1952 Dodge Pickup Truck

I need to move again in May, am planning on redoing the deck on my house this summer and Kat and I love 50’s era pickup trucks (but nothing newer!). I found a 1952 Dodge Pickup in Yakima that seemed to be in good shape. Yakima is three hours from here and I couldn’t really ask anyone for a ride, so I hopped Greyhound.

More pictures up on Flickr: 1952 Dodge

I go to the station an hour early as is required to pickup advance tickets. Wandering around Pike Place Market before opening was nice. I love cities early in the morning before the masses wake up.

Pikes Place market early in the morning

The Greyhound station was everything I thought it’d be. Full of border-line lunatics and shocked European college kids. All the old crazies spent their time hitting on the hotties from Europe while every scam in the book was played on the unfortunate ticketing agent. At least the bathrooms were the worst fucking thing I’d ever seen.

Greyhound station in downtown Seattle

Once on board though it wasn’t bad. A 3 hour ride to Yakima on a largely empty bus. One poor girl next to me was on that bus all the way to Arizona. What the fuck? It’s insane that $150 bucks (the difference between Greyhound and flying) is that important to some people.

The owner, a nice enough guy, from the “other America” met me at the bus station, 9MM strapped to his hip, and we headed to his spread outside of town. After warning me (but doing nothing to prevent it) that his dog might very likely bite we checked out the truck for a while. It was in better condition than I expected. It’s got dents here and there, not a show room vehicle, but in great shape for something from 1952.

1952 Dodge Pickup (B2)

I should have taken pictures of the place in Yakima (the one above is outside my house). His shop was incredible. Show room condition SS and enough naked chicks on the walls to make Larry Flint proud. After he had his wife bring my cashiers check over to be cashed at BOA (he didn’t trust me) we signed some papers and I was off.

1952 Dodge Pickup (B2)

This is, by nearly 20 years, the oldest car I’ve ever owned. Driving it is really hard, as in, I still can’t down shift without grinding gears. It’s a 6-volt, there’s a key just to turn on the electricity, on the floor, because they “leak” electricity. You can jump-start a 6-volt but I guess you need to make sure everything else is off. You turn on the key but the starter is on the floor near the gas peddle. It’s got a manual choke and idle. The thing is geared really low. You don’t even need first. 2nd is 0-10, 3rd is 10-25, 4th is 25-60 (eat your heart out Shumaker). Old transmissions don’t have syncromesh. Syncromesh is that nice invention that doesn’t force you to exactly time the engine speed with your wheel speed when shifting. For example, to down shift into 3rd I need to guess (by the sound of the surprisingly quiet engine, there’s no tachometer) exactly the speed the engine would be when I hit 3rd at that speed. If you miss, even by a few RPMs you grind gears… a heart wrenching sound. I feel like a criminal grinding through the gears but, try as hard as I can, I can’t seem to get it right. Going up is thankfully much easier.

1952 Dodge Pickup (B2)

The drive back was fun. Everyone was waving. Crowds of retired folks talked my ear off when I stopped to get gas. The thing doesn’t have radial tires (meaning it drifts all over the road) and only goes 55 on our 70+ highways. It was the first time in my life, driving, that I didn’t pass someone. You have to be seriously slow not to pass people out here.

1952 Dodge Pickup (B2)

Should be a fun truck though. More pictures up on Flickr: 1952 Dodge.

1 Comment

mattMarch 17th, 2008 at 9:23 am

Wow – that’s seriously the coolest car you’ve ever owned. Awesome. I’m sure it will be a giant pain in the ass, but you seem to relish that. : )