Playing catch-up. I did have some pretty neat adventures the weekend before fall break , the 10th-13th. One of my activities was to go truck hunting on a lead that I had. One of my friends, Robert Kliewer, stated that his uncle had a few of the 1947-1953 Chevrolet Advance Designs and that I might be able to pick one up for under $500. I figured they might be in need of some work, but since there were three trucks I was told that I could probably take parts from all three and splice them together. Not that anyone needs a reason to go check out old rucks. The main point of the trip however, was to work on Robert’s 1970 Chevrolet C20.His uncle lives in Hillsboro, which is about half an hour away from the college. We made the trek in Roberts other 1970 C20, which sounded like it was working overtime to just go 65 miles per hour. Once we arrived we took a quick tour around the farm, after meeting Robert’s Uncle, and proceed to look at the collection of rusty machines. Along with the trucks there were a couple of combines, tractors, and wagons that had been put out to pasture as well. After looking at the trucks for a long enough time I decided that although they were beautiful photographic material, they were going to be more work than I was hoping for. One of the trucks was on its side, and had only the engine and transmission left. The front axle, and all of the steering components had been stripped off of it as well . We figured it must have been tipped over to make it easier to access the parts. It’s a great idea if your never going to use it again, but you never know. Someday someone like me might come along and think its the greatest thing on earth. After thoroughly investigating the trucks and the surrounding vehicles, we worked on Robert’s truck. His 1970 C-20 was bought brand new by his grandpa after the three round nose Chevy’s were put to rest. It worked for a while but was parked back in 1994 and hadn’t been touched since.
We replaced the coil and fuel pump as well as jury rigged the engine to run. The system we used though was fairly unorthodox. Since we were unsure of the fuel lines and fuel tank, we took a rubber hose and put a funnel that we used to pour fuel into the fuel pump. Also we determined that something was wrong with the electrical in the ignition system, so I had to arc it across the solenoid with a screwdriver. After a lot of trial and error, as well as cleaning the points, we were able to get the truck to run (not drive, big difference). The day was adventurous and I did end up finding a 1941 Kansas License plate on, the property. When I asked if I could buy it Mr. Kliewer stated , “No you cannot buy it, but you can have it”. Thanks Mr. Kliewer.
The next day was also a good one. The C.A.R.S. club was heading to the nearby town of Salina to check out a private collection. I am going to say right now that I cannot post the pictures I took of that collection, because the owner asked all of us not to.
Back to the story. We all met at circle drive in front of Templeton and caravaned up there. Half of us were going to lunch first, and the other half was going straight to the collection. Of course, I was in the group that was going to eat first. It takes a lot of energy just being 6’6 so I am pretty much hungry all the time.We had lunch at a fine establishment owned by Amanda Gutierrez’s husband. Mrs. Gutierrez is a board member for the automotive program at school. In short, a bunch of college kids were able to eat for free. That’s important to a bunch of broke college kids that have eaten nothing but cafeteria food for the last month or so, bu I digress. After our enjoyable meal we continued toward Salina.
The collection is owned by a Mr. Morrison, whose family has actually been involved in McPherson College for quite a while now. They are the Morrison’s for which the Morrison dorm is named after. Mr. Morrison’s collection is in a little unassuming building in Salina, and from the outside looks pretty small. Don’t let that fool you though. Inside this building were two good-sized rooms with about fifteen cars on each side. One side was the foreign section, which had Pre-war Rolls Royces and Bentleys, as well as a few later Porches. What was neat about his cars is that they were driven very regularly ,and not just around town either. In particular one of his 1920’s Rolls Royces had pictures displayed of it with the Morrison’s driving it in Europe and Alaska. The foreign cars were vey nice, but they are not my style. In the next room however I was very much excited.
The first vehicle that I saw was a 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe, hotrod. It had the look of a period hot rod, out of the late 50s or early 60s. But the big vehicle of the day for me was a 1947 Ford Woodie. It was a dark maroon and had a California License plate and Florida License plate topper. I don’t want to get into a list and descriptions of cars, since I can’t put up pictures. But I will say that Mr. Morrison had plenty of cars from most decades as well as hot rod movie posters and other collectibles.
After showing us his collection of cars we had a little circle to have a question and answer with him. Whether it was about his cars, the industry, or anything else we wanted to ask him. He was a very friendly guy and was obviously very supportive of our program. I can’t begin to say thank you enough for people like Mr. Morrison. Without him and the support of people like him of my school, you wouldn’t be reading my story.