I Once Dated a Gearhead

We dated only a few months, but one thing Craig showed me was an appreciation for classic cars. I never made it to gearhead status, but when I spotted a car show at our local K Mart Saturday, I had to stop.

There were rows and rows of shiny cars






but this is the one that caught my eye. Sorry Craig. The owner, Gary Miller of Lancaster, said it was







a ‘Rat Rod.’ He described it as a collage, “You take bits and pieces of different vehicles, put them together and come up with a new one.” As I listened, I thought it sounded like a short story collection.

“The cab is a 1937 pick-up I found in the junkyard. Originally it was green, but it’s rusted to this color. I didn’t paint it. Those are real bullet holes above the window. I didn’t put those in, they were there when I bought it! The engine is from 1975.”

“Know what that is?” I knew it was a gas tank but for some reason there was an inverted Jim Beam bottle attached to the side.  Did the truck run on white lightning? “That’s my gas gauge. When the level gets to here,” he pointed to the bulge in the neck, “I know it’s time to fill up.  See that over there? Used to be a military box.

I lined it with aluminum and it holds a 6 pack and keeps it cold.”

The other piece of military equipment I noticed was a hand grenade for a gear shift knob. Where did he get his ideas?

“The back end is from the 1940’s but I put a new bed on it. Had to have it bent so it wouldn’t hit underneath. The guy who made it painted it with acid to bring out the patina and make it look old.”

“Those are real Native American blankets. The seats were covered just like that when I found it. Kept me warm this morning since I don’t have heat.” He laughed, then told me about his trips out West to the reservations years ago to buy blankets and jewelry, and his appreciation for the Native Americans’ handwork.

I loved listening to Gary talk about his truck.  By the look on his face I think he enjoyed talking about it.

I imagine the parking lot was full of stories. I wish I could have stayed longer to listen.Have a great week. I hope you keep your eyes and ears open to the stories that come your way. I know I will.



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6 Responses to I Once Dated a Gearhead

  1. Julie says:

    That’s so neat!

    • Isn’t it? Everywhere I looked it seemed there was another odd little ‘surprise’ to be found. Your boys would have loved it and all the other cars. Now I can’t wait to go to another show lol

  2. It kept my attention.. Very interesting Kim . I wish I had those indiane blankets,they are beautiful.

    • Thanks, Susan. I could have stayed there all afternoon listening to those guys. I was surprised at how well those blankets held up for being so old and being in a junkyard for who knows how long. Not sure I’d use one of those blankets today to cover my car seats, though!

  3. Pat FitzGerald says:

    Pat FitzGerald thanks for calling attention to the car show. Those guys are characters, no doubt. You have to be a character to have a multi-colored car with so many odds and ends.
    We’ll look for what’s up next.

    • These guys were great – I talked with several. They were eager to talk about their cars and what all they’d done to them, how they got started . . . but we also ended up talking about other things. I’d just left the Veteran’s Day Parade and one man and I spent 20 minutes talking about WWII. It was not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.

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