1972 Ford F-250 Pickup

The truck was originally purchased by my uncle and it a big camper on it. His family did lots of trips with it and but when he passed away my dad bought it. He sold the camper, put on a shell, and planned to use it as a tow vehicle for his RV trailer. At some point he decided he wanted something more powerful and we bought it as "family car" because, at the time, we had a 1973 Honda Civic, my work truck, and the 1959 Volvo PV544. It remained our main kid and dog hauler for a few years until we upgraded to a 1983 Volvo 240. We kept the truck.

We did some car camping in it and, before kids, we took a long trip in 1988 from Southern California to New Mexico to Colorado to Montana to Oregon and down the west coast. It gets about 10 miles to the gallon but gas was cheap(er.)

I do remember that on that trip I started having trouble with it in the Denver area. It was running really rich so I stopped at an auto parts shop and picked up a carburetor rebuild kit for its 4-barrel Holly. I rebuilt that carb on the picnic table at a campground by the light of a Coleman lantern. It ran a bit better but not much. We stopped somewhere and a mechanic adjusted the carb and that seemed to deal with the problem.

We stayed in the Billings area for a bit and then headed west. Somewhere around Bozeman it started making a grinding sound and I thought I could feel it in the steering. I was guessing that a front wheel bearing was starting to go so we stopped at the Ford dealer in Three Forks, MT. They got us in right away and a mechanic went with me on a test drive so he could hear the noise. When we got back he went into the shop and came out with a spray can and went under the dash. Problem solved. The speedometer cable needed lube. Why didn't I think of that? We got on our way and for the rest of the trip it ran fine.

In 1991 we were moving to Montana. I'd landed a job and the plan was for me to drive the truck there while she got the house packed and on the market to sell. I loaded it up with lots of stuff, took one of the dogs, and headed out. I was August and it was hot crossing the desert. Somewhere in the Mohave desert one of the tires developed a blister, a tread seperation, but didn't go flat. I stopped somewhere and had a used tire mounted and got back on the road. When I hit the mountains I was having trouble keeping up. The engine just didn't have the power. It had over 100,000 miles on it and had spent a good portion of its life either carrying a camper or hauling a trailer so it was just tired. I didn't think I'd make it to Montana so I stopped in Las Vegas, had 4 new tires put on it, and headed back home. I ended up flying to Montana.

My dad took the truck to an engine rebuilder he liked and had both the engine and transmission rebuilt. It ran like new I was told. In the end of October my wife drove it up to Montana, with my parents in their rig towing my 1959 Volvo PV544 behind them. They hit a really bad snow storm on the Bozeman pass but made to Billing on Halloween evening.

During the next few years it saw varied service. I did take the boys to California in it one summer but the family car was the 1983 Volvo 240. When the boys learned to drive it, it became their vehicle, especially the younger child who, eventually, used it as his motorcycle hauler.

It started showing its age and got its share of bumps and scratches. One night, while parked on the street, it was struck in the left rear by an hit and run driver. We called it in and the police took a report. Becasue the driver had left a few pieces of plastic, we were able to figure out what kind of car it was. Then we followed the trail of anti-freeze to where it ended a few blocks away. My younger son started driving out from that point until he found the car, just a few blocks away. We called the police and it tunred out that the owner of the car had reported that her car had been hit overnight by a hit-and-run driver. Howver, the fact that we had parts of her car and that we'd called in way before she did sank her story. She ended up coming over to our house, aplogizing, and giving us her insurance information. I took it in for an estimate and the repairs totaled it. We kept the truck and deal with the bent bumper and the sticky tailgate as it is.

For the past 3-4 years it has been retired. If I need to use it to haul something I have to charge the battery. I guess it's time for it to move on.

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Updated April 2021.