What restoration was undertaken on the truck?
I went to the only paint and body man that I trusted with my baby, Tod Hawkins at Hawkins Auto Refinishing. I had to convince Tod to take on this project. Once he looked her over, he said that the body was in great shape and that he would be proud to do it. So, they tore her down to the frame. And began sanding, making sure the body was perfectly straight. He took all the glass out, the doors off and the bed off.
Then he painted her the most beautiful color and put her back together. Then came the buffing and buffing, again. A picture doesn’t do credit to the paint job! Then we had all the windows tinted by Chris Robbins at Nu-Image Tint and Sound and the interior work done by Ricks Auto Trim. Then they did a three-quarter drop at Rides in Conover.
The truck then got all the new chrome, carpet, and a new billet grill. The truck has new gas tanks -- dual tanks -- and new chrome bumpers.
I got anything I needed for my ‘87 at Dave’s Truck Parts in Claremont. He has anything for a ‘46-‘87 Chevy or GMC and can tell you anything you need to know about your truck.
Ronny Davis at BRD Racing built my engine. Even though my original engine had no issues and only 68,980 original mile, I wanted one with a little more power. We pulled the motor, stripped it down, washed and vetted every part clean, checked for cracks or any problems, bored 30 over bigger valves and cam flat top pistons 11-1 ratio. Then we put it back to a stock look with no chrome or headers on the engine. When you pop the hood, it looks like the original until you start it up.
We pumped it up from 165 horsepower to 300 horsepower, took the truck to Lenoir Muffler and Brake Shop and put true duals from manifolds back to two separate pipes and mufflers turned out to the side just behind the rear wheels. The truck has Goodrich white letter tires.
What’s an interesting story about the truck?
I knew I wanted to do something special with Root Beer -- that’s what we call her. She’s a beautiful deep bronze- metallic with gold flakes that looks totally different in sunlight than shade. I went to Hyperformance Graphics.
Tell us about your military service.
I pulled two tours in Vietnam. I lost a lot of friends and brothers. I didn’t know at that time how many POWs/MIAs we left behind. I knew I wanted to draw attention to this so we sat down and I designed the graphics on my back window. It reads: POW/MIA All Gave Some, Some Gave All. The quote isn’t new but my design was mine. Also I have a large poster that I display wherever we go. I set it all up to help make people aware of the 1,584 who are unaccounted for in southeast Asia Vietnam -- 38 of which are from North Carolina and one of which is William Darrell Johnson MIA since Jan 19, 1968. He is the brother of Caroline Johnson McCall from Wake County. I try to give honor and respect to all fallen brothers and sisters everywhere. I go the cruise-in at Myra’s in Valdese and also Marion gives me all the help they can in that area.
Most interesting feature of the truck?
The mural on the back window, and the truck’s stance (She’s got that cool hood lowered not dropped just low enough) and the color. I can’t thank Tod enough for coming up with that killer color combo.
What do people most often ask about the truck?
Mainly the year and what do you call that color? We drive her a lot, she’s no trailer queen, but I love people telling me or giving me the thumbs up we get cruising down the road!
What is the truck worth?
People get mad at me because I won’t give them a price. We have had lots of offers -- some very good ones. I just thank them and smile.