loose bed. This is not quite like the telephone conversation we had half an hour earlier.. (It was something like “ it’s all there and will not take much to finish”)
All is not looking or sounding good. I clamber over a couple of things attempting to get up close.

The owner is keen for me to buy as I turned up there in my 1952 International Pick-up… sitting outside all nice and low on its white walls…. he knows it will go to a good home. The previous guy who looked before me, wanted to chop this and chop that, so he told him to leave.

Just when things were not looking too rosy the owner tells me he has loads of new parts at his place, which he had imported to finish the truck with
So off we go 5km down the road. Out comes box after box of new parts. Thing are definitely looking up
We agreed on a price, but the truck has to be moved by the following Wednesday
Wednesday comes and off I go with Simon (Old Mill Rod & Custom) and a borrowed trailer, only to find out that the International is not geared to pull the very heavy trailer, let alone with the ’46’. Out goes the ‘phone a friend’ call. (cheers Ian)
So from one storage place to another where it stayed for another year.
To be honest, I was not looking for a ’46 truck, and now I was not sure what I was going to do with it. In the meantime I was thinking I would at least get it in my name. I arrived at the traffic department only to find that it was not in the seller’s name. My fault of course… I should have checked! Idiot!’
Anyway the nice lady behind the counter said I need not worry, but just to get a letter form the seller stating that he sold it to me, with an attached copy of his ID, etc.

I phone him immediately, but no answer on his cell, at home or work! What now?! I drive to his house. The gate is open and the house empty
Now I am upset and panicking so I go back to the traffic department to have another chat with the nice lady behind the counter. I explain the situation and she says don’t worry, an affidavit etc. will do. She’ll sort it for me. Now I was running around to get everything she needed, and was back with her within the hour. She kept her word and I walk out with my new license. PHEW

I have to admit that about a year later, when I tried to sell it, with no work done to it, there were no takers. I do think there is a lack of vision when people are looking to buy projects

I started working on the truck only because of some spare time between projects. The build took 6 months from start to finish with no major issues.

I find it is best to have a plan from the start and stick to it. It works! Once you start deviating, or following fashions, it’ll take longer and have an identity crisis.

Stance and proportions are some of the most important parts of a build. ( at least 70%). Get this right and you can’t go wrong, plus the best thing is, it’s free. You can easily spend 400-500-K on your car, but if the stance is wrong, and the proportions aren’t right, it just will not work.
On the other hand spend 40K, get the stance and proportions right, and it will. 

Secondly, choose wheels which suit the style of car you are building, not the ones which are in fashion this month. Just because you have 20’ shiny rims with rubber band tyres, doesn’t mean they are right for the car. Wheels CAN be too big and ruin the ride and handling. Very few older cars look right or ride nice on those rubber bands. If in doubt stick to the classic wheel and tyre combinations. 

Keep it simple, less IS more.