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Owning part of depression era history

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When I first went down to Oregon to see my 1929 Fargo Express Packet Panel truck for the first time, its sad state of existence burned a hole in my mind.

The truck was the perfect example of what a zombie would look like, if zombies really existed.

It hurt in so very many ways it was impossible to gather them into a single, neatly bound, bundle to even assess how serious each one was to the amount of pain which must have been felt by the composite total.

Evidently, this truck had not only been new once, it was appealing for its appearance as well as its promise of providing a much needed transportation resource.

But now it was little more than a rusted and rotted skeleton of what it once was, and it was difficult to understand how proud the owner must have felt when he/she visualized how it would be for years to come.

The reconstruction of the truck to even appear, with little consideration of functioning, as it once was seemed both ridiculous, and reeked of impossibility.

And then, after taking a long look at myself, I discovered that the only impossibility involved in this endeavor was my own ability to ignore the plight of this truck, and refuse to recognize the need to return it to a state of viability.

I copied loads of lengthy articles on the events beginning in 1929, and extending through the next 8 years, and the unimaginable pain and suffering the United States endured during the Great Depression. But, I also understand that there are trillions of tons of printed pages in land fills and shredded into wiping rags which were never even read once.

So, I elected to forego the graphics, recognize that such events have little meaning to those who died before, or were born after, and instead rely on those who actually studied history, and may have even lived through the event.

Our old cars are little more than bits and pieces of the past, often “MacGyvered” into a odd assortment of rubber, metal, horsehair, glass, wood and paper, by uneducated farm hands who used scant more than hand tools to build these marvelous machines.

And the materials used in their construct, the level of technology found in their design and functionality, as well as the opulence of their lines, chrome and appearance was a testament to the health and mental outlook of the times during which the came into existence.

My old Fargo is one of the most accurate reflections of the 1929-1930’s era in this country, and ignorance of it’s sad state of existence could be construed to accept that this was the future, and it should be accepted as such.

Not really………..The Fargo, as the nation, deserves to live, it deserves to act as a material marker of those dark years, and it will stand as testimony that there are still those among us who refuse to forget the past and implore others to remember it by embellishing the spirit of those who built the truck, and the promise it held into every person who was born after 1929, but shares in the future its archaic mechanics and hand crafted body imparted to them as custodians of the future.

Edited by Jack Bennett (see edit history)
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3 minutes ago, vintage1 said:

How about some photos to go with that great writing.


I’m fighting off a nasty cough, and really don’t feel like pressing my luck to get a case of bronchitis, or worse, pneumonia.

I’m hoping to show the germs they can’t hold me down, but at the minute it is a toss up as to who will win.

The temps dropped down to 0 cold thirty around 4:00, so I only got the pan flushed, new oil added and the oil system pressurized, the spark plugs cleaned and gapped, and ready for the first start tomorrow.

Just a side note. I am holding off on starting the engine for the same reason I have a beer and a good, long, and relaxing look at what I have done that day, and plan on doing tomorrow. 
Working on these old cars is about as rewarding as looking up and realizing that you’re not even half way done in digging a 15 foot deep hole upon which to place an outhouse. 
 Sometime, it requires taking a break, and enjoying the ambiance and aroma of the old one for a while to view the new hole as being half way empty, rather than half way full of dirt

I gained about 20 horse power when I replaced the 1929 (25”) engine with the 1951 (23”) engine, but it also changed the distance of the transmission to the bell housing, and I had some serious doubts about the, now 4 speed, transmission fitting.

So, prior to getting driven inside by the cold, I dropped the replacement transmission into its intended enclosure, and, by George, I think it will fit OK.

OH, more photos………that’s going to have to wait a while until I media blast, and paint the frame and get the new bed secured to it. 
FEDEX delivered the new vinyl today and the top is getting closer every day to being a weather blocker rather than a work in progress. I used the Cobra long grain on my Willys, and it looks good. So,  I opted to use the Landau, Tuxedo Black vinyl which has a much closer grain than the Cobra Long Grain. 
Thanks for the interest and the neat response. 



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3 hours ago, Reynard said:


I had to check your profile, to better understand if this was a question or a statement. Since you don’t post your birthdate, I can only suppose it is a question. 
And, that is OK too because one day, when you do see a the wisdom associated with living a long life, and posting it a a proud manner, you will turn it into a statement without my help.


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