To pickup a pickup Part I “Go west young man”

So my buddy Drew and I decided to spend our Thanksgiving break driving to my Grandpa’s in Idaho to trailer back the 1940 Plymouth pickup he bought me,  (which I am extremely grateful for).  We packed up most of the day before (once we both finished our last class), and left around five o’clock on Tuesday the 26th.


I already had an idea of which way I was going to take, but Drew set up a GPS to confirm the route. Only then did it set in how far we really needed to travel. According to the GPS we were going to arrive around  9 o’clock the next  morning, if we drove nonstop. Buhl was about 1200 miles away.

Our journey was going to take us through Colorado, then North into Wyoming, eventually skirting the great Salt Lake of Utah, and finally going into the land of Potatoes. My original plan was to drive till around eleven o’clock or midnight, find a rest or truck stop, and resume driving around four or five o’clock in the morning. As that time approached Drew volunteered  to take the wheel and drive through the night.  I am not worth a darn after eleven o’clock, but evidently the thought of sleeping in the back of a cold truck was reason enough for Drew to give it a shot.

When I gave Drew the wheel we were in the middle of Colorado on the outskirts of Denver. I took a catnap, and when I woke up we were in 16 degree weather in Rock Springs Wyoming, and there was evidence of snow from a few day ago. I took the wheel around 5:30 a.m. in Echo, Utah. Apparently Drew was able to stay up by consuming about half a gallon of sweet tea that we had brewed earlier that day.

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While Drew was asleep I finished going through Utah and entered the land of Potatoes around 7 o’clock.  I was able to see the the sun rise a little after crossing the state line. Eventually I called my family in Idaho and we met up off of a freeway exit near Buhl. The first thing that my Grandpa said to me was, “What’s with all this tall sh*t!” You have to realize, growing up in California, I had never met my grandfather in person before. My Idaho family had only seen me in pictures, and although the knew I was tall, seeing my 6’6″ frame squeeze out of a Toyota Tundra was a little overwhelming I am sure. After a group hug they guided us to their much anticipated abode, which had some lovely automotive treasures on the premises.

As we were pulling up the dirt road I could immediately tell which piece of property was my grandpa’s. There was a 49 Hudson, a 60’s Chevy van, but the dead giveaway was the Plymouth parked next to his workshop. I went over to see her for myself in person, (is it possible to hug a truck)? Through all the dents and missing pieces I was happy and proud. Not only was this my first project, this was my first car. I gave her the once over to see what kind of mess I was getting in, before the tour. She was surprisingly solid. At a first glance all there was was surface rust, which will sand off easily. My biggest issue was that parts were missing, the biggest one being the grille that distinguishes the truck as a Plymouth, and not a Dodge, (don’t worry I checked the numbers and saw that she is definitely a Plymouth). She was one of the 6,730 made in Detroit, as opposed to one of the 703 made in Los Angeles.


We got the nickel tour when we got arrived. My grandpa has some nifty treasures, such as his two latest finished projects. One being a 1967 El Camino and the other being a 65 Malibu. Other notable attractions were the 1948 Lincoln and the AMC Marlin, there were several other’s but you can check out the pictures for yourself.

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Immediately after the tour, (yes I was that excited),  we started getting things together with the truck, in particular the dolly.  My grandpa traded for a dolly, so that I might be able to tow the truck back, because U-Haul didn’t like me towing a vehicle back with the Toyota (even though I know that she could do it). We had to find the correct sized rims and tires for the dolly. After messing around for the day we enjoyed a nice home cooked and very, very appreciated dinner and sleeping.




About mecklin21

I'm a Southern California kid who ended up in the middle of McPherson Kansas pursuing a degree in Automotive Restoration at McPherson College. I own a 1940 Plymouth Pickup, which I am restoring, and enjoy adventures, writing, & photography.
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